Errol Spence Jr. Exclusive: Discusses Boxing Fundamentals & Proving People Wrong

By Caryn A. Tate on March 14, 2019
Errol Spence Jr. Exclusive: Discusses Boxing Fundamentals & Proving People Wrong
“I was the underdog, and I’m the type of guy that likes to prove a lot of people wrong.”

Before stopping Brook in the eleventh round of a thrilling fight, Spence walked to the ring through the throngs of booing British fans. But he was grinning…

IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs), also known by his ring nickname “The Truth,” is a fighter who displays such technical precision in the ring that many spectators seem to not see the elite skills on display. Instead, the focus is typically on his knockout power.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Spence by phone, and he spoke candidly about the fundamentals which enable him to land those damaging shots he’s so well known for.

“I focus on the jab first, especially to feel out my opponent in the first round,” Errol said. “But I use my jab for a lot of different things than just scoring points.”

Some southpaws feel they have an inherent advantage over their orthodox opponents because their lead hand is close to the target than another orthodox fighter’s would be.

“Definitely, I mean…that’s the case, but I mean, the other guy’s lead hand is closer to you too.”

Spence laughed. “It kinda equals it out, but for me, I use the jab to find other punches. I kinda use it to open other shots up. I might jab to the body, and a guy might bring his defense down and I might come over the top to the head.”

Another aspect of Errol’s game is his ability to box effectively off the back foot. He and his coach Derrick James understand the importance of being able to have your way moving forward or backward.

“It’s something we practice on a lot,” Spence said. “If your opponents want to be aggressive, you can back up, and once you feel like you’ve got ‘em, you can go get ‘em.”

Spence won his title in May 2017, when he traveled to the United Kingdom to challenge elite champion Kell Brook in the latter’s backyard. Before stopping Brook in the eleventh round of a thrilling fight, Spence walked to the ring through the throngs of booing British fans. But he was grinning, as if he was feeding off of the negative energy.

“I did enjoy it a little bit,” Errol said. “It gave me more energy coming out there and seeing his fans, and all the naysayers, and everyone cheering for him and basically booing me,” Errol said. “I felt like, in that moment, I really had nothing to lose.

“I was the underdog, and I’m the type of guy that likes to prove a lot of people wrong. Especially when there are people around me who expect me to lose or want me to lose. It really motivated me to win.”

Don’t miss Errol’s title defense this Saturday, March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, against four-division world champion Mikey Garcia. The bout will be broadcast via FOX pay-per-view starting at 9pm ET/6pm PT.

“It’s gonna be a great event,” Spence said. “I’m fighting a guy who’s 39-0 with 30 knockouts. He’s a great fighter. I can’t wait to put on a great show and a great performance.”

Check out more of Caryn’s work at http://www.CarynATate.com and follow her on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 07:56am, 03/15/2019

    It is very likely that Spence will hear a lot of boo-birds in his “hometown” fight against the Californian, Mikey Garcia. Let’s get real here, with the current state of affairs in Texas, this is more of a “hometown” fight for Garcia than for Spence. I was originally rooting for the “little man,” but after seeing Spence during a presser and interviews, his voice cracking, his shy demeanor, had me thinking that this guy is pretty down to earth and humble. It is Spence whom I will be rooting for in this one. The “humble” Mikey is nothing but a manufactured ACT.  I’ll say it one more time, Spence stops Mikey in the middle of the fight. Buenos Noches, Senor Miguel.

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