“The Truth,” is that what we should be referring to him? How about severe badass? How about pound for pound number three..or two? Or better?
Errol Spence had his way with respected vet Lamont Peterson, punishing the willing but out-gunner hitter and forcing a stoppage after seven rounds on Saturday night.
12,107 folks saw the Texan retain his IBF 147 strap, in efficient and cooly brutal fashion at Barclays Center, and on Showtime. And maybe we get ahead of ourselves talking this pound for pound status…but maybe not…and we salivate at fights to help prove the point.
Spence is now 23-0, with 20 KOs, and we chomp at the bit to think of him versus Keith Thurman and/or Terence Crawford. His methodology is ruthless in its efficency. He wastes no motion, and keeps amping up the power and pressure. Who can withstand the power?
These two were no strangers, having sparred awhile back, and Peterson trainer Barry Hunter spent time tutoring Spence, back in the day. If Hunter remembered any holes in the game, I think they’ve been patched.
In the first, ES pumped the jab, the lefty throwing that right range finder constantly. The jab won him the round.
In the second, jab and jab again, and again..and again, from Spence. Then, power. The crowd surged as the Texan hammered hard. LP wasn’t getting untracked, he was starting quite slow.
In the third, more consistent and insistent work from Spence. He stays composed, and doesn’t ever get discombobulated, or off balance…ever, it seems. One-twos were popping now. Peterson threw a right, then a body shot, he was getting into it. Lefts to the body early pay dividends late, oftentimes for Spence, would they this time?
In the fourth, more right hooks from Spence early. LP was being more of an initiator. Then Spence got busier again, got angles, and then got tagged. A right hand…A right to the body punished LP for that. Lively round.
In the fifth, down went LP. He was up, clear eyes. Spence was bombing. LP made it to the bell. A left uppercut started the pain and aleft sent LP to the mat, replay showed. A right hail mary landed on Spence, but he took it well. Some swelling on LP’s right eye was apparent.
To 6; Spence body work was precise and filthy. I made wince faces while Spence hit the lower gut. In round seven, we saw Spence let up some, maybe looking to switch it up, get a new angle, or lure LP into something. Conversation in the Peterson corner resulted in a stoppage. No more punishment. Eyes were swelling, hope was receding…Good stoppage, save the man’s brain from more rattling.
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“I want to thank Lamont. A lot guys turned down the fight and he took like a real warrior and I commend him for that.
“My coach came with a great game plan and I just followed through with it. Keep my range, keep my composure.
“I know Lamont – he’s a tough fighter. He’s willing to die in there. You saw his coach had to stop the fight because he wanted to keep fighting.
“I still can improve a lot on my defense. I just have to keep perfecting my skills and keep progressing. You’d going to see a better Errol Spence next time I get in the ring.
“Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on “Sometimes” Thurman. Since I was 15-0 I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on.
“I didn't know I would dominate like that. I expected to get the knockout, but this was a great performance. We were facing a great fighter like Lamont Peterson and we did well in there.
“I could tell Lamont was wobbling before I got him down. It was just a great feeling to put on a strong performance.
“I want Keith Thurman. He has two of the belts and we both have big names. It's an easy fight to make and I want it.”
“He was getting the shots on me early. He was the better man tonight,
“I always respect Barry’s decision. 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.
On retiring: “That’s something that I would have to think about in the next few weeks.”
BARRY HUNTER, Peterson's trainer
“It was really hard, but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up. So I had to stop it. At the end of the day this is my son right here. And there’s nothing more valuable than he’s well-being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him.”
FROM PRESS RELEASE:
Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) earned a split decision victory over former world champion Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) in the co-main event of the SHOWTIME telecast. The judges scored the bout 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.
The back-and-forth bout saw two skilled fighters stay in the pocket and look to do damage from the inside. A second round point deduction from Fortuna proved costly when the Dominican was warned and then penalized for hitting Easter behind the head. Without the one point deduction, the fight would have been scored a draw. While Easter Jr. was slightly busier, Fortuna landed the more powerful punches. Easter Jr., who held a significant height advantage, out landed Fortuna, connecting on 120 of 383 (31 percent) power punches while Fortuna connected on 113 of 441 (26 percent).
“It was a tough fight, he's a former world champion for a reason,” Easter told Jim Gray. “We made it tough trying to counter punch. He wasn't throwing much and it made it difficult for me to chase this guy around.
“I couldn't get the knockout but we got the win and that's all that matters. I knew he was going to run once he felt my power. He just wanted to grab and hold the whole fight.”
Looking ahead, Easter made his intentions clear as he seeks unification bouts in the near future, “I want to fight the champions and unify these belts. Fights like these aren't in my game plan. I'm ready for Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares to sign the contract.”
A disgruntled Fortuna also spoke to Gray, “the public knows what happened here. They booed because they know that I won this fight.
“If he's a man let's fight again at 135-pounds,” said Fortuna, who failed to make weight on two attempts Friday, which meant that Easter's belt would not be on the line. “I will definitely make the weight. I didn't give myself enough time to train.”