Renaissance man, Errol Spence Jr.

By Robert Ecksel on June 15, 2018
Renaissance man, Errol Spence Jr.
Spence met with the press this week via conference call and is as calm as he is confident.

A fight with newly-crowned WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford might be in the cards. All that stands in the way are greed and tribalism…

On Saturday, June 16, in a fight televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs), the hard-hitting southpaw from Desoto, Texas, who is among a handful of two-fisted fighters leading boxing’s renaissance, defends his IBF welterweight title against undefeated Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs), the hungry challenger from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

In anticipation of the bout, Spence met with the press this week via teleconference call and is as calm as he is confident.

“My hope is Carlos Ocampo comes to fight,” Spence said. “I’m focused on my opponent right now, that’s Carlos Ocampo. I might have to worry about other opponents later, but they’re going to play their self out and I’m going to fight. Shawn Porter’s supposed to be fighting Danny Garcia so hopefully I can get the winner out of that. We can unify.”

Spence thinks Garcia beats Porter and it’s hard to disagree. It’s how he beats him that matters.

“I think Danny Garcia could pull it out,” said Spence. “He doesn’t do anything spectacular but he has good fundamentals and mostly really good timing. He just pulls it out. Whenever we think he’s going to lose the fight, he ends up winning the fight so I’ll go with Danny Garcia on that one, by decision.”

Spence would like a piece of that action, but first things first. He has to “get past Carlos Ocampo to even think about that unifying fight.”

Aside from being the IBF mandatory, not much is known about Ocampo.

“I didn’t know who he was to tell you the truth,” said Spence. “I never heard of him, which doesn’t mean anything. I mean there’s a lot of fighters that, you know, pop up out of the blue that could fight that you never heard of. They just don’t have the management or the promotion team for the spotlight to be seen. Those are the guys you have to watch out for.”

But Spence “found tapes on him. There’s nothing that you just see that’s special but I mean the guy comes to fight. He’s young, he’s undefeated and he’s fighting for a world title. Mexican fighters are known to be tough, they’re known to be durable and they’re known to come to fight.”

A fight with newly-crowned WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford might be in the cards. All that stands in the way are greed and tribalism. But Spence, whose aw shucks demeanor is as disarming as it is genuine, remains optimistic.

“I think there is definitely a future fight. He holds one of the belts and like I said I want to be undefeated welterweight champion of the world so I’m going to have to come over there and snatch the belt from him. It’s a fight that’s going to happen definitely in the future.”

Keith Thurman is a possible opponent, if his body holds up.

“I definitely would be interested in that but I think that’s a fight, that it’ll be easier to make because we have the same management and we fight on the same network so we deal with the same people businesswise.

“So I feel like that fight is easier to make. That’s a definite fight that I’ve been wanting to fight that I still want. I just have to see how he comes back and how long it takes him to feel the same.”

But before he can fight the other elite welterweights, there’s this tough Mexican kid with nothing to lose and everything to gain Saturday night.

“Right now when we are in the gym when we’re talking about fights, we’re talking about Carlos Ocampo. We haven’t been talking about any other welterweights or anybody else or who we’re going to fight next. The way everything plays itself out after this fight, we’re not going to think about that yet.”

Why is that, when the result seems like a foregone conclusion?

“This could be the toughest fight of my career,” Spence said. “We’re going to give Carlos Ocampo his respect as a fighter and an undefeated fighter and just focus on him right now.”

The Showtime tripleheader starts at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT.

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