Nobody doubts the ability of unbeaten, IBF World Welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr. The Texan resident has sparkled in compiling a 24-0, 21 KOs record. He’ll be turning 29-years-old, at the beginning of 2019, so, it is time we saw him in more meaningful fights.
Having followed his career and seen him grow as a fighter, he’s always impressed. On the way to the title, he brushed aside the likes of Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu. His biggest win came against Kell Brook. Spence travelled to the UK and wrestled the IBF crown from his English opponent, stopping him in the eleventh of an entertaining fight. He followed that up with a dismantling of, the inactive, Lamont Peterson. Last time out a body shot, in the first, took care of overmatched Mexican Carlos Ocampo. Spence looked impressive but we all know what he can do, at this level. It’s time we saw him in the fights that matter, fights that bring out the best and challenge him.
This weekend sees an intriguing clash between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, for the WBC strap, the winner must surely be on Spence’s radar. He needs to be calling out the winner and his handlers making serious moves to deliver the fight in 2019.
32-year-old Cuban Yordenis Ugas appears on the Garcia vs Porter undercard. Should he win, it seems he is next up for Errol Spence. Ugas (22-3, 11 KOs), is a decent contender and holds wins over the likes of Jamal James and Thomas Dulorme. He’s suffered defeat to Emmanuel Robles and Amir Imam. Decent fighter though Errol would be expected to handle him with relative ease.
Keith Thurman was once the top man in the 147lb division. He’s beaten, Garcia and Porter. His last fight was a split decision over Danny, way back in March 2017. Marriage and injuries have kept ‘One-Time’ away from the boxing ring. No fight scheduled and his future in the sport unclear. If he comes back, he’ll probably take a few fights before a clash with Spence is possible.
Lightweight Mikey Garcia has talked of fighting Spence. Does anyone believe he is serious? He’s undefeated and one of the best in the sport, he’s also a shrewd businessman. Garcia, seemingly, has a lot of options. Everyone would love to see him face Vasyl Lomachenko. Trouble is, Bob Arum promotes the Ukrainian. Garcia and Arum had a hard split. One that kept Mikey out of the sport. The chances of them working together are very slim. Money talks, so maybe, enough money could be raised for Spence vs Garcia. I suspect, it’s talk from the Garcia side and doubt there’s enough money to make a huge risk viable.
The WBO welterweight champion is Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford. There have been countless debates on social media over who wins between Spence and Crawford. Everyone would pay to see that fight. A unification between the two best in the division, while Thurman is AWOL.
Spence is with PBC, Crawford is with Top Rank. Both on different TV networks and big stars for their promoters. It’d be very tough to make and it isn’t happening anytime soon. Hopefully, the promoters don’t rob the fans of a fight that could go down as a classic. But don’t hold your breath.
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao holds the WBA ‘regular’ title. He seems to operate as a free agent these days, so a fight with Spence can happen. ‘Pacman’ is a few years past his best but still a huge name. He’s also a target for many fighters looking to cash in on the faded Filipino. How much credit do you get for beating a man who lost to Jeff Horn and has clearly seen better days? Not a lot but it will still pack in the viewers.
If Errol can’t get a unification then he’s unlikely to be tested, making routine defences of the IBF title. The organisation’s rankings are not packed with danger. Some decent fighters but not the big fights that Spence needs to build a legacy. Jesse Vargas and Andre Berto anyone? No, me neither.
Amir Khan fights Samuel Vargas this weekend, in England. He also recently beat Phil Lo Greco. Both of these Khan opponents have suffered heavy defeat, at the hands of Spence. Khan has called out the IBF champion though is, also, chasing a Pacquiao fight. Khan vs Kell Brook is mooted for later this year. Whether it happens is anyone’s guess.
Most would expect Spence to deal with Khan in devastating fashion. Amir brings a lot of support and is a high-profile name. It’d be a good money fight and name on the record.
Errol Spence is a big welter. He’ll move up one-day and could finish his career as a middleweight. It would be a travesty if he didn’t get to prove his dominance at welterweight. It would mean the fans missing out on some potentially great fights. In an ideal World the names of Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford will be on the talented southpaw’s record. The fights don’t make themselves. The fans can hope but they can’t make them. Errol Spence needs to instruct his handlers to seriously negotiate and make the fights happen. At 28, he can’t just let boxing politics pass his potential Hall of Fame career by.