By Manuel Perez: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) makes his maiden title defense in 3 months’ time against former 140lb champion Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) on January 13 at a site to be named later. The fight will be televised on Showtime Boxing.
Peterson, 33, will have been out of the ring for 11 months by the time he faces Spence on January 13th, as the last time Lamon fought was earlier this year on February 18 in beating David Avanesyan by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the WBA World welterweight title. Peterson didn’t fight at all in 2015.
So, we’re talking about a fighter with just 1 fight in the last 2 years. Peterson’s career is evaporating for lack of fight opportunities. What a pity. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometime. You’re not given fights by your management for whatever reason, and your career slips away quickly.
“It’s finally time to defend my title, capture more titles and become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world,” said Spence. “That’s what I’m ready to do next year.”
Spence has had a similar problem with lack of fights. He’s only had 1 fight in 2017 with his win over IBF 147 lb. champion Kell “Special K” Brook earlier this year on May 27 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Spence was sensational in knocking Brook, 31, down twice and forcing the stoppage in the 11th.
Spence was hoping to return to the ring later in 2017 for a title defense in Dallas, Texas, but it’s never happened. Spence is now waiting to get back into the ring against Peterson, which is a good fight, but it’s not the one that he wants.
Spence wants WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman. However, Thurman has already let Spence know that the two of them won’t be fighting each other anytime soon. Thurman will take a tune-up in early next year, and then look to face Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia after that. Most likely it’ll be Garcia. Porter will then come next, and if Al Haymon wants to make the fight with Spence at that time, then we’ll see it.
“[Peterson] is somebody that I looked up to as an amateur. I sparred with him as an amateur and learned a lot from him,” said Spence.” He’s one of my favorite fighters and is a guy that will fight anybody. I’ve never known him to duck a fight. Lamont is a tricky fighter. He’s been around the block. He does a lot of cagey, veteran things. I’m looking to get experience in this fight. I’m still a young fighter.”
Spence wants to make big things happen with his career, but he’s now finding out how difficult it can be to get the top lions in the division to face him. Thurman isn’t ready, and Danny Garcia doesn’t want te fight. WBO champion Jeff Horn is on the other side of the fence with him being promoted by Top Rank, which means he’s not going to face Spence. Manny Pacquiao is about to retire. Terence Crawford is moving up in weight, but he’s not going to be matched against Spence in his next fight. Top Rank is saving Crawford for Horn.