BROOKLYN (Jan. 21, 2018) – Undefeated welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. retained his IBF title with an impressive stoppage of former two-division champion Lamont Peterson in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday night from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
In his first defense since dethroning Kell Brook on SHOWTIME last May, Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) out boxed a tough Peterson(35-4-1, 17 KOs) from start to finish, showcasing a wide array of skills, speed and power. The fight was stopped prior to the start of the eighth round after Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter, called for the stoppage.
The fight played out similar to how both fighters predicted, starting in a cagey tactical affair before it turned into an aggressive fight in the middle rounds. Two minutes into round five, Spence used a blistering left hook to send Peterson to the canvas (Click HERE for highlight). The Washington, D.C. native returned to his feet and continued to battle, but Spence proved to be too much. The 2012 U.S. Olympian out landed Peterson 161-45, while connecting on 49 percent of his power punches to just 31 percent for Peterson.
After the fight Spence spoke to SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray and was quick to give credit to his opponent. “I want to thank Lamont,” he said. “A lot of guys turned down the fight and he took it like a real warrior and I commend him for that. He’s a tough fighter. He’s willing to die in there.”
Despite earning the win in commanding fashion, Spence still believes he has room to improve. “I still can improve a lot on my defense,” said the unbeaten world champion. “I just have to keep perfecting my skills and keep progressing. You’re going to see a better Errol Spence next time I get in the ring.
“Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on “Some Time” Thurman,” said Spence, looking ahead to a possible unification match with WBC and WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith Thurman. “Since I was 15-0 I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on.He has two of the belts and we both have big names. It’s an easy fight to make and I want it.”
Peterson, who fought valiantly against the younger Spence, respected the decision of his trainer to stop the fight, “If he asks me to fight a million people, I will. If he asks me to stop. I will stop. I will never question his decision. I know he has my best interests at heart.”
“It was really hard, but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up,” said trainer Barry Hunter. “I had to stop it. At the end of the day, this is my son right here. There’s nothing more valuable than his well-being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him.”
All photos by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing