Spence disappointed at knocking out Ocampo in 1st round
By Eric Thomas: Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) says he wanted to give the 12,600 fans that came to see him last Saturday night a real show by beating challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-1, 13 KOs) in an exciting show at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. However, the fight turned out to be a gross mismatch with Spence knocking out the 22-year-old Ocampo in the 1st round after hitting him with a hard body shot.
Spence, 28, half-jokingly said he would have carried Ocampo if he’d gotten back to his feet and continued fighting. Ocampo tried to get back up but the pain from the body shot he’d absorbed was too much for him to rise to his feet. If Ocampo had been able to get back to his feet, Spence surely would have finished him off with another body shot.
“I was a little disappointed. I wanted to give the crowd their money’s worth,” Spence said. “I wanted him to sustain a bit and give him some punishment, but the body shot got him and I dropped him.”
It’s difficult for Spence to carry fighters when they’re as badly over-matched as Ocasmpo was. He shouldn’t have been there in the first place fighting a guy like Spence, because he hadn’t beaten any top 15 contenders to be given the No.1 ranking by the International Boxing Federation.
Ocampo left himself open for a left hand body shot when he tried to counter Spence’s previous body shot. Instead of attempting to block the second punch, Ocampo attempted to counter Spence and left himself wide open for the finishing body shot to the solar plexuses.
”I thought it would go to 4-5 rounds. If he would have gotten up, I would have carried him,” Spence said.
Spence isn’t kidding. He appeared to carry his last opponent former light welterweight champion Lamont Peterson to the 7th round before the fight was halted. Spence was literally toying with Peterson most of the fight. The only round in which Spence appeared to go all out was the 5th when he had Peterson looking hurt and on the verge of being stopped. The referee could have stopped the fight in the 5th and no one would have complained about it because he was taking a boatful of punishment in the round.
”I remember fighting in front of a couple thousand fans and now I’m packing arenas,” Spence said.
Spence’s popularity is soaring with each fight. Since his win over Kell Brook last year, he’s become the guy to beat in the welterweight division. Spence’s star has risen while WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman has seen his star diminish due to injuries and inactivity. Thurman was recently viewed as the replacement for Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the most talented fighter in the welterweight division. Spence has now taken over the No.1 spot and Terence Crawford has slid into the No.2 position. Thurman is holding steady at No.3. The only reason he didn’t slide to the No.4 spot is because he holds victories over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
Before last night, Spence hadn’t fought in Texas since his contest against Alejandro Barrera in November 2015 in Dallas. Spence destroyed Barrera by a 5th round knockout. Barrera put in a better performance against Spence than the previously unbeaten Ocampo did last night.
Spence went after Ocampo’s body in looking to wear him down and he couldn’t handle it. Perhaps if Spence had known how vulnerable Ocampo would be to body shots, he might not have thrown them, because the fight was over with too quickly. The fans didn’t even get a chance to get settled in their seats before the fight was suddenly over with.
”That’s always been my style, break my opponents down…I know in sparring it has effects on them…I think I’m a great body puncher…might change my name to the body snatcher,” Spence said.
Spence, who viewed as the best fighter in the welterweight division, didn’t need to switch gears in the fight because his body attack alone was more than enough to get the job done. Ocampo didn’t make things easy on himself with the way that he stood and slugged with Spence. If Ocampo had at least used some movement, the fight would have been more competitive.