IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (23-0, 20KO’s) was able to defend his title in a dominant performance against Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17KO’s), last night at The Barclays in Brooklyn. Spence, who won the title against Kell Brook in May, looked extremely sharp despite the 8-month lay-off. The ultra-courageous Peterson put forth a valiant effort, but could not deal with the constant pressure from Spence. Ultimately, Barry Hunter(trainer/mentor) demanded the fight be stopped before the start of round 8.
This is one of those occasions in boxing where the back-story of the fight has much more substance than the fight itself. Peterson and Spence have always been two of the great ambassadors of the sport. Peterson, once homeless, has carved out a wonderful career, despite having the cards stacked against him as a kid. He has embraced being a role-model for the kids of Washington D.C., and continues to make a difference in his community. WIn, lose, or draw, his low-key demeanor seems to filter out the negative vibes that are frequently thrown as hard as a Stephen Strasburg fastball. Whether he continues to fight, or not, his legacy has already been cemented in the fight game.
For Spence, his status as one of the pound-for-pound kingpins has taken another huge step forward. A couple years ago, I wrote that Spence would eventually become one of the superstars of boxing. I consider him a throwback-style fighter, both inside and outside of the ring. Nah, you probably won’t catch Spence getting super-hyped over his own press clippings. He will continue to focus on being the best boxer in the world, and sip his mental apple-cider vinegar to remedy any bloating of his ego…isn’t that refreshing? #ChillinWithCheese
Photo courtesy of Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment
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