Saturday’s Fight Will Answer a Lot of Questions about Errol Spence

THREE PUNCH COMBO — This coming weekend, star prospect turned contender Errol Spence Jr. (he’s the one on the left) takes a massive step up in competition when he faces IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. Spence has the looks of a potential superstar, but questions remain. We will find out a lot more this weekend as to whether the hype surrounding Spence is real.

There is no doubt Spence is immensely gifted with natural talent that is just not seen that often in boxing. He possesses very fast hands and his combinations flow very smoothly, often times overwhelming his opponents who can’t match his speed. Spence is well schooled with a strong amateur background and has honed his skills in his 21 fights as a pro. He will work behind a sharp right jab from the southpaw stance and has devastating power in both hands. It is easy to see why so many in the sport are so high on him.

But there are questions. In Spence’s ninth pro fight, he took his first step up in competition in facing Emmanuel Lartey in a scheduled eight round fight. At the end of round seven, Lartey hurt Spence with a right hook. Fortunately for Spence, the punch came right at the end of the round as he was legitimately wobbled. Spence more or less went into a prevent defense in the eighth and final round as he appeared to be still feeling the effects of that punch. After that fight, some in the sport wondered about his chin. Since facing Lartey, Spence has not faced anyone who was considered to be any sort of puncher.

Another big question facing Spence is how will he respond when things don’t go his way? With the exception of the moment against Lartey, Spence has not faced any adversity in the ring as a pro. Spence has basically been able to control the ring against his opponents and do pretty much as he wanted.

Kell Brook is a big welterweight. He is a heavy handed puncher with good skills. His hands aren’t as quick as Spence’s, but he has decent hand speed. This is going to be a fight for Spence that will answer a lot of questions. This fight could be for Spence what the Diego Corrales fight was for Floyd Mayweather Jr….or this could be the night that Errol Spence gets exposed.

The Near Term Outlook For Terence Crawford and Gary Russell Jr.

Terence Crawford and Gary Russell Jr. each scored dominant stoppage victories on Saturday. Crawford outclassed the skilled Felix Diaz in impressive fashion and Russell easily dispatched the tough Oscar Escandon. Both Crawford and Russell are seeking bigger fish and both may get much bigger fights the next time they are in the ring.

Crawford would love a fight with Manny Pacquiao and the payday that comes with such an event. However, Pacquiao’s management team at this time appears to view such a fight as too risky for their charge. So such a fight is unlikely, at least in the near future.

At ringside for Crawford’s performance on Saturday was IBF and WBA super lightweight champion Julius Indongo. Though a bout with Indongo is possible for Crawford, there are issues with making this contest. First, Indongo is not a big name. Crawford has fought good fighters but no big names and badly needs a name on his resume to help build his marketability. Second, Indongo may have to deal with a mandatory of his own in Sergey Lipinets.  Indongo could always vacate the belt or attempt to work a deal with Lipinets but it is a complication. Finally, Crawford put on quite a bit of weight post weigh-in and a move up to welterweight may be happening sooner rather than later which would cross Indongo off the opponent list.

If Crawford goes to welterweight, there are plenty of name options available. One such option would be Timothy Bradley. Bradley crosses off all the marks as to what Crawford and his team would be seeking in an opponent. Bradley is a big name in the sport and the fight would certainly garner a lot of attention. It is a fight that can help build Crawford’s marketability and a win would firmly put him in superstar status. With such a status, he brings more to the table when seeking the bigger fights such as one with Manny Pacquiao. I think Bradley will be the top option for Team Crawford and I suspect we see such a match materialize sometime later this summer or in the fall.

Even more so than Crawford, Gary Russell Jr. needs a big name next time out. With the exception of Vasyl Lomachenko, the talented Russell has fought mostly lower level opposition.  As a matter of fact, Escandon was easily the second best opponent Russell has faced in his career.

Russell is aligned with Al Haymon who has many of the top featherweights in his stable, so making a big fight for Russell should be easy to accomplish. One Haymon featherweight who also needs a big fight is IBF champion Lee Selby. Selby, who has fought most of his career in the United Kingdom, has made it clear he wants a fight in the United States and a unification fight with Russell certainly fits that criterion. This bout would garner plenty of attention in both the US and the UK and the winner would be positioned for big money fights down the road in a stacked featherweight division. It is a fight that seems very likely to get done for later this summer or early in the fall.

Expect to see Terence Crawford and Gary Russell Jr. competing on a much bigger stage the next time they enter the ring.

The Use of Instant Replay in Boxing

I have brought this topic up before but an incident that occurred this past weekend bears once again on the issue of using instant replay in boxing . Most other major sports utilize replay and it is time for boxing to do the same.

The system I propose is similar to the challenge system utilized in both the MLB and NFL. When the technology is available, the corners of each fighter will be allowed one challenge. They can challenge the ruling of whether a cut was caused by a punch or head butt or whether a knockdown was legitimate. The challenge must be made by the designated corner man to a commission official within a reasonable time. The commission can flat out ask the corner man if he wishes to challenge and a decision must be rendered by the corner man at that moment.

As with other sports, the video evidence must be indisputable to overturn the ruling of the referee. If the corner wins the challenge, they are allowed one more challenge during the course of the bout. If the corner loses the challenge, they would be out of challenges for the remainder of the contest.

In the case of a knockdown being challenged, the referee would instruct the judges to turn in two different scorecards if the decision were still being reviewed prior to the start of the next round. The first would be the card scoring the initial ruling of the referee and the second would be the card if the ruling were overturned.

Such a system keeps the flow of the bout going without interruption. It also limits the use of replay to just those crucial moments so it is not overdone. And it put the onus on the corner and not the referee or commission as to when the technology will be used.

In Saturday’s bout between Raymundo Beltran and Jonathan Maicelo, Beltran was ruled to have been knocked down by Maicelo in the first round. However, clearly it was not a punch that caused Beltran to go down, but instead an accidental head butt. In this instance, Beltran’s corner would have made motion for a challenge and a ruling would have been quickly made, probably before the round even ended. Due to the ruling however of a knockdown, HBO’s official scorer Harold Lederman scored the round 10-8 for Maicelo and I suspect the judges had it the same. If the ruling were overturned, at worst it would have been a 10-9 round for Maicelo and there would have been a good chance that the round instead would have gone to Beltran 10-9, a three point swing and could have had a major impact if the fight had gone to the cards.

Referees are human and do make mistakes. Instant replay technology is used in other sports to make sure that correctable errors do not happen. It is time for boxing to get in line.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

contender errol spence

COMMENTS

-Radam G :

Imma go with bionic eye socket "Special K., Dang I hope I won't be eating anymore crow. Holla!


-brownsugar :

Boxing should be a conclusive sport...only one man should exit without the aid of his corner once the bout has concluded. Watching Terrance meet out punishment until his quarry was ripe for the taking reminded me of the many fights that ended in stoppages during the frequently named " Golden Era". Stopping a man was an art form... Salvadore Sanchez and Pretty Boy Floyd arrived at the same result in entirely different ways, but each fighter was elegant in his approach. So was Terrance....his performance put the sweet in "Sweet Science". I don't know how naturally gifted Spence is. But I suspect he has a gift that is similar to many achievers who want to be great. 1. Raw desire.... the compulsive, unquenchable urge to become great. And #2.... The work ethic to apply himself to the rigorous training required to become capable of fighting at the level of intensity necessary to literally incinerate his opposition inside of the 12 round distance. Erroll (I believe they call him "The Truth") Spence will plumb the depths of his opponent's soul to learn how much heat they can withstand before their resistance literally evaporates into a wisp of smoke. Brooks has a good one-two, and he may make weight safely. But he won't have a deep enough gas tank or the physical armour to withstand Spence for 12 rounds. They way I heard Old Floyd Sr say it: Spence is going to micro-wave him like a chicken. This is not to say that Brook won't give it the Ol' College Try. The fight will have some very heated exchanges with both fighters giving their all... and receiving a measure back. Because you cannot fight Spence any other way except right at the edge of desperation. But in the final 4 rounds...when all that adrenaline, desperation, and the sense of desperation has been reduced to a pile of ashes....at that moment, Brook will see the "Truth" clearly.... His name is Spence and he will still be throwing those painful shots to the head and body... Brook's his corner will also know, just before they toss in the towel..."And The New......"


-Jack :

I go with Brook ...


