Errol Spence Jr. impresses in a weekend of world title bouts
IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, 24-0 (21), scored a first round knockout over previously undefeated challenger Carlos Ocampo, 22-1 (13), on Saturday night, in Frisco, Texas.
Ocampo was trying his best and, despite the result, did come to fight. He took the fight to Spence and even landed a couple shots before Spence, an ever-impressive body puncher, dropped Ocampo with a vicious left to the body. Spence caught Ocampo in the midst of an uppercut, with a perfectly placed left that dropped the challenger and had him bent over, gasping for air, as referee Laurence Cole reached the count of 10.
It was an impressive hometown fight for Dallas’ Spence, who was fighting in front of lots of family, along with many members of the Dallas Cowboys.
After the fight, Spence, who many consider to be perhaps the best of a talented crop in the 147-pound division, was clearly happy with the victory. It is also clear that he looks forward to returning to the Lone Star State to face the best the welterweight division has to offer.
“I was a little disappointed. I wanted to give the crowd their money’s worth. I wanted (Ocampo) to sustain a bit and give him some punishment but the body shot got him and I dropped him,” Spence said. “It was a great victory. It was really short, so it is hard to describe. I took my time. I tried to use my jab. He was a little bit awkward but I caught him and was able to actually hurt him. I thought he was going to be a little bit tougher but I hit him with a body shot. I don’t get paid for overtime. If I can get him out in the first, great, but I wanted to carry it, go to the fourth or fifth round for the fans. I knew if I hit him again, he would probably drop. That was my game plan. I’m the body snatcher.”
Two other things Spence stressed in his post-fight chat, with Showtime’s Jim Gray, was that he definitely wants to return to fight at home and he’d like to do it against the very best fighter available.
“We’ll definitely be back after I unify some titles. We’ll make this an annual thing where I fight here. This moment is a dream. I wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys and now I’m fighting in front of the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones. Thank you to the whole Dallas Cowboys organization. When I came out, and everyone was proud to see me fight, it made me feel so good.” Spence said. “The support and love from the fans was amazing. Being a boxer in Dallas, it was a great event. I want to fight the best. Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter are fighting each other (for the vacant WBC title) and I definitely want to make that a unifying fight. We both have the same management; we both fight on Showtime. Why not make that happen? I definitely want that fight whenever it’s available.”
The general hope among welterweight watchers is that Spence will continue to win, and collect hardware, on the Showtime network. Meanwhile over on ESPN, WBO boss Terence Crawford, whom many consider the other best welterweight in the world, will continue to defend his title. Both Spence and Crawford will continue to build their brands and then hook up in a major showdown sometime next year.
In other action over the weekend…
– In the chief support bout, at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, WBA junior featherweight champion Daniel Roman, 25-2-1 (9), waged war with undefeated challenger Moises ”Chucky” Flores, 25-1 (17). The bout went the full 12 rounds and the judges scored it 116-112, 118-110 and 120-108 for Roman, who retained with a unanimous decision victory.
– WBO junior flyweight world champion Angel “Tito” Acosta, 18-1 (18), retained his title with a 12th round TKO over challenger Carlos “Chocorroncito” Buitrago, 30-4-1 (17), on Saturday night, in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
– WBA flyweight champion Artem Dalakian, 17-0 (12), scored an impressive eighth round TKO in his first title defense, over Sirichai Thaiyen, 50-4 (35), on Sunday, at the Parkovy Convention Centre in Kiev, Ukraine.
* To all the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and foster fathers out there, I hope you had a very Happy Fathers Day!