At the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, Errol Spence Jr methodically broke down and dominated Lamont Peterson en route to a 7th round stoppage. Following the victory, Spence makes the first defense of the IBF Welterweight title, which he captured against Kell Brook last May, to pump his unbeaten slate to 23 wins, 20 knockouts. Peterson meanwhile picks up another career blemish, reducing to 35 wins, 4 defeats, 1 draw, 17 knockouts.
Peterson was never considered a legitimate threat prior to the first bell, but he was expected to be a tough, proven warrior unlikely to go down without a fight. And he proved that, enduring a punishing encounter against a superior fighter in Spence, who, quite simply, was in complete control throughout, outboxing Peterson with a dynamic skill set, with accurate power punching and a consistent body attack doing damage.
Peterson was unable to close the distance and go to war with Spence, and on the one notable occasion that he did find some success in the 5th, Spence immediately responded with a vicious combination which soon had Peterson on the canvas. To Peterson’s credit, he beat the count, survived the hellacious two minutes remaining, and bit down on his gum shield until merciful trainer Barry Hunter threw in towel following the close of the 7th.
At that time, Peterson, though seemingly willing to fight on, was a beaten, swollen-eyed man in an increasingly one-sided fight, and so nobody in their right mind could have protested Hunter’s decision. Even Peterson didn’t. For the record, Boxing Base had the bout scored for Spence at a shutout 70-62 prior to Peterson’s retirement.
So what now for Spence? Well, it goes without question that he’s a bonafide elite on today’s Welterweight circuit. He’s one of the most dynamic, fluid and heavy-handed boxers in the game, and there’s good reason to believe that he may well be the best operator around at 147 pounds. But, with the Top 10 featuring a couple of other big fish in the form of WBA and WBC champ Keith Thurman and former champ Danny Garcia, nothing is written on the wall just yet.
What’s your take on Spence Jr vs Peterson? And is there a Welterweight out there who can halt the Spence train?