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Errol Spence vs. Carlos Ocampo purse bid on March 6th

Errol Spence Jr

By Allan Fox: The management for IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) and mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) were unable to negotiate the IBF ordered fight. The International Boxing Federation has now ordered a purse bid on March 6th for the Spence-Ocampo fight, according to Dan Rafael.

Spence will get an 85-15 split for the fight. The management for both fighters can still put together a deal before the March 6th date to avert the purse bid.

The 28-year-old Spence Jr. will be defending his IBF 147 lb. title on June 16 on Showtime Boxing in Dallas, Texas. Whether Ocampo winds up as his opponent or not for that date is still unclear.

This will be the second title defense for Spence Jr. He successfully defended his IBF 147 lb. title on January 20 in stopping former light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson in the 7th round in a voluntary defense on Showtime at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Spence knocked Peterson down in the 5th round, and then coasted until the fight was halted after the 7th by Lamont’s corner.

Spence wants a unification fight with WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, but that fight is out of reach for the time being. Thurman says he’s going to use 2018 fighting a tune-up bout on May 19th on Showtime and then possibly facing Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia later in the year. Thurman says he’ll be open to putting together a fight against Spence in 2019. That remains to be seen. Time goes quickly, and it’s possible when next year rolls around, Thurman may want to let his fight with Spence marinate even more.

The Mexican Ocampo has never fought a top 15 contender before during his 6-year pro career. His best wins have come against Charlie Navarro, Ramses Agaton, Alvaro Roblew and Daniel Escheverria. Those are journeyman level opposition. Ocampo is arguably no better than a bottom 40 guy in terms of talent. He’s going to look completely over-matched when he gets inside the ring with Spence on June 16.

Spence has no choice but to defend his title against Ocampo next if he wants to keep his IBF welterweight strap. It’s not a great fight, but it’s not Spence’s fault the IBF selected the little known Ocampo as his next opponent rather than one of the more talented welterweights. There really aren’t a lot of quality welterweights in the division for Spence to fight. The sanctioning bodies rank who they feel are the best fighters, but sometimes they come up with odd choices like Ocampo, Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan. The IBF has rated some guys that didn’t look anywhere near good enough to be ranked No.1 with the sanctioning body.

Before Spence became the IBF champion, Kell Brook had an easy time defending his IBF strap against the No.1 contenders Bizier and Jo Jo Dan. Both of those guys looked completely over-matched against Brook. The IBF’s decision to rate Bizier and Dan so highly in 2015 and 2016 resulted in mismatches for Brook. Spence was ready to face Brook as early as 2015, but he wasn’t ranked high enough by the IBF to get a title shot. Brook wasn’t about to give Spence a title shot in a voluntary defense. Spence was ranked below Dan in 2015 and Bizier in 2016 in the IBF’s rankings. It made no sense for either of those fighters to be rated above Spence.

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