Errol Spence battered Lamont Peterson on the way to an eighth-round technical knockout on Saturday to retain his IBF welterweight world title.
Spence strengthened his reputation as one of the best of boxing’s rising stars, scoring his 10th straight win inside the distance as he improved to 23-0 with 20 knockouts.
Spence, making his first defence of the title he seized from Britain’s Kell Brook in May, dominated from the opening bell at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, pummelling Peterson with combinations to the head and body.
He sent former two-time world champion Peterson to the canvas in the fifth round with a combination that included a left hook to the head.
Both of Peterson’s eyes were swelling shut by the seventh round, and as the bell sounded to start the eighth Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter called for it to be stopped by referee Harvey Dock.
Dock waved the fight off at one second into the eighth round.
23-0, 20 KO, #AndStill IBF welterweight champion. 2018 gonna be our year. Time to unify these 147 pound belts. They all know where to find me. Appreciate all the love & support !! #MANDOWN #StrapSeason pic.twitter.com/FiMsVmlEWd
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) January 21, 2018
“I want to thank Lamont Peterson,” Spence said. “A lot of guys did turn down the fight and he took it, like a real warrior. I commend him for that.”
While Spence has been tipped as a future pound-for-pound king, he says he’s got plenty of room for improvement.
“I still can improve a lot on my defence,” he said. “I just have to keep perfecting my skills and keep progressing. You’re going to see a better Errol Spence next time I get in the ring.”
Spence is hoping to showcase his improved skills against Keith Thurman, holder of two welterweight belts who has been sidelined since out-pointing Danny Garcia last March because of elbow surgery.
“Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on ‘Sometimes’ Thurman,” Spence said, a poke at Thurman’s “One Time” nickname. “Since I was 15-0 I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on.”
On the undercard, IBF lightweight world champion Robert Easter Jr. remained unbeaten with a split-decision victory over Javier Fortuna.
Easter’s title wasn’t at stake after Fortuna failed to make weight on Friday. But Dominican southpaw Fortuna made things awkward for the 26-year-old champion with his counter-punching style.
Easter was largely unable to use his superior height and reach, but the point deducted from Fortuna early in the bout for repeated blows to the back of Easter’s head proved costly.
One ringside judge scored it 114-113 to Easter, another saw it 114-113 for Fortuna and a third made it 115-112 for Easter – who heard a few boos as the results were read out.
“The fans are booing because I didn’t get the knockout,” said Easter, who improved to 21-0 with 14 knockouts while Fortuna fell to 33-2 with one drawn and 23 knockouts.
“It was tough,” Easter said. “He was sitting back, trying to counter-punch. He really wasn’t throwing nothing. That made it difficult for me to keep chasing this guy around.
“But we got the ‘W’. That’s all that matters.”
Provided by AFP Sport
Tyson Fury’s boxing licence will be reinstated if the former world heavyweight champion passes his medical.
Fury was able to apply for clearance to resume fighting after accepting a backdated two-year suspension issued by UK Anti-Doping last month in the wake of testing positive for nandrolone.
The British Boxing Board met with Fury on Friday morning and decided that should he pass the necessary health checks, he will be allowed to box again.
“Following interview with Tyson Fury at the BBBC offices, the suspension of his boxer’s licence will be lifted subject to receipt and clearance of all medical requirements,” a statement read.
The decision edges Fury close to a mouthwatering domestic showdown with reigning IBF and WBA world champion Anthony Joshua.
Joshua is open to a fight between the British rivals – both of whom have defeated Wladimir Klitschko – later this year but has demanded he first prove himself in a comeback fight.
Anthony Joshua isn’t the only undefeated title-holder heading into the March 31 clash.
Hailing from New Zealand 26-year-old Joseph Parker has managed to climb the ranks of the heavyweight division, seemingly unnoticed, capturing the WBO strap along the way.
After 66 fights as an amateur he made is professional debut in 2012 with a TKO victory in the second round. As a pro he’s remains victorious, winning 24 bouts in a combined total of 123 rounds – compared to Anthony Joshua’s undefeated record of 20 wins and a total of just 65 rounds.
Parker’s record of 24-0-0 boasts 18 wins coming by way of knock out. His latest victory was a dubious majority decision victory over Hughie Fury – cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury –, which stunk out the UK’s Manchester Arena. The bout will be best remembered (if remembered at all) for being the first boxing YouTube PPV event.
His record doesn’t show any majorly recognised names from the heavyweight division, and he’s yet to defeat a world titleholder. Parker captured the vacant WBO championship, defeating Andy Ruiz Jr by majority decision at the end of 2016.
He received criticism after his first defence of his title against the widely unknown, albeit awkward opponent, Razvan Cojanu. In a dirty scrap, Cojanu used his head and elbows as well as trash talk during the fight in an attempt to unsettle the champion.
The challenger was eventually deducted a point by the referee for repeatedly pushing down on Parker’s neck. Parker admitted afterwards it was not a great fight and he struggled to connect with Cojanu with any real success.
British heavyweights Tony Bellew and Dillian Whyte took note – both saying they could defeat Parker easily given the chance. Carlos Takam, the man who put up a brave fight against Joshua back in October, also suffered defeat at the hands of Parker in 2016 – losing via unanimous decision.
The fight with Anthony Joshua not only makes sense for AJ, who will be the heavy favourite going into the fight, but for the New Zealander as well. Not only because he’ll finally be fighting in a major PPV event, which will of course make him a life-changing sum of money, but he’ll finally have the chance to prove himself against someone of genuine quality on the world stage. The fight also gives him the chance of adding the WBA and IBF titles to his mantelpiece.
Parker’s style is that of a heavy puncher, he won’t be dancing around the ring against Joshua. Instead, he’ll likely rely on throwing bombs and his toughness to get him through the fight. Joshua’s not much of a mover either, which works in favour of the WBO champion, who will be happier slugging it out than chasing shadows.
Does anyone give Parker a chance? Probably not. But as Wladimir Klitschko, and even Carlos Takam showed, Joshua isn’t the indestructible force many thought when he was when blowing opponents away earlier in his career. Joshua slowed in later rounds, and was even put down, by the ageing Klitschko. Against Takam, a broken nose, albeit suffered by a head-butt, seemed to bother the Champion, who never really got going in the fight – despite leaving the ring victorious.
Parker can take heart from the fact that unlike Joshua’s previous opponents, he too is an undefeated heavyweight champion with something to offer.
What’s more, he’s a likeable guy with a crowd-pleasing style and something to prove, which can only make for an interesting fight, and if ever there was a fight to prove he’s a legitimate world champion, this is it.