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De La Hoya: I would turn Errol Spence into a superstar

Errol Spence Jr Kell Brook Oscar De La Hoya

By Scott Gilfoid: Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya thinks it’s a mistake for 2012 U.S Olympian Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) to be going to Europe to fight for the IBF welterweight title against Kell Brook. De La Hoya says that Spence’s career isn’t being moved a long like it should be for a fighter with his kind of talent. He says that if Spence was one of his fighters in his Golden Boy stable, he would turn him into a star. He would have Spence fighting on the undercard of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. card on May 6.

De La Hoya would be putting him in a position where he would get a lot of attention from boxing fans. De La Hoya wonders if Spence even has a promoter. He doesn’t know if he does or not. But he thinks that Spence shouldn’t have to be fighting in Europe. De La Hoya feels that Spence should be fighting the winner of the March 4 fight between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. The fact that nothing is being said about the winner of that fight facing the winner of the Brook-Spence fight suggests that it’s not going to happen. We might not be seeing Spence fighting the winner of the Thurman-Garcia fight.

“I think it’s a shame that Errol Spence’s career has been kind of on the down low,” said De La Hoya to ES News Reporting. “Why would a fighter like Spence have to go to Europe to fight Kell Brook? Errol Spence, if I was promoting him, first of all, I would put him on the Canelo-Chavez undercard. I would create a monster. I would create the next pay-per-view sensation. There’s no doubt about that. He can fight. He can beat most of the guys out there,” said De La Hoya.

I do agree with De La Hoya about his thoughts on Spence fighting in Europe. I don’t think that’s putting Spence in a great position. After we saw how Gennady Golovkin was behind on the scoring for his fight against Brook 3 rounds to 1 on judges’ card and 2 rounds a piece on the other two judges’ cards, I think Spence is walking into a fight where he might need to knock Brook out for him to have a chance of winning the fight. It’s still not a good situation to be putting the next Mayweather in. With the kind of talent that Spence has, he shouldn’t have to play the B-side against a welterweight that might not even be the 5th best fighter in the 147lb division in Brook. I think Brook is a decent fighter, but I rate these guys above him at welterweight: Spence, Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley and Amir Khan.

“How in the hell is Danny Garcia fighting against Keith Thurman,” said De La Hoya. “The winner should be fighting Errol Spence. No doubt about it. He should be fighting these guys. Look, I don’t know who’s promoting him. Maybe he doesn’t have a promoter. If I was promoting him, I would take the kid and turn him into a superstar,” said De La Hoya.

Well, we now know how De La Hoya feels about Spence. I don’t see Spence fighting the winner of the Garcia vs. Thurman match. If that was a fight that was going to be happening, there would have been some talk. Adrien Broner or Amir Khan probably has a better chance of fighting the Garcia-Thurman fight in my view. We’ll see how that goes.

De La Hoya doesn’t have a super talent at 147 in his Golden Boy stable. Having Spence in his Golden Boy stable would possibly help if he could get fights for him. It would be a pity if Spence wins the International Boxing Federation welterweight title and then is stuck only being able to defend against the contenders in the IBF’s rankings the way that Brook has. Brook has had a lot of lackluster title defenses since he won the IBF title three years ago in 2014. To say that Brook hasn’t taken advantage of his status as the IBF champion is putting it lightly. Brook has defended his IBF title three times in three years in beating Frankie Gavin, Jo Jo Dan and Kevin Bizier. Those are not great fights, are they?

Spence will be challenging Brook on May 20 in the British fighter’s hometown of Sheffield, UK. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants to stick the fight in the huge football stadium Bramall Lane. The stadium seats 32,000 fans. That sounds good, but it’s potentially going to be really bad for Spence because the fans are going to be cheering for Brook the whole time.

If the judges are only hearing cheering for Brook, it could make it similar to how the judges scored the Golovkin-Brook fight with Brook getting rounds in which he’s getting worked over. I had Golovkin winning 3 rounds to 1 going into round 5. I couldn’t give Brook the 1st round because he was almost knocked out by Golovkin. Round 2 was definitely a Brook round with the nice uppercut he hit Golovkin with. Round 3 was a Golovkin round He hit Brook with some massive shots to the head. He even dropped Brook but wasn’t given credit for it. Round 4 was one in which Brook was running around the ring, taking body shots, and looking in distress. I couldn’t give that round to Brook. My point is that if Spence finds himself in the position where he’s got nothing but cheering for Brook, I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses that fight, even if he appears to win all 12 rounds. I don’t think Spence will get the decision.

If I was Spence’s promoter, I would have worked on getting him a shot at the winner of the Thurman-Garcia fight rather than going after the IBF title, because I would have figured that he would most likely need to travel to the UK for that fight. Spence will still likely knock Brook out, but if he doesn’t, we could see a controversial decision. Like I said, I think judges unconsciously are influenced by crowd cheering. I think it takes a really good judge to shutout the noise and concentrate on what’s actually happening inside the ring. Golovkin brought his own judges in the form of his two fists. There was no way that Brook was going to be able to the full 12 round distance no matter how much running he did against Golovkin. That’s why Golovkin was moving so quickly after the 2nd round. He realized that he had to chase Brook to knock him out, because he wasn’t going to put himself in the position where the outcome of the fight would be in the hands of the judges.

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