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Errol Spence: Bundu is a range finder for me

Errol Spence Jr Keith Thurman

By Dan Ambrose: Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs) will be looking to try and do what Keith Thurman couldn’t do by beating Leonard Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) today and looking impressive in doing so in their fight at Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.

Thurman beat Bundu by a 12 round decision in 2014, but he didn’t look all that sharp. Bundu had his moments against Thurman early in the fight, and he forced him to into a hit and move style. The result was Thurman turning the fight into a boring affair that caused the boxing fans at ringside to boo him. They weren’t booing Bundu, because he was trying to pressure Thurman, but he couldn’t catch up to him.

“He’s another range finder,” said Spence about Bundu to “Bundu is a tough fighter, very crafty. He’s got a lot of skills. It’s going to show what I can do against a crafty fighter. Keith Thurman won against Bundu, but he wasn’t impressive. It will definitely show how I faire against Bundu. Everybody is going to try and use that to say me and Keith Thurman to try and put us together. Once I unify the IBF title, I’ll be looking to unify the belts. I’ll be calling out the other welterweight champions. Right now, I’m just focused on beating Bundu and winning the IBF world title. I’m not overlooking him. I had a hard 10-week training camp. We trained hard for this fight. He’s very tough and very durable. He took Keith Thurman’s shots,” said Spence.

Spence will still have one more hurdle that he’ll need to jump through after the Bundu fight for him to win the IBF welterweight title. He’ll need to beat Kell Brook, the holder of the IBF belt. If Brook doesn’t want to take the fight with Spence, then he’ll be stripped of the title by the International Boxing Federation. They’ll designate an opponent for Spence to fight for the vacant IBF 147lb title.

A unification fight between Spence and Thurman would be a big fight if Spence can win the IBF title. He says he’s looked at tape of Thurman’s fights, and he feels confident in himself that he would beat him. Floyd Mayweather Jr. was trying to push for a Spence vs. Thurman fight last year, but Thurman didn’t want the fight. He felt that Spence didn’t have enough experience as a pro for him to fight.

Spence is slowly getting that experience. If he can beat Bundu and then Brook or someone else to win the IBF title, there won’t be much else Thurman can do to put off the fight against Spence. You would hope that Thurman doesn’t say that he wants to wait until Spence makes a bigger name for himself to make the fight, because that kind of thing is too risky because Thurman might get beaten by someone while waiting. Thurman was almost beaten earlier this year in his fight against Shawn Porter. He beat Porter, but it was very close. If Porter had won a couple more rounds, he would have gotten the victory.

Bundu is a very crafty fighter, and he’ll definitely be looking to try and out-box the southpaw Spence in this fight. Spence says he’s seen video of Bundu’s past fights, and he’s spotted things he can do against him to get a knockout. Spence plans on putting a lot of pressure on the 41-year-old Bundu to force him into a brawl.

Spence wants to go through Bundu like he did his last opponent Chris Algieri, who he stopped in the 5th round last April. Spence tore through Algieri with hard body shots. Algieri is usually very good at handling punches to the head, but he was not ready for the fierce body attack from Spence. That was the problem for Algieri. He could not stand up to the body attack from Spence.

Spence says he had a long 10-week training camp for the Bundu fight. This makes you wonder whether Spence might have over-trained for the fight. He looks a little lean right now. It’s possible that might come out and look flat today when he gets inside the ring with Bundu, because of how hard he worked in training.

Hopefully, for Spence’s sake, he didn’t overdo it in getting ready for the Bundu challenge. Fighters sometimes train too much when they have an important fight, and they end up with results that are less than what they had hoped for.

Spence says he usually rehydrates to around 159 on fight night. It’ll be interesting to see where his weight is for this fight. If it’s below that level, then you have to conclude that Spence went overboard in getting ready for the fight.

Spence vs. Bundu will be aired on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC today starting at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT. It’ll be a good fight for as long as it lasts.

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