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Jermell Charlo: Spence KOs Lamont Peterson in 4 rounds

Image: Jermell Charlo: Spence KOs Lamont Peterson in 4 rounds

By Jeff Aranow: WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo is predicting a 4th round knockout win for IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) tonight in his title defense against Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) in their fight on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Charlo, 27, has sparred with Spence many times in the past, and he rates his power as being top notch. Charlo knows how tough Spence is, and he sees him as the best fighter in the 147 lb. weigh class today. Charlo says Spence is going to run over Peterson, 33, due to his power, boxing skills, and his youth.

“4th round knockout, because I’ve been in with Errol, and I know how hard he hits,” Jermell Charlo said to Figthype, when asked his prediction for Spence against Peterson tonight. “He don’t wear down. Just because Lamont is older,” Charlo said in giving another reason why Spence will win.

It’s likely that Spence’s sparring sessions with Jermell Charlo are tougher than what he’ll be dealing with tonight against Peterson. Jermell is a big puncher with speed, and he likes to set traps in his fights. Spence has to deal with all that in his sparring with Jermell. That’s got to be harder for Spence than what Peterson can bring. Peterson only recently moved up to welterweight, and he’s not a big fighter. He’ll be giving away size and a lot of strength to Spence tonight.

Spence will need to not be patient for him to be able to get Peterson out of there in 4 rounds. In Spence’s last fight against Kell Brook, he was too patient in the first quarter of the fight, and he let him have a lot of success. Spence started coming on in round 5, and he was completely different animal with the pressure he put on from that point on. Spence was loading up with everything he threw from the 5th round on, and Brook subsequently wilted under the hard blows he was getting hit with to the body and head. Spence can get Peterson out within 3 rounds by being more active, but I don’t think he will. Spence seems to need to get riled up for him to switch his offense on full, and it’s unlikely that Peterson will do enough in the first 4 rounds to make him take the fight to him.

That’s impressive that Spence spars with Charlo. However, there’s not much difference in size between the two fighters in terms of weight. Charlo, 6’0”, is 3 inches taller than the 5’9” Spence, but their weight is close to being the same. Spence drains down from the low 170s to fight at 147. He could easily fight at 154 if there was anyone to fight in that weight class. Spence is friends with Jermell, so that makes a fight between them unlikely. The bigger money matches are for Spence at 147 against Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Terence Crawford. However, Spence is very interested in moving up to 160 to fight Saul Canelo Alvarez if the offer was made to him. Thus far, Canelo hasn’t mentioned wanting to fight him.

“He’s [Peterson] a skillful guy, but that’s when Errol is at his best,” Charlo said. ”You will see Lamont going backwards, and Errol coming forward, no doubt about it. If he [Spence] wants to go backwards, he will. He can box,” said Charlo.

Peterson has been around for a while in the sport, and he has a lot of mileage on him from fights against Lucas Matthysse, Tim Bradley, Amir Khan, and Danny Garcia. Those were some of his harder fights of his career. If Peterson doesn’t change his normal brawling style of fighting on the inside, he’s not going to last too long against Spence. That’s the wrong way to fight a guy like Spence. If Peterson was a big puncher, then he could away with fighting on the inside against Spence. He’s not a big puncher though. Peterson will probably back off once he feels Spence’s power in the 1st round, and then look to survive. Peterson doesn’t have the kind of power to hold off Spence the way that he needs.

“They’re avoiding,” Charlo said about Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia not wanting to fight Spence. “Errol don’t have the name, but he’s got the skills. So, when Errol builds his name this year, they’ll have no choice but to fight him,” said Charlo.

Jermell brings up a good point about Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia avoiding Spence. Garcia sees himself as the most popular fighter in the welterweight division. He’s being paid well by his management at Premier Boxing Champions for his fights against mostly beatable guys like Brandon Rios, Paulie Malignaggi, Peterson, Rod Salka and Robert Guerrero. Unless Spence is more active with his career and fights better opposition, guys like Danny Garcia and Thurman will continue to put him off and fight other opposition. Spence has had 2 recent large gaps of inactivity.

Spence had to wait 9 months before fighting Kell Brook last May, and now he’s been out of the ring for 8 months before facing Peterson. Spence is not going to be able to become a superstar in boxing with him fighting so irregularly, especially if he’s not fighting the best. This isn’t a knock on Peterson, but he’s not a huge name. Despite being Amir Khan in 2011, Peterson’s career has never really blossomed due to losses to Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia. The defeat to Garcia was a controversial one for Peterson in 2015, but he’s had the same inactivity problems that we’re now seeing with Spence.

Here are the inactivity problems that Peterson has dealt with in the last 3 years of his career:

• 16 months inactivity from Oct. 2015 to Feb. 2017. Peterson fought Felix Diaz on October 17, 2015, and then didn’t fight again until February 18, 2017. Peterson didn’t fight at all in 2016.

• 11 months inactivity from Feb. 2017 to Jan. 2018. Peterson beat David Avanesyan by a 12 round unanimous decision on February 18, 2017. Since that fight, Peterson has been out of the ring for 11 months until his fight tonight against Spence

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