-brownsugar :

Finally got my cable installed in my brand new, self renovated, self customized living quarters. My new cable has 3 times faster internet and wifi...custom channel selection, just bare bones basic a few sports channels and showtime at 50% less per month. This will hold me over for a brief moment until I switch to firestick and say goodbye to cable forever. Brook vs Spence will be my "Virgin" Boxing program with my new cable provider. What better fight could I even ask for? So many good fights this year. Spence only has another fight or two at welterweight before he moves up. If he doesnt move up immediately. So after Brook is humbled will Lubin or his sparring mate; Jermell Charlo be next? Spence said he has no friends in the boxing world....or should I say ....there is nobody he's too friendly with to fight. Thank you Brook, almost no one except 3G and Anthony Joshua fights his first mandatory it seems these days. (You tried by trying to get Khan, and Pac, but you refused to create an excuse to duck Spence when those 2 big money fights vaporized) For that, Brook gets my utmost respect. Let the 2nd phase of the American invasion of the UK begin!!! Saturday can not come quick enough.


-SuperLight :

Finally got my cable installed in my brand new, self renovated, self customized living quarters. My new cable has 3 times faster internet and wifi...custom channel selection, just bare bones basic a few sports channels and showtime at 50% less per month. This will hold me over for a brief moment until I switch to firestick and say goodbye to cable forever. Brook vs Spence will be my "Virgin" Boxing program with my new cable provider. What better fight could I even ask for? So many good fights this year. Spence only has another fight or two at welterweight before he moves up. If he doesnt move up immediately. So after Brook is humbled will Lubin or his sparring mate; Jermell Charlo be next? Spence said he has no friends in the boxing world....or should I say ....there is nobody he's too friendly with to fight. Thank you Brook, almost no one except 3G and Anthony Joshua fights his first mandatory it seems these days. (You tried by trying to get Khan, and Pac, but you refused to create an excuse to duck Spence when those 2 big money fights vaporized) For that, Brook gets my utmost respect. Let the 2nd phase of the American invasion of the UK begin!!! Saturday can not come quick enough.
Yeah, I'd have money on Spence if I was a betting man. Good on Brook for taking him on. Unfortunately I can't buy any fight cards here so I'll have to catch the youtube or dailymotion version =|


-brownsugar :

I would probably back Spence against Golovkin...lol...at least he'd last longer than Brook while ignoring the urge to go toe-to-toe. There's nothing better than seeing the unknown fold right before your eyes Superlight, but YouTube is the next best option. Enjoy the fight.


-amayseng :

Finally got my cable installed in my brand new, self renovated, self customized living quarters. My new cable has 3 times faster internet and wifi...custom channel selection, just bare bones basic a few sports channels and showtime at 50% less per month. This will hold me over for a brief moment until I switch to firestick and say goodbye to cable forever. Brook vs Spence will be my "Virgin" Boxing program with my new cable provider. What better fight could I even ask for? So many good fights this year. Spence only has another fight or two at welterweight before he moves up. If he doesnt move up immediately. So after Brook is humbled will Lubin or his sparring mate; Jermell Charlo be next? Spence said he has no friends in the boxing world....or should I say ....there is nobody he's too friendly with to fight. Thank you Brook, almost no one except 3G and Anthony Joshua fights his first mandatory it seems these days. (You tried by trying to get Khan, and Pac, but you refused to create an excuse to duck Spence when those 2 big money fights vaporized) For that, Brook gets my utmost respect. Let the 2nd phase of the American invasion of the UK begin!!! Saturday can not come quick enough.
What is your cable setup Bsug? I cut the cord a year ago and go with hbo now, amazon and netflix....catch boxing on streams or my moms dish if i order ppv which was ggg vs jacobs, the only fight this past year. Anyways, I hope losing the weight doesnt hurt brook like it did rjj... this should be a fantastic fight. Love both fighters.


-Radam G :

Yeah, I'd have money on Spence if I was a betting man. Good on Brook for taking him on. Unfortunately I can't buy any fight cards here so I'll have to catch the youtube or dailymotion version =|
E-Soence is a late-starting pug who should be completing at 168lbs and above. He won't be able to handle razzle-dazzle and pa-zazz of the elite pugs below 168lbs. No one can start boksing at almost 16 years old and come and dominate the lower weights as a senior boksingero. Twenty-seven years old ain't the new 17 years old in dat squared jungle. E-Spence's @$$ is grass, and his chin will be glass. Soecial K all the way. Holla!


