After watching him spar 17 Rounds with a U.S Olympic heavyweight hopeful, it’s easy to see why welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. has been labeled the next big thing in boxing.
The powerful punching southpaw and Dallas native may not be a household name just yet, but with each appearance and big victory on Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series, his fanbase gets bigger.
A fight with Alejandro Barrera will be Spence’s fourth fight on network or cable television since April. Getting this type of national exposure should help in his fight to get his name on in the boxing game.
He told Today’s Knockout in an exclusive interview:
“I’ve been fighting on TV since my pro debut was on Showtime Extreme so I’ve been fighting on TV and I think it’s turning me into a star real fast. Hopefully with me fighting on TV I can become a main event fighter and get some of these top fighters in the ring.”
With a growing fan base and sparkling record, Spence Jr. (18-0, 15 KOs) is caring the dreaded label of being the most avoided man in the welterweight division and the sport of boxing. With each victory he racks up, the young fighter transforms from contender to challenger and moves a step closer to the title shot he craves for.
After a fight in June, Floyd “Money” Mayweather — who was promoting the card Spence Jr. was on — suggested Spence Jr. fight WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman next.
When the proposed fight was brought to Thurman’s attention he laughed off the idea. Responses by boxers of Thurman’s caliber, who just a couple of years ago was in the same position Spence Jr., is in now is indicative of the place Spence is at right now.
All the talent in the world, but not quite ready — by boxing’s inscrutable traditional standards — to face the absolute top of the heap.
This can be attributed to Spence Jr.’s lack of professional experience or the quality of his opposition.
Hopefully Spence Jr.’s next opponent Barrera — who is 28-2 with 18 KOs heading into Saturday’s showdown with Spence in Dallas — will prove he’s not fighting cans and deserves a shot at a high profile fight in 2016. Despite all the politics and obstacles that come with rising up the ranks, Spence Jr. has some high lofty goals he plans to accomplish in the welterweight division.
“I want to fight the best fighters I want to get world titles I want to unify all the belts,” Spence Jr. said. “I want to wipe out the 147 pound division so I can move up to 154 and catch all the best up there to. My goal is to be the undisputed champion at 147.”
Spence Jr. is on mission to make his dream a reality, and prove to everyone in the boxing world that Mayweather knew what he was talking about when he claimed Spence Jr. is the future of the sport.
“I just got to live up to the hype just stay focused, stay disciplined, stay grounded and keep doing what I’ve been doing putting on spectacular performances and one day I can be a pay-per-view star,” he said.