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SPORTS SHORTS 173: WHO IS ERROL SPENCE? THE IBF WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION WHO KO'D KELL BROOK, LAMONT PETERSON, CARLOS OCAMPO AND UD OVER MIKEY GARCIA (FOURTH OF A SERIES)


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In front of 27,000 fans, Errol Spence floored and consequently stopped Kell Brook to win the IBF title after 11 rounds on May 27, 2017 at the Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England in Brook's hometown. Spence connected lethal combinations to the head and to the body of Brook steadily exhausting the Briton.

* * *

Brook also did some counter and hit his own body shots to Spence. In round 10, Spence cornered Brook against the ropes and unloaded some heavy power shots, which caused Brook to take a knee.

* *

In the 11th round, Brook signaled that his left eye could no longer see and deliberately took a knee. The referee counted him out 10 and handed him back-to-back defeats and his first loss in the welterweight division. At the time of stoppage, all three judges had Spence leading 97-92, 96-93, 95-94.

* * *

Even if he won the fight and the IBF title, Spence was not satisfied with his own performance, "I give myself a B-. I was a little bit off with my offense and defense, but I give Kell a lot of credit. This is what true champions do. You go anywhere to fight."

* * *

Spence landed 246 of 633 punches thrown (39%) while Brook connected only 136 of 442 (31%). For the IBF title fight, Spence earned an estimated £1 million and Brook earned a guaranteed £3 million.

* * *

On October 3, 2017, Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) vacated his WBA (Regular) title in hopes of challenging Spence for the latter's IBF title. Dan Rafael revealed that Spence was promised a $3.5 million purse from his manager Al Haymon for his next fight.

* * *

At a press conference, Spence spoke fondly of Peterson, "He's somebody I looked up to in the amateurs and I learned a lot from. I had a training camp with him at the Olympic training center."

* * *

"So he's a guy I really look up to. He's one of my favorite fighters. He'll fight anybody. I've never known him to say no to a fight. I'm looking forward to it. He's got true grit. He's a real fighter. He's a guy who gives it his all and has a big heart," added Spence.

* * *

On January 20, 2018, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in front of 12,107 fans, Spence battered Lamont Peterson of Washington, D.C., compelling Peterson's trainer Barry Hunter to stop the fight in round 8. Peterson fell down in round 5 caused by a staggering left hand by Spence.

* * *

Peterson survived the knockdown but thereafter took a lot of beating, but was able to retaliate and punched back. Peterson’s face was puffed and his eyes were swollen caused by Spence’s strong blows. Spence also kept targeting the body right from the first round.

* * *

In the post-fight interviews, Spence said, "I want to thank Lamont. A lot guys turned down the fight, and he took like a real warrior, and I commend him for that. My coach [Derrick James] came with a great game plan, and I just followed through with it. Keep my range, keep my composure."

* * *

Hunter talked about the stoppage, "It was really hard [to stop the fight], but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up. So I had to stop it. At the end of the day this is my son right here. And there's nothing more valuable than his well being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him."

* * *

After the fight, Spence called out unified WBC and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman, calling him "sometime" instead of his nickname "One Time". At the time of stoppage, all three judges had their scorecards at 70-62 for Spence.

* * *

According to CompuBox stats, Spence landed 161 of 526 punches thrown (30%), and Peterson connected only 45 of his 158 punches thrown (28%). Spence earned a purse of $1.2 million and Peterson had $600,000.

* * *

On June 16, 2018at The Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, Texas, in front of a sellout crowd of 12,604 fans, Spence finished Carlos Ocampo of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico in just the first round to retain his IBF title. Spence countered with a powerful left to the body that sent Ocampo to the canvas.

* * *

Referee Lawrence Cole counted him out as Ocampo tried to get up, but was suffering severe pain. The knockout win for Spence was his 11th consecutive stoppage since 2014. Spence wanted to unify the division titles by fighting the winner of the Shawn Porter vs. Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford.

* * *

After the match, Spence said, "I was a little disappointed. I wanted to give the crowd their money's worth. I wanted him to sustain a bit and give him some punishment, but the body shot got him and I dropped him." Spence said he wanted to fight at least 5 rounds.

* * *

According to Ocampo, he was too overconfident and got caught by a solid body punch that aborted his world title challenge. For the fight, Spence got $1.2 million and Ocampo earned $75,000.

* * *

Mikey Garcia vacated his IBF lightweight title to challenge Spence's IBF welterweight title at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 16, 2019. Some fans appreciated Garcia for moving up two divisions but other fans believed that the size difference would be too much for Garcia since Spence is considered a big welterweight.

* * *

Spence completely outmatched and trounced Garcia, using his longer reach and continuously landed jabs from afar. Garcia attempted to stay closer, but Spence's superior weight and height just prevailed over Garcia.

* * *

Spence landed over 100 punches in the 8th and 9th rounds alone, connecting several power shots, mostly left hooks and uppercuts. Spence landed 345 total punches to Garcia's 75. Garcia failed to hit double-digit number of punches in any of the twelve rounds.

* * *

The judges' scorecards were 120-107 and 120-108 twice, to award Spence a perfect 12 round shutout victory. After the fight, Spence was joined atop the ring by eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Both fighters announced that they would love to face each other next.

* * *

The Milwaukee Bucks are one win away from their first NBA title since 1971. In a pivotal Game Five, the Bucks erased an early 16-point deficit to frustrate the Phoenix Suns, 123-119, at the Phoenix Suns Arena in Arizona.

* * *

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Khris Middleton contributed 29 points. Jrue Holiday had 27 points and had 13 assists. Devin Booker topped the Suns with 40 points in a losing effort. Chris Paul tallied 21 points and 11 assists.

* * *

After failing to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Eumir Marcial won a silver in the 2019 world championships, a gold in the 2019 SEA Games, and a gold in the Tokyo 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifiers. He turn pro during the pandemic, but continued to represent the country's colors.

* * *

Marcial trained in a world-class gym at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles as he aspires for the gold medal. The 25-year-old boxer was chosen as the country's male flag bearer in the Olympics opening ceremony on Friday, July 23 after EJ Obiena had to withdraw due to tight competition scheduling.


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


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