Carlos Ocampo: Errol Spence doesn’t scare me
By Dan Ambrose: IBF mandatory contender Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) says he’s not scared of IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) ahead of their fight next month on June 16 on Showtime Boxing at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
(Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)
This will be Spence’s homecoming in fighting in front of his boxing fans on June 16 in Frisco, Texas. However, it doesn’t matter where this fight takes place. Spence is going to win this fight even if it were in Ocampo’s backyard. Ocampo has got his work cut out for him just to try and go the full 12 rounds against Spence.
Ocampo has four things going against him in the Spence fight:
• No power to speak of
• Slow hand speed
• Lack of experience against world class opposition
• Fighting away from home
There’s not a lot of interest in the Spence vs. Ocampo fight and for good reason. It’s a mismatch and perhaps one of the worst for Errol since his fight with Phil Lo Greco in 2015. Ocampo doesn’t have the punching power to keep Spence off of him, and this could be a bad eyesore for the boxing public on June 16.
Spence wants to fight the best, but he’s stuck defending against the IBF’s mandatory challenger in Ocampo. It’s not likely that Spence is going to have any luck fighting Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman. It might be in Spence’s management’s best interim for them to go after Terence Crawford after he takes care of his fight with Jeff Horn. Spence won’t likely have any problems beating Ocampo, who is really lacking in the talent department.
With his 59 percent KO percentage, Ocampo says he wants to knock Spence out on June 16. It’s going to be tough for Ocampo to accomplish that task, as he’s not even proven that he can consistently KO the weak opposition that he’s been beating since he turned pro. Ocampo has only one of his last four opponents, and that was with him fighting poor opposition in his home country of Mexico.
The IBF comes up with some really odd choices for their mandatory challengers at welterweight from time to time. We’ve seen less than gifted fighters Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan selected by the International Boxing Federation as their IBF mandatory challengers at 147 in the past, and both of them were destroyed by Kell Brook.
Now we’ve got a similar over-matched fighter in Ocampo put in the position we Spence’s mandatory. The outcome of the Spence-Ocampo fight is obvious. Ocampo doesn’t stand a chance. With no experience against upper level fighters, no power, and a lack of an amateur background, it’s surprising the IBF made Ocampo their No.1 contender for Spence. They’re not doing Ocampo any favors by ranking him at No.1.
“Spence is a very smart and tough fighter, but he doesn’t scare me. I’ve been working for this for too long and I will be 100 percent ready to win,” Ocampo said.
It’s good that Ocampo isn’t scared of Spence, but that probably change the outcome any. Ocampo doesn’t belong in the same ring with a fighter in Spence’s class. It’s too bad the IBF didn’t wait until Ocampo started beating contenders before they matched him at No.1 and made him Spence’s mandatory challenger, because based off his wins during his career, Ocampo doesn’t rate to be even a bottom ranked contender at No.15. let alone rated No.1 by the IBF. That’s the problem that boxing has. The sanctioning bodies pick out certain fighters with little talent and make them the mandatory challengers for champions. This leads to dull mismatches between champions and contenders.
Spence wants to fight Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, but none of those guys are available right now. Even if they were available and interested in fighting him, Spence is stuck defending his IBF title against his mandatory challenger Ocampo. It’s a time-wasting fight for Spence.
Instead of him taking on better opposition that the boxing public wants to see him fight, he’s stuck defending his belt against IBF mandatory Ocampo. Who knows what went through the minds of the IBF sanctioning body for them to select Ocampo, because he’s not proven that he rates a world title fight with Spence, and he’s clearly not ready even though he has an unbeaten resume.
“He can talk about knocking me out all he wants but I’m here too and I’m ready to knock him out on June 16,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo couldn’t knockout these weak contenders during the last four years of his career: Daniel Escheverria, Alvaro Robles, Ramses Agaton, Jorge Paez Jr., Johnny Navarette, and Victor Fonseca.
It’s too bad the IBF couldn’t pick out someone a lot better for Spence to fight like Jessie Vargas or Jamal James Those would be good fights for Spence.
Errol, 28, says he’s not looking past the Ocampo fight, but he still kept help mention wanting to fight the winner of the Shawn Porter vs. Danny Garcia fight and fight WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman. Those are the guys that Spence wants to fight rather than Ocampo. It’s too bad none of those guys are ranked at No.1 by the IBF, because Spence could get his wish.
“I do believe I’m the best welterweight in boxing right now,” Spence said. ”I’ve been trying to prove it for a long time. I’m never looking past anyone, but I’d love to fight Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and when he’s back, Keith Thurman. I’m ready to fight the best in the division and prove I reign supreme over all of them,” Spence said.
Keith Thurman has been falling apart physically since 2016, and he’s not going to be able to fight Spence until 2019. Thurman was going to come back on May 19, but a hand injury will delay his return to the ring. The Garcia vs. Porter fight is still up in the air. It’s going to defend on whether Garcia wants to take the fight. Porter is game but there’s nothing he can do but wait on Team Garcia. I’d be surprised if Garcia-Porter happens, because Garcia can get the rematch with Thurman without having to take a risky fight with Porter.