Spence: I’m going to smoke Thurman easy
By Dan Ambrose: Errol Spence Jr. wants to make it clear to Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman that he’s not setting the agenda by calling the shots for when the two of them will be facing each other. Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) says he’s going to stay busy with his career and create his own path to make a big name for himself.
It goes without saying that Spence doesn’t need Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) to achieve stardom. But when the unification fight with the 28-year-old Thurman does happen, Spence says he’s going to “smoke him” easy and leave no questions who the better fighter is.
Spence, 27, is already making a big name for himself with his 7th round knockout win over former 140 and 147 lb. champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) last Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Spence put in an exceptional performance in the 1-knockdown, 7th round stoppage win. The fight was stopped by Peterson’s long-time trainer Barry Hunter after the 7th. He wordlessly looked at the beaten 33-year-old Peterson and turned to the referee Harvey Dock and waived his hands to let him know that he wanted the fight to end.
“Y’all know it’s strap season. Y’all seen that dude Keith Thurman,” said Spence. ”He gonna do a post. We ain’t waiting on Keith. Next fight in Dallas in summer time. I’m going to smoke him easy. He ain’t talking about nothing,” said Spence.
Spence shouldn’t assume that he’ll be facing Thurman in 2019. Thurman still has 2 tough title defenses he plans on taking this year against Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. Thurman almost lost to both of those guys the first tie round. He could lose to one of them in a rematch. Thurman’s first fight of 2018 will be in April against an opponent still yet to be named. Jessie Vargas is one possibility.
”I [see] you, young buck. Be patient. Your time is coming. #OneTime,” said Thurman on his Twitter in a direct message to Spence.
The message here from Thurman to Spence is to pipe down and wait your turn for your fight. I get the feeling that Thurman wants Spence to quit talking to the media about him not stepping up to face him. Spence isn’t going to stop calling out Thurman though, because he doesn’t appear to believe that he’ll face him. The worst nightmare for Spence is for Thurman to get beaten by someone else before he gets a chance to face him.
Spence’s net fight in May or June is yet to be decided. He’s going to leave it up to his management to pick the best available fighter they can find. That will be the 2nd fight for the 27-year-old Spence. in 2018 He plans on fighting 3 times in 2018. His third fight will likely be in December.
With Thurman not on board with facing him in 2018, Spence will have to make do by fighting the best guys that can be found. Spence has already sent a message to the media for all top fighters that are interested in fighting him, they need to contact his manager Al Haymon to see about having a fight setup. Spence obviously isn’t going to face just anyone. He wants to take on the best only.
Spence was smiling at Peterson after getting hit by some of his shots. Spence wanted Peterson to know that he wasn’t hurting him. It was mind games by Spence to unnerve Peterson. It probably wasn’t needed. Spence was going to ultimately overpower and stop Peterson whether he was smiling or showing no emotion whatsoever. This fight was a classic mismatch between 2 fighters going in opposite directions with their careers.
“It’s more about I took the shot and it didn’t hurt, and I just smile, because I know my opponent is in trouble if I take a shot and it doesn’t hurt,” said Spence to secondsout.com. “It’s a good investment, especially if you go early in a 12 round fight. You know it’s going to pay off in the later rounds,” said Spence about throwing body shots early in his fights. “You got to the body early. Even if it doesn’t hurt, it still takes a little bit out of you in the later rounds. It’s boxing,” Spence said.
Spence was hitting Peterson with a lot of body shots. Those shots seemed to make Peterson think twice about wadding in to throw his own body punches. Before the fight, it was thought Peterson would stand in the pocket and meet fire with fire by hitting Spence with punches to the midsection to try and best him in an old-fashioned war of attrition. There were many boxing fans that predicted that the fight would go the full 12 rounds. They thought that Spence didn’t have what it takes to knockout Peterson or beat him bad enough for the fight to be stopped. But surprisingly, Spence showed that he did have the talent to do a job on Peterson to get him out of there.
”You’re going to get hit. If anybody thinks they see flaws in my game and they think they can capitalize on it, call Al,” said Spence. ”I love great performances, and I believe to get the ultimate win, it’s to get a knockout. So that’s what I want, and it looks good on your record too. 23-0 with 20 knockouts,” Spence said.
None of the top welterweights have spoken up yet about wanting to fight Spence next, but it’s still early yet. Perhaps there’s some brave soul who is willing to share the ring with Spence to try and get him out of there. Whoever steps up to face Spence, they’ll at least get a payday to fight him. That’s one big positive.
Ideally, it would be better for a contender to really believe that he had a chance of beating Spence. The only guy that likely thinks he can defeat Spence is Terence Crawford, but he’s with Top Rank and there’s no word when they’ll try and make that fight. Crawford is facing WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn in April. If Crawford wins that fight, he could be facing Manny Pacquiao later in the year if the Filipino star wants that fight. Crawford is probably not going to be available to fight Spence until next year at the earliest.