Errol Spence Jr. did what he wanted to do, stop a rugged and capable defender, in Leonard Bundu, a statement making performance in national TV, on a Lou Dibella/PBC card in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon.
This Ford Amphitheater tango was set to be a compare and contrast match, to see if the Texan with a 20-0 mark could look better against Bundu than WBA 147 champ Keith Thurman did in 2014. Mission accomplished; in round six, Spence, now angling toward an IBF crown, sent the Italian to the mat.
It was ruled a push. Not so the next wallop; a right hook rendered the now 33-2-2 loser out. The ref didn't bother to count ten.
The tine was 2:06; the Bundu family was weepy ringside and relieved to see dad awake.
He'd done fine to that point, switching stance, hanging tough. But Spence closed the distance, pressed on the gas and finished him off.
Promoter Lou Dibella called Spence special after. Here are quotes from the combatants.
“I thought my performance was great. I was shaky in the first and second rounds, but was able to get into a rhythm the rest of the fight. Once I was able to catch his rhythm and break him down, I knew I had him.
“I knew he was tough going into the fight. I was never hurt. I was just a little confused because of his herky-jerky style.
“His switching and his jumping in and out took a little bit to adjust to. He's a tough customer and I give him credit.
“I knew he was very tough from watching his past fights. He's been in wars and he's very experienced.
“I am one of the top fighters at 147 pounds. With this performance, I proved that again today.
“I want to fight for a title next. I would want to fight Kell Brook, but if he doesn't go down in weight, he vacates or is stripped, I don't care, I just want to fight for the belt.”
“He certainly lives up to the hype.
“He looked fresh in every round. He was really good – remained in control.
“Errol was more precise than Keith Thurman. With Keith, every fight is a power punch. You feel them. Errol threw more, but they didn't all hurt.
“I really tried to get up and I couldn't. I am okay though. I feel good.”