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Spence-Bundu punch stats

Errol Spence Jr

By Dan Ambrose: Showing off his punching power, #2 IBF welterweight contender Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) demolished Leonard Bundu (33-2-2, 12 KOs) in six rounds on Sunday to put himself in the driver’s seat for a title shot against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook or at least a shot at the IBF title if Brook vacates. Spence entertained the fans with his two knockdown performance at the Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.

Spence connected on 137 of 388 punches for a connect percentage of 35, according to CompuBox. For his part, Bundu landed 51 of 201 punches for a connect percentage of 25.

(Photo credit: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

Bundu, 41, wasn’t able to connect with enough of his power shots to really bother the 26-year-old Spence, who may be the second coming of Sugar Ray Leonard with his impressive boxing skills. The 5’6 ½” Bundu made a lot of noise when he would throw shots in the form of the grunting he was doing, but his shots often came up short of their mark due to the 5’9 ½” Spence leaning back to make his shots miss.

When Bundu would land, he wasn’t hitting with enough power to really bother Spence. Bundu did land some nice right hands in the fight, but he didn’t have enough power and he wasn’t landing enough to give himself a fighting chance of winning the contest. The difference between the punching power of Spence and Bundu was considerable. Bundu’s shots looked and sounded a lot weaker than the ones that Spence was landing throughout the fight.

“Errol was more precise than Keith Thurman,” Bundu said. “With Keith, every shot is a power punch. You feel them. Errol threw more, but they didn’t all hurt.”

Keith Thurman beat Bundu by a 12 round unanimous decision two years ago in 2014. Everything Thurman threw in that fight was a power shot with knockout intentions on it. However, you can argue that the reason why Thurman didn’t get a knockout like Spence did was because he was throwing a lot of wide hooks. Thurman wasn’t placing his punches like Spence.

When Thurman would throw, he was fire off rapid punches thrown with a lot of speed but no real attempt at placing the shots. With Spence, he was aiming for spots on Bundu’s body and heard where he wanted to land. Spence’s left hooks that he dropped Bundu with twice in round six were a perfect example of him placing the perfect punch to get Bundu out of there.

However, those shots appeared to be every bit as hard as anything Thurman threw in the Bundu fight in 2014. The only difference is that Spence wasn’t loading up on every punch he threw the way that Thurman was. Thurman’s shots may have hurt Bundu more because everything he threw was a power shot thrown with the same kind of power, but Spence’s placement of shots was key for him in getting the knockout. Additionally, Spence did a better job of mixing up his power than Thurman.

Spence threw varied the power on his shots and that made his power seem even better when he would load up on his shots. This is the same kind of thing that unbeaten IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin does. Golovkin doesn’t hit his opponents with the same kind of power all night long. Golovkin varies his power in order to get his opponents accustomed to him hitting with average power and then all of a sudden he’ll load up with something really big and surprise them. Spence was doing the same thing against Bundu. The 41-year-old fighter didn’t realize what Spence was doing.

“I really tried to get up but I couldn’t,” said Bundu. “I am okay though. I feel good.”

It was good that Bundu didn’t get back to his feet because if he had, Spence would have quickly finished him off. Once Spence had Bundu hurt, he smelled blood in the water and he was not going to let him survive. Spence was playing it cool in the first five rounds by fighting at a slow pace and not going after Bundu, However, once Spence had Bundu hurt in the 6th round, he really tore into him and finished him off quickly.

If Bundu had gotten back on his feet after the second knockdown, Spence would have hit him with another left hand uppercut and the fight would have ended right then and there. It wouldn’t have helped Bundu by getting up a final time. He actually was better off by not getting up for a third helping of pain from Spence because he was not going to get out of the round. There was too much time, Spence was hitting too hard, and Bundu was too badly hurt.

“I thought my performance was great. I was shaky in the first and second rounds but was able to get into a rhythm the rest of the fight. Once I was able to catch his rhythm and break him down, I knew I had him,” said Spence.

It wasn’t a great performance from Spence because it took him a while to get engaged in the fight, but he did what he had to do for him to get Bundu out of there. Spence show that his punching power is so good that he can still get knockouts even when he’s confused by his opponents, which is what the case was tonight. Spence was not really looking comfortable until the 6th. Once he got comfortable, it was only a matter of time before he knocked Bundu out. If you compare how Spence was fighting in the first five rounds to how he was fighting in the 6th, it was like night and day. Spence is a devastating puncher when he goes after his opponents like he was with Bundu in the sixth round. No one is going to be able to hold up long under that kind of heavy barrage.

Spence has the potential to be the No.1 fighter in the welterweight division. He’s got that kind of talent. You have to wonder what Keith Thurman, Brook, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Tim Bradley were all thinking when they saw Spence’s performance today? Perhaps they still didn’t see the fight, but they’re going to need to. Spence is seriously very good and a threat to all of them.

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