Errol Spence: I got three fights left at 147 before going to 154
By Matt Lieberman: Errol Spence Jr. will be done with the 147-pound division after three more fights before moving up to 154. IBF/WBC champion Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) feels like he’s almost done everything he can at welterweight, and just wants to take his last three scalps before moving up in weight to junior middleweight.
Spence has already made it clear that he wants Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford in that order. The only thing that can get in the way of those fights happening is if the 41-year-old Pacquiao retires or faces Crawford and loses.
Surprisingly, Spence doesn’t rate any of the welterweights as a threat to him. With all the talk from fans, who rate WBO belt-holder Crawford as the #1 fighter in the division, Spence doesn’t agree.
When Spence moves up to 154, he’ll no longer have the size advantage over his opponents. That’s going to make it interesting to see how well he does. It goes without saying that Spence will need to focus more on his boxing skills in that weight class.
At 154, Spence will be able to take on the talented guys like Jermell Charlo, Tony Harrison, Jeison Rosario, and Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams.
Moving up after three fights
“Probably three fights,” said Spence to The Last Stand Podcast when asked how many fights he has left at 147 before moving up. “It can be three, or it can be two.
“I really just want the big names. I want [Manny] Pacquiao before he retires, Terence Crawford, and if I’ve got to fight a Danny Garcia or anyone else, then I will. And I want the big names before I move up. 154,” said Spence when asked what weight class he’ll be going up to.
It might not be as easy as Spence believes it’ll be for him to get the three fights he wants against the big names before moving up. While it’s possible that Danny Garcia will likely agree to fight Spence, getting Pacquiao and Crawford to sign won’t be as easy.
There will be a lot of hard negotiating to do with Manny and Crawford, and Spence could end up disappointed. Crawford has already made it clear he wants a 50-50 split, and who knows what Pacquiao will want. He might ask for a wide split for the Spence fight, which would leave him in the position of accepting it or walking away.
Pacquiao will have a big advantage in negotiating power in a fight with Spence, and it’s going to be tough to get that fight done. Manny has a lot of other options available to him if Spence doesn’t agree to the money split.
Errol on there being no threats to him
“What fight is the biggest threat to me right now? I don’t feel like any fighter is a threat to me right now,” said Spence.
Most boxing fans feel that Terence Crawford is Spence’s biggest threat, but who knows? Maybe it’s Keith Thurman, but Spence doesn’t want to fight him. Crawford was hurt in his last fight against Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and he didn’t look good in his low-blow stoppage of Amir Khan.
Crawford might be overrated by fans, who have been fooled into thinking he’s great due to the careful match-making by Top Rank. Spence would know from watching Crawford if he’s a product of hype or the real deal. The fact that Spence doesn’t view anyone as a threat to him suggests that he’s not impressed with Crawford.
Spence to fight until he’s 34
“I’ll fight until I’m 34. When a young guy starts beating me up in the gym, then it’s time to move on when I start getting beaten up by guys,” said Spence. “If my reflexes aren’t what they should be and guys that I’m used to beating up on are beating me up in the gym.
Then it’s time to hang it up. It hasn’t happened yet. When guys are beating me up in the gym and doing what they want to do with me, I’m gone. I’ll definitely fight in 2020.
Hopefully, this issue will be done, and hopefully, I’ll be fighting in October or November when the sports world opens back up. I’ve been training, focused, and keeping my weight down so that I’ll be one of the first couple of guys that jump out there when it opens back up. That’s my goal, and that’s my plan to be fighting in 2020,” Spence continued.
Spence just turned 30, so he’s got four more years left in his career. Right now, we still need to see if Spence is the same fighter he was previously before his car crash. His next fight against Danny Garcia or whatever will tell us a lot about whether he’s the same guy he was before.
A lot of people have been saying that Spence is slurring his words now, but that might be because he’s got a new set of front teeth.
Sparring with Mayweather
“I definitely held my own,” said Spence of sparring he did with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the past. “I never imagined myself sparring Floyd Mayweather, and once I sparred him it for was me just learning.
“I’ve never been in a training camp where a guy with his caliber was training for a fight. I was following him everywhere, taking notes like a sponge, soaking everything up. Watching how long he hit the bag, and how long he hit the mitts and what he does after the training.
“I was watching everything he does. So for me, it wasn’t that I needed to beat him up or embarrass him. It was, I need to do everything he’s doing and learn. I think I was 21 [when Spence sparred Mayweather].
“I think I only had three or four fights, and I was a baby. His punches are sharp. With him, they’re super sharp. I was 100% focused, and I was going to bed early. It was to impress him. ‘This kid can fight,'” said Spence on Mayweather.
Back when Spence was sparring Floyd Mayweather Jr there was a lot of talk about how he was getting the better of him. With Spence’s heavy hands and pressure style of fighting, it had to have been difficult for Mayweather to spar with him.
Weight loss was a factor in Mikey Garcia fight
“The Mikey Garcia fight was a good one,” said Spence when asked for him to reveal what he feels is his best performance. “I think I would have stopped him if I had taken training more seriously.
“If I had been as serious out of camp as I was inside the camp because it really led into it. I was like 180-something during the press tour. Even the day of the weigh-in, I had to lose three or four pounds.
“I was in the sauna with a sauna suit, and I had sweat like 30 minutes to one hour in the sauna. I was shadow-boxing trying to lose weight, and I lost three or four pounds, then I lost the weight. It was hard losing the weight, running with the sauna suit on, and sitting in the tub, trying to sweat and lose weight. I felt like I didn’t have the power to really put it on him the way I wanted to,” said Spence.
It’s common knowledge that Spence lost a great deal of weight in his camp for the Mikey Garcia fight in March 2019. Now, Spence is verifying that he had to drain down from the 180s to 147 to make weight for the fight. As such, it’s not surprising that Spence didn’t score a knockout. But it was impressive nonetheless with the way Spence outboxed Mikey, and make him look bad.
Kell Brook = Spence’s biggest win
“I’d say Kell Brook [is Spence’s biggest win]. A lot of people had doubts in me, and I was going overseas, fighting a guy in his own hometown. I had to over there and beat a guy in his own hometown,” said Spence.
The atmosphere for Spence’s fight with Kell Brook in May 2017 in Sheffield, England, was undoubtedly immense. That was a tremendous fight with a lot of hype going into it.
It’s too bad that Brook suffered an eye injury during the contest because it would have been interesting to see how it would have gone. Spence still wouldn’t have been given credit even if Brook hadn’t been injured because his promoter Eddie Hearn told the boxing world repeatedly that he’d had problems dropping weight.
Although Spence probably lost the same amount of weight as Brook, Hearn planted the idea in the eyes of fans that Kell had struggled with the weight for the fight.
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