Top Prospect Joey Spencer Talks Body Punching, Footwork, & More

By Caryn A. Tate on April 12, 2019
Top Prospect Joey Spencer Talks Body Punching, Footwork, & More
“When you go to the body, the head shots are gonna open up. Usually sooner than later.”

The 19-year-old junior middleweight prospect has been garnering lots of attention since he turned professional in February 2018…

Nineteen-year-old junior middleweight prospect Joey Spencer (6-0, 6 KOs) has been garnering lots of attention since he turned professional in February 2018.

Five of Spencer’s six fights so far have been on national television. His seventh bout versus Osias Vasquez (4-2) is no exception—it will be televised this Saturday, April 13 at 10pm ET/7pm PT on the undercard of Peter Quillin vs. Caleb Truax on FS1.

While Joey is only six fights into his professional career, he is also an accomplished amateur with approximately 90 wins out of 100 bouts. As a pro, Spencer has exhibited excellent fundamentals and a ring IQ that defies his age or number of pro fights. It’s thanks to those top tier fundamentals that Joey has a 100% knockout ratio thus far.

Recently, Joey spoke with me by phone about his boxing technique.

Spencer is a prolific body puncher regardless of the style or stance of his opponent. Going downstairs is something of a rarity among many young prospects, but Joey discussed why it’s part of his arsenal.

“If you’re having a hard time hitting somebody upstairs or getting into a rhythm, you can go down to the body and it’s a game changer,” Spencer said. “I’ve got so much experience with it in sparring and in amateur fights. The body doesn’t move, so especially if you’ve got a lot of experience and you’re accurate, you’re gonna be able to place those shots well.

“When you go to the body, the head shots are gonna open up. Usually sooner than later.”

In life, Joey is a genuine and kind individual. But once he enters the boxing ring, the trained fighter in him comes out. His mindset there is completely different.

“Going downstairs is my favorite thing to do. You can literally see the man you’re fighting break down before your eyes.

“That’s my favorite thing about it—as a fighter you know the head shots may not hurt in the moment because you’ve got that adrenaline. But body shots hurt—you can actually see your opponent wince. You can see the pain in his face. Not to sound too brutal, but that’s a great feeling.”

Another critical part of Joey’s arsenal is his superb footwork. His experience in the amateurs and the gym enable him to achieve superior positioning in order to land his destructive shots and to avoid taking punches from his foes.

Joey, whose head coach is his father Jason Spencer, discussed the preparation they do in the gym to keep his feet sharp.

“Almost every day we work on drills that have to do less with punching. I’ll follow him around the ring and keep perfect distance. I’ll use my lead hand to see where I’m at, touch his lead shoulder, and he’ll do the same thing with me moving backwards. I haven’t really had to move backwards too much in my career yet, but we do drills to keep distance going forward, cutting off the ring, and going backwards.”

Joey and his father have done their due diligence in the sport by learning from Virgil Hunter, one of the most accomplished trainers in the world, based out of Hayward, California.

“We spent the full three years before I turned pro in that gym and I worked with Virgil a lot. My dad (Jason) was his assistant trainer with all his pros, and then my dad was my head coach, but Virg was hands on as well.”

With his seventh bout right around the corner, Joey had a few words for the fans.

“Tune in on April 13. I’m excited to put on a show.”

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

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