-oubobcat :

One thing in watching tape that makes me convinced that we will find out if Spence is the real deal or not. Brook throws a beautiful crisp short short right hand with power. It is probably his best punch. And it is a punch that will land on a southpaw. Spence is going to get hit. I think he is going to be pushed and in a fight. Can his chin hold up? I don't know. If it does, he could be something special. But that is a big if, as mentioned above check out the Lartey fight at the end of round seven. The punch that did the damage, a straight right hand...


-Shoulder Roll Defense :

As Spence always states, "man down." Brook is a solid fighter but its Spence that is truly "special." As BrownSugar stated, it's going to be very difficult for Brook to keep Spence off of him for 12 rounds. Outside of GGG, Spence may be the best at cutting the ring off. Everyone is pointing out how good of a punch Brook takes, but fail to analyze that its predominantly against head shots. Spence is the new "body snatcher" and he is going to methodically cut down the tree in front of him named Kell Brook on Saturday.#mandown #strapseason #usa


-brownsugar :

As Spence always states, "man down." Brook is a solid fighter but its Spence that is truly "special." As BrownSugar stated, it's going to be very difficult for Brook to keep Spence off of him for 12 rounds. Outside of GGG, Spence may be the best at cutting the ring off. Everyone is pointing out how good of a punch Brook takes, but fail to analyze that its predominantly against head shots. Spence is the new "body snatcher" and he is going to methodically cut down the tree in front of him named Kell Brook on Saturday.#mandown #strapseason #usa
Does he have a chin? ---- WHAT? Does he have late round experience ---- WHAT? Can he win against a hostile crowd? ---- WHAT? THE TRUTH HURTS!!! Man Down!! Strap Season!! And the NEW......!! good post SRD.


-deepwater2 :

Great fight. Great energy from the crowd. Spence looked average for the First half of the fight. Spence looked great for the second half. He bullied and overtook Brook like Trump overtook the head of NATO for his picture. USA! USA ! USA! Good to have nice kid and a gentleman representing us. Thurman vs Brook ? Looking forward to that one next year.


-Shoulder Roll Defense :

Does he have a chin? ---- WHAT? Does he have late round experience ---- WHAT? Can he win against a hostile crowd? ---- WHAT? THE TRUTH HURTS!!! Man Down!! Strap Season!! And the NEW......!! good post SRD.
Thank you Brownsugar. As you already know, Spence is a terror to the rest of the welterweight division. The other fighters can run, but they can't hide. Keith Thurman vs. Errol Spence, let's make it happen!


-Radam G :

E-Spence became "The Truth." Special K was damaged more from 3G than anything. A titanium eye socket didn't help him at all. It will be a great scrap between E-Spence and T-Craw. Holla!


-Shoulder Roll Defense :

E-Spence became "The Truth." Special K was damaged more from 3G than anything. A titanium eye socket didn't help him at all. It will be a great scrap between E-Spence and T-Craw. Holla!
Brook just doesn't have that junkyard dog in him. Ali fought with a broken jaw and various other ailments. Joe Frazier basically fought an entire career almost legally blind. You can't teach heart! Heck, following the fight Brook was asked if he wanted a rematch and he said he will fight who the fans and his promoters want him to fight. A real proud fighter with a competitive spirit would have said, let's run it back, but the fact of the matter is that Spence beat the fight out of Brook and broke him spiritually​ and physically in the process. He doesn't want to fight Spence again and needs to go back to fighting the Jo Jo Dans of the world lol.#USA


-amayseng :

Brook just doesn't have that junkyard dog in him. Ali fought with a broken jaw and various other ailments. Joe Frazier basically fought an entire career almost legally blind. You can't teach heart! Heck, following the fight Brook was asked if he wanted a rematch and he said he will fight who the fans and his promoters want him to fight. A real proud fighter with a competitive spirit would have said, let's run it back, but the fact of the matter is that Spence beat the fight out of Brook and broke him spiritually​ and physically in the process. He doesn't want to fight Spence again and needs to go back to fighting the Jo Jo Dans of the world lol.#USA
That is a good point, I think Kel has it in his head he is damaged goods with yet another broken orbital bone. Though it is telling he didn't state after the fight he wants a rematch to get his belt back. It was a close fight with ESjr coming on stronger and stronger I think Kel knows this is the end. An eye and your vision for the rest of your life is nothing to risk. I see ESjr beating every one at WW except Floyd if he came back and Pac giving him a run for his money, though he is nearly 39 and war torn. I don't think Thurman has the power to keep Errol off of him, he is more of a thudding puncher instead of a sharp destroyer. I think TC against ES next year or the year after is the fight to see.


