Saturday, September 23, 2023  |


Errol Spence Jr. coming home with title defense vs. Carlos Ocampo on June 16

Photo / Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

Errol Spence Jr. is coming home.

The ultra-talented boxer has long lobbied for a fight in the Dallas area since he won the strap, and it’s finally coming to fruition. He’ll defend his IBF welterweight title against Carlos Ocampo on June 16 from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

“I’m honored to be fighting in Dallas before my hometown fans and the people who have supported me from the beginning,” said Spence, who last competed in Dallas in 2015 with a knockout of Alejandro Barrera.

“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. It’s going to be great to fight at The Star, and because I’m a big Dallas Cowboys fan, I’m looking forward to fighting on the campus of Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters.”

The Showtime main event against Ocampo, the IBF’s No. 1 contender, will fulfill Spence’s mandatory obligation. The 22-year-old from Mexico is undefeated in 22 pro bouts, but remains largely untested.

After Spence (23-0, 20 is past Ocampo, he’ll surely look ahead to greater challenges. Keith Thurman, THE RING’s No. 1 welterweight, is on the shelf with hand and elbow injuries until late summer.

Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, meanwhile, are poised to fight each other for the WBC title Thurman relinquished. That leaves few viable foes for the type of event Spence is seeking to continue his star climb.

“I believe that I’m the number one fighter in the welterweight division and I’ll step into the ring on June 16 with that feeling,” said Spence, THE RING’s No. 8 pound-for-pound fighter. “I’m going to draw from the energy of my fans.

“I’ve studied some of Ocampo and I can tell he likes to box but he’s willing to get into a fight. I know how he feels going into someone else’s hometown for his first shot at the title. This is his big opportunity and it’s going to make this a great event.”

Spence, of course, travelled to Sheffield, England, for a crack at Kell Brook’s title in May 2016. “The Truth” fractured Brook’s orbital bone en route to a 10th-round stoppage. Now, he’s ready to enjoy the confines of home for the first time as titleholder.

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