Errol Spence v Lamont Peterson
Errol Spence defends his IBF welterweight title against fellow American Lamont Peterson at New York City’s Barclays Center on Saturday, January 20 and is a huge favorite to keep his belt.
Spence claimed the title by inflicting just the second defeat on Kell Brook in the British fighter’s own backyard of Sheffield, England on May 27 last year.
That success advanced his record to 22-0, with 19 by knockout and he is tipped to make it 23 wins at the weekend when he defends a title for the very first time.
Six years Peterson’s junior, the Long Island-born ace has power, speed and no little skill, a combination that is going to be a match for most and he has looked destined to become a world champion ever since making his professional debut against Jonathan Garcia in November 2012.
In the post post-Mayweather/Pacquiao era, Spence is seen as the man to beat in this division as he has taken down everything that has been put in front of him.
Peterson is not without hope but the 33-year-old from Washington DC is nowhere near as dynamic as his opponent.
His record of 35-3-1 is credible but a lack of action over the past few years might find him out.
The 33-year-old has only fought once since beating Felix Diaz in October 2015, winning the WBA welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Russia’s David Avanesyan in February 2017, and he may well be slightly undercooked for this one.
He has fought some decent opponents, however, as the likes of Victor Cayo, Amir Khan, Kendall Holt, Dierry Jean and Edgar Santana have all been vanquished over the years.
‘Havoc’ certainly has a big heart, a fact borne out when he battled back from a poor start and two third-round knockdowns to force a draw with Victor Ortiz.
But that was way back in 2010 and this is another step up, with Spence certainly a match for any of the stars that Peterson has entered the ring with and set to cause him many more problems.
He has beaten some good opponents but has he really got the better of anyone great?
Spence may not yet be in that category but has the potential to be and may well use this fight as a stepping stone to push his career on.
He is favorite and those who fancy a flutter on this bout or any sports should check out these free betting tips and all the best sites available.
There is respect between the pair, with ‘The Truth’ suggesting that Peterson is a better fighter and has more heart than Brook but it remains to be seen if it goes the 11 rounds that Brook lasted last time out.
This may well descend into a real dogfight, with both men refusing to give an inch and happy it slug it out but, with greater skill and the confidence of an unbeaten record behind him, Spence will surely emerge victoriously and retain his belt.