-brownsugar :

That was what I call a real fight. Intense nonstop action, no quarter asked, none given. Two athletes giving 100% until nothing was left. (Similar to Cotto surrendering to a knee after Margarito beat the resistance completely out of him even though he did it with an illegal advantage) Kell had some slick 1-2 set ups and right hand counters. It was the most focused effort I've ever seen from Brook. No shame in knowing when its time to fold. Especially when a potentially acute and permenant injury can greatly reduce the quality of life. 7 years ago I said Kell was one of the most dynamic welterweights in the world...but due to the decades long segregated environment between the UK and the U.S., Kell went largely unnoticed until he skillfully played the matador to the bullish Shawn Porter on U.S. soil. Im thankful that the barriers that separated Roy Jones from Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Calzaghe, and Chris Eubanks from competing has finally been breached. No one else with a worthy name wanted to pit their skills against Spence except Brook and early in the fight up until the mid rounds the outcome was in doubt. Spence's leaky defense was being picked apart from every angle. But Spence's defense is his perpetual motion offense. When he gets the opportunity to swing those tight hooks to the body from both sides he's nearly untouchable. Spence makes you fight for your life and then he makes his opponent or his corner surrender. I doesn't matter who Spence fought to predict how far he would go on his journey to the title. It was the way he was winning. Did you see the way Spence snatched and guzzled the water bottle in one gulp after the weigh-in? I was amazed he's able to exert so much energy during the fight, even in the late rounds....he's inhuman. Juanma, Gamboa, and Broner were beasts also during the beginning of their careers but what will happen when it's time to move up? And how long will Spence be able to make 147 and continue to display the stamina of an energizer bunny? In boxing one mistep in career management can derail a successful career. I have the same questions for Gervonta Davis. However... Its refreshing to see these young prospects reach for the brass ring and dare to be great. Neither Spence or Davis will have a 20 year career like Floyd Mayweather... But I hope they can continue to deliver even more thrilling performances over the next 3-5 years.


-brownsugar :

Amaseng.... TC has the perfect skillset to potentially deny Spence from having his hands raised should the two of them meet at 147. But Spence has the relentless attack to do the same. Although I doubt Spence will be at 147 long enough. But its an intriguing match up.


-Radam G :

Brook just doesn't have that junkyard dog in him. Ali fought with a broken jaw and various other ailments. Joe Frazier basically fought an entire career almost legally blind. You can't teach heart! Heck, following the fight Brook was asked if he wanted a rematch and he said he will fight who the fans and his promoters want him to fight. A real proud fighter with a competitive spirit would have said, let's run it back, but the fact of the matter is that Spence beat the fight out of Brook and broke him spiritually​ and physically in the process. He doesn't want to fight Spence again and needs to go back to fighting the Jo Jo Dans of the world lol.#USA
Ditto! You are right about Brook to a degree. BTW, the late, greats Harry Greb, Sam Langford, Jimmy Ellis and "Hawk Time" Aaron Pryor all fought legally blind or blinded in one eye. So that is no big deal. Even Larry Holmes is and was legally blind without glasses on when he fought his last three bouts and on his comeback. Sugar Ray Seales fought the majority of his career blind. So being blind doesn't mean Jack do-do to great and good pugs. Special K's problem was listening to allopathic doktors and letting them trick him into titanium-ize his mug light socket. Human bones are not made for that syet. They do well by healing on their own when sit back in place. Titanium around one mug light just affected and probably destroyed the other one in Brook. I'm reminded of my preschool and elementary school days. There was a super athlete name Bo Jackson. Bo knew diz, dat and da third. He even knew Big Bird. Hehehe! But he didn't know syet about Titanium hip joints and replacements, so he got one. And it destroy his other hip. So now he walks around like a crip -- straight-up cripple for real. Nowadays boxers are so vulnerable to quacks and steel body part salesmen. Steel sharpen steel. But dat syet destroys human bones as an add on. Just wait and see how Amir Khan's fist holds up. Dude was talked into getting a titanium fist. What an A-hole. I'm still not impressed with E-Spence He was losing to a leg-and-eye damaged used to be good fighter/boxer. Just so that you know, Brook has all type of add-ons in his leg too from a ______ using a sword on him while back. Holla!