“I never heard of him. Never heard of him before.”
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The press is on fire. Firing questions with the gusto of hardcore fight fans posing as lawyers, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. sat firm on the witness stand, absorbing an onslaught of questions related to new WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford.
“He did what he was supposed to do,” said Spence Jr., during Tuesday’s media call, in response to those sniffing for Bud. Ever poised and relaxed, a ready-for-combat Spence dialed in on a cryptic veteran fight writer Keith Idec, who, with the perfect delivery of George Costanza, turned the call into a short scene out of Seinfeld.
“Let me understand this correctly, is it true that you had ‘never heard of’ Carlos Ocampo until you signed to fight him?” said Idec, with both eyebrows raised and a mouth wide open in disbelief. Because Ocampo is the IBF mandatory for Spence, it was worthy of asking both how – and why, he didn’t know him.
Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13KOs) is a 22 year-old decent fighter of good amateur decoration, but, beyond that… that’s it. He’s not faced anyone in the IBF’s top 15 fighters or anyone we know. He’s only fought in Mexico, with virtually no U.S. coverage or even much video footage of to speak of. With that, TOTY Derrick James has Spence Jr. prepared as if he’s about to face Jaime Munguia instead of Carlos Ocampo.
“Nope. I didn’t know who he was. Never heard of him,” said Spence, dead-ass. “It doesn’t matter… It’s more important he knows who I AM.”
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It seemed right to then ask Ocampo just what makes him even think he can beat Spence, which seemed to genuinely offend his pride– which was good. I asked Spence if might fall victim to the hometown crowd, like Evander Holyfield did in Atlanta long ago, where the “Real Deal” faced a rampaging Bert Cooper in his hometown ATL. Spence had admiration for Holyfield the fighter, as his style shows; he also recalled Cooper’s fighting spirit and punching style.
“Bert Cooper threw some sharp, very explosive punches…he was a very tough fighter and very determined, it was a tough fight for Holyfield,” said Spence, rated a ridiculous pound-for-pound #8 by RING’s staff.
ESJ praised the efforts of greats such as Holyfield and thinks Danny “Swift” Garcia beats “Showtime” Shawn Porter.
“Danny does nothing special but he’ll probably do enough to win. He has great timing,” said Spence, allowing he’d want the winner and how very difficult Porter would be due to his aggressive style. ESJ also renewed an “I want to fight you Keith Thurman” annual subscription before putting Crawford and all elite welterweights on notice.
“I’m ready for the best. Terence Crawford took care of his, so now it’s time to clean up my side of the street. Everybody’s talking about Crawford because they’re in the moment. But now that he’s a champion in this division he (Bud) has to be dealt with. I may not have known who he (Ocampo) was, but I know what I trained extremely hard for and that’s a dominating performance.”
*** Errol Spence Jr V Carlos Ocampo, Live on Showtime, Saturday night, June 16 @10PM/Ford Center at The Star, Frisco, TX ***
Errol Spence Jr. is most likely going to beat the shit out of Carlos Ocampo. Let’s just be honest. Then, we’ll all know who Carlos Ocampo is. That’s how fights like this work. A decent kid of promise– like say, Erickson Lubin, this time a Mexican version, realizes he’s in with a Texas bull during his first rodeo. That dude usually gets gored. If he’s lucky he lives to saddle up again soon. I hope to. It was no fun crashing my mountain bike on a hill as a 40-something teenager; imagine the terrible feeling of being inside of a pissed off washing machine with no water. Still, you feel like you’re in the wash cycle and it’s spitting rocks and spinning dirty detergent. Carlos Ocampo gets brutally cleaned up in three.
“The Truth” is Errol Spence Jr in the welterweight division. Though Terence Crawford totally lassoed Jeff Horn this past Saturday night in Las Vegas, it does nothing to change who they really are, other than announce Crawford’s emphatic arrival as the new WBO welterweight king.
“I’m coming over there to snatch the belt from him. I want them all,” declared ESJ.