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SPORTS SHORTS 170: WHO IS ERROL SPENCE? THE OUTSTANDING AMATEUR BOXER (FIRST OF A SERIES)


PhilBoxing.com




Errol Spence Jr. is of Jamaican descent by his father and American descent by his mother. He was born on Long Island, New York on March 3, 1990, but grew up in Desoto, Dallas County, Texas where his family moved when he was a kid.

* * *

Errol’s father, Errol Spence Sr., was a FedEx contractor. He introduced his son to boxing. One time, Errol went home from school, and 20 minutes later his dad brought him to an unfamiliar place. Errol has no knowledge of where they were going.

* * *

When they reached the unknown place, it turned out to be a boxing gym. They came in to the venue, and Errol Sr. asked the coach when Errol Jr. could start his training. The boy started his workout the next day.

* * *

His father was wholeheartedly engrossed in Errol Jr.’s career right from the beginning, attentively selecting his trainers. According to Dallas Morning News, Spence Sr. was inspired by Muhammad Ali and let his son choose a profession in boxing. Ali was the great champion fighter idolized by Errol Sr.

* * *

Spence Jr. had an outstanding amateur career as a boxer. He won the 2009 U.S. National Golden Gloves, and also won three consecutive national amateur championships from 2009 to 2011, all in the welterweight, his present weight division. Spence reached the quarter-finals at the 2011 World Championships, losing to Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan.

* * *

In the 2012 London Olympics, the amateur boxing's governing body AIBA overturned Spence's loss to Indian welterweight Krishan Vikas, five hours after Vikas had apparently used dirty tactics to ensure a 13-11 victory.

* * *

After the American team protested the result, AIBA's jury reviewed the bout and declared that Vikas had committed nine holding fouls in the third round alone. He also intentionally spit out his mouthpiece in the second round, which should have been punishable by at least four point deductions.

* * *

Spence advanced into the quarterfinals but was defeated by Andrey Zamkovoy of Russia, losing a possible bronze medal. It was the first time the American men's Olympic boxing team went home without a medal.

* * *

The women boxers saved it for the United States boxing team with middleweight Claressa Shields winning the gold medal and flyweight Marlen Esparza getting the bronze medal.

* * *

Spence ended his amateur career with an impressive record of 135-12 and turned professional immediately after the London Olympics.

* * *

Spence had his professional boxing debut in the welterweight category On November 9, 2012. He faced Jonathan Garcia, whom he defeated by his first career knockout, a third round stoppage.

* * *

In a month on December 15, 2012, Errol repeated his success in a fight against Richard Andrews. Spence won by a third round technical knockout. In 2013, the New York born fighter had eight fights and won all of them, all but two were by stoppages. Errol has won ten fights, eight of them were by knockouts.

* * *

He added two wins by knockouts in the beginning of 2014, then Spence appeared on Showtime on June 27, 2014 at The Joint, Paradise, Nevada for the first time in his boxing career. He ended the fight against Ronald Cruz winning by unanimous decision in ten rounds.

* * *

It was the third decision win of his career. That was his first ten-round fight, and he became the main event on Showtime then.

* * *

Spence said after the fight: “I remember that because everything went right. It was a great performance for me. I almost got the stoppage. It’s always in the back of your mind, especially when you’re training if you haven’t done eight or ten rounds before."

* * *

"You’re like, ‘I hope I can do eight rounds, or I hope I can do ten rounds.’ When I did the eight rounds easy, I knew I could do the ten rounds," Spence added.

* * *

Khris Middleton topscored with 40 points, including 10 straight points in the final 2:07, surging the Bucks ahead, and Giannis Antetokounmpo did an amazing block of Deandre Ayton at the rim to protect a two-point lead with 74 seconds to go.

* * *

Milwaukee won an exemplary Game 4 of the NBA Finals, 109-103 over the Phoenix Suns to even the best-of-seven series at two games each. The Bucks stayed in the NBA Finals and converted them into a best-of-three affair as the series returns to Phoenix for Game 5 on Saturday night (Sunday Philippine time).

* * *

Antetokounmpo and Middleton became the third set of teammates, together with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson with the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving with the Cleveland Cavaliers, to score 40 or more points each in games in the same NBA Finals, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

* * *

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, the Milwaukee legendary duo who teamed up to give the Bucks its only NBA championship 50 years ago, were watching side by side among the fans from courtside seats. They won their first NBA championship on April 30, 1971, by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in four games.

* * *

The Philippines has qualified seven times in the sport dearest to the heart of the Filipinos, which is basketball. The last time the Philippine men's basketball team played in the Summer Games was the 1972 Munich Olympics.

* * *

The Philippines has entered the quarterfinals of the Olympic men's basketball twice, garnering fifth place in 1936 Berlin, and until now it is still the best finish by any Asian basketball team in the Olympics. The Filipino basketball players finished seventh in 1956 Melbourne, and also it is still the second-best finish in the Asian continent.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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