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Errol Spence Jr.: Boxing’s top spot up for grabs, I’m coming for it

10
Jan

Errol Spence Jr. just might be the most talented fighter in boxing, and he’ll have a chance to prove it.

That’s because Spence resides in boxing’s most talent laden weight class, and since he’s with Al Haymon, he can easily be matched up with the best fighters in the welterweight division outside of one man about to debut there, Terence Crawford.

Spence will begin to make his case as the world’s best 147-pounder on January 20 in Brooklyn, New York, when he takes on former champion Lamont Peterson, a veteran who can fight in different styles and who’s faced some of the best fighters in boxing.

The fight will be Spence’s first defense of the IBF title he wrested from Kell Brook in May, and although Spence is expected to turn back Peterson’s challenge, it’s another worthy test for the 27-year-old Texan.

“The top spot in the sport is really up for grabs now and I’m coming for it,” Spence (22-0, 19 knockouts) said at Tuesday’s media workout in Dallas. “I don’t care who I have to face or where, I’m going to be the last man standing. That’s why we all get into this sport. I’m extremely confident in myself.”

That confidence was on full display in Spence’s last outing, an overseas trek to England to take on then-champion Brook. Spence started slow, but his superior boxing skills took over, and he broke Brook down for the 10th-round stoppage after he shattered the Brit’s orbital bone.

Against Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), Spence will be taking on another top fighter, one who should make the champ even better after the experience. Peterson dropped a disputed decision to Danny Garcia in 2015 in his last marquee bout, and also owns a victory over Amir Khan, along with losses to Timothy Bradley (wide decision) and Lucas Matthysse (KO 3).

Spence will need to fight opponents like Keith Thurman, and hopefully at some point, Crawford, if he wants to truly grab the mantle as boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighter. Until then, turning back a tough, experienced veteran like Peterson (THE RING’s No. 6 welterweight) will help guide Spence to where he wants to be.

“I’m excited to be fighting a guy like Lamont Peterson,” said Spence, THE RING’s No. 8 pound-for-pound fighter.. “I’m not fighting a regular no-name fighter. He’s going to bring the best out of me because he’s a true fighter. It makes the whole experience even better.”

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger

  • WR

    What a great way to start the year off I think Spence is gonna have his hands full with Peterson but with Spence’s great body work on point it shouldn’t go the distance I can;t wait to watch this Fight

    • DRE

      No one other than Luca Matthysse had an easy time with Peterson. But Spence is not Tim Bradley or Amir Khan or Danny Garcia. He’s much stronger than Khan, punches harder than Timmy and cuts off the ring much better than Garcia. Spence by stoppage. His body-shots will no doubt do most of the damage.
      And Spence could be our future P4P king or at least close to it. He just needs to fight a little more often.

      • Fist_ti_cuffs

        Like all marquee fighters he’ll only be fighting twice per year. Let’s just hope that those two fights are worthy of his stature. Ultimately I hope he is able to lure Garcia, Porter and ultimately Thurman into the ring. However, this is a good stay busty fight. Spence by brutal KO if Peterson decides to fight instead of box.

  • Larry Connor

    Will not be an easy fight

  • Stephen M

    If he fought more often he would be my favorite fighter.

    • Andy T

      I was really impressed with him after the Kell fight and look forward to him fighting Thurman then Crawford.

  • J rock

    Spence will probably stop Peterson within 8 rounds. It will be easy work. I wish we could fastforward to Thurman Vs Spence. I have nothing against Porter…Im just not big on seeing him in rematches. He is a tough strong competitor, but I believe he should be a permanent gatekeeper and if you beat a gatekeeper you shouldnt have to rematch one. Thurman beat Porter…I dont need to see it again. Give Thurman an easier tuneup and Lets get Thurman and Spence in the ring. Peterson is not as stiff competition as Porter is. This is an easy fight for Spence….if anything Spence should be fighting Porter. And Thurman should be fighting Peterson

  • Luca Blight

    Peterson has good pressure to probably give Spence some trouble but lacks power. I think Spence stops him somewhere around mid rounds.

  • philoe bedoe

    Peterson is a good all round boxer who’s been in with most of the top fighters at 140 and 147, but can start a little slow at times before getting into the fight.
    So if Spence isn’t rusty he could take him out quickly…………

  • Canek

    Fake Texan needs to stop ducking One Time.

  • Floridastorm

    I think that Spence and his supporters are underestimating Peterson. I’ve watched most of Peterson’s fights and he is a consumit professional with a lot of skills. He is always superbly conditioned and never seems to get tired even in the 12th. He moves very well in the ring and is very hard to hit flush. Intermittently he will throw power punches in bunches and they are not love taps. With a lot of experience against some of the top fighters in the business, including Danny Garcia who I thought he defeated. Outside of Kell Brook Spence has fought absolutely nobody. I am thinking that Peterson my make Spence look like an amateur. Spence will not KO Peterson. Only Lucas was able to do that. Let’s see if Spence can go a hard 12 rounds.