Errol Spence Jr. set to put Undefeated Boxing Record on the Line
Errol Spence Jr. will defend his IBF welterweight title against a formidable Lamont Peterson this weekend in Brooklyn.
Updated: Jan. 18, 2018 • 8:30 AM ET
Errol Spence Jr. has yet to lose a fight in his professional boxing career.
Undefeated Errol Spence Jr. will bury the boxing community’s heavy anticipation and defend his IBF welterweight title on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Spence, a proven amateur and professional, is 22-0 with 19 knockouts and will face former two-division champion Lamont Peterson. In 2009, he was a National Golden Gloves champion and reached the quarterfinals of the 2011 World Championships. He also reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Spence is coming off the biggest win of his career when he stopped Kell Brook to win his first title in May. He was hoping for a unification fight against WBC and WBA champion Keith Thurman, but Thurman has been sidelined with an elbow injury and won’t return until later this year.
Meanwhile, Spence’s 33-year-old challenger is 35-3-1 with 17 knockouts and 4-1 since 2013 with the loss being a majority decision to Danny Garcia in 2015. Peterson moved up to welterweight in February, winning the WBA welterweight title against David Avanesyan. However, he had to give up the belt to fight Spence.
Spence, 28 years old, doesn’t consider Peterson an easy opponent, despite his hopes to fight Thurman.
"My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook," Spence said in a press release.
Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, believes Peterson brings more heart than anyone Spence has faced thus far.
“When you look at the Spence-Brook fight, early on Brook had a lot of success,” Hunter said via BoxingScene.com. “Down the stretch, Errol imposed his will and broke Brook down. I know Errol well and I’ve coached him.
“He has a strong will. He’s not great in one area, but he’s good in a lot of areas. This is a different kind of guy he’s facing. Heart is something Lamont is nowhere near short on. I think this might start off tactical, and then turn into a war.”
Hunter worked with Spence while he was an amateur and believes he knows him well enough to coach Peterson to a shocking victory. Peterson will bring an impressive list of experience to the ring on Saturday after fighting the likes of Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz, Lucas Martin Matthysse, Timothy Bradley Jr. and Garcia.
Spence will fight in Brooklyn for the first time since defeating Chris Algieri by TKO in April 2016. He has won his last eight fights by KO or TKO and has considerably more punching power than Peterson.
The Ring Magazine has Spence ranked eighth in their pound-for-pound rankings, and a successful title defense will likely move him up that list.
• The fight can be seen on Showtime on Jan. 20.