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Errol Spence vows not to lose focus on Bundu


By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten #2 IBF Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs) doesn’t intend on losing focus for his next fight against #6 IBF Leonard Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) on August 21 at the Amphitheater in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Spence is fighting the 41-year-old Bundu in an IBF welterweight eliminator bout. The winner of the fight will be the new IBF mandatory challenger to champion Kell Brook. Spence will be facing Bundu on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC on 8/21.

Spence, 26, is the favorite in the Bundu fight. It looks like Spence wants to make sure that he doesn’t overlook Bundu, because if he takes the fight for granted and loses, it will prevent him from getting the much bigger fights in the future against the like of Brook, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner and Terence Crawford.

Bundu is a real good test for Spence, because he gave Keith Thurman all he could handle two years ago. Thurman took some shots from Bundu early in the fight that made him decide that he didn’t want to stand in the pocket against him. Thurman circled the ring constantly for 12 rounds, hitting and moving to avoid getting nailed.

While Thurman won a one-sided 12 round decision, he had the fans booing him at the end due to his movement. Even when Spence was being interviewed after the fight, he was being booed by the fans. The fans wanted to see Thurman stand and trade with smaller, weaker Bundu, but he was having none of it. He didn’t want to get hit by Bundu, so he stayed on his bike for 12 round making it less than compelling fight to watch.

Spence’s job is to not only beat Bundu on August 21, but to beat him in such a fashion that the boxing world can see the difference between him and Thurman.

Spence, a 2012 U.S Olympian, is seen by a lot of people in the boxing world as the next big welterweight star. Spence is seen as the replacement for Floyd Mayweather Jr. Right now, Spence is behind guys like Thurman and Danny Garcia, because those fighters didn’t have long amateur careers like Spence. They turned pro early and were able to move rapidly to world titles. Spence has been a pro since 2012, and he’s being moved quickly too.

Spence is 26 and on the brink of fame. Once he gets past Bundu, he’ll be waiting for his chance to fight Brook for the IBF belt. If Brook doesn’t fight him for whatever reason, then Spence will be given the IBF title outside of the ring. He can then look to start defending his title against the rope dogs in the division.

It’s not likely that Spence’s manager Al Haymon will put him in against Denny Garcia in a unification match or with Keith Thurman, because then one of them would lose and it might not be good. I suspect that Spence will be kept in separate lanes from those fighters for a while.

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