Errol Spence Jr. easily dismantled Lamont Peterson on Saturday, earning a TKO victory at the beginning of the eighth round to defend his IBF welterweight championship. Spence (23-0, 20 KO’s) outworked Peterson from the opening bell with a relentless attack featuring a steady jab and relentless combinations.
“I didn’t know I would dominate like that,” Spence said to the crowd of 12,107 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn after the fight. “I expected to get the knockout, but this was a great performance.”
Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KO’s) was gutsy in defeat but couldn’t get out of the way of Spence’s punches. After a grueling seventh round and with his right eye nearly shut, the fight was stopped.
Spence simply never let up. The 28-year-old Dallas native landed 161 shots and hit Peterson with nearly half of his power punches. Peterson landed just 45 shots in total.
With another stellar victory, Spence is steadily climbing the ladder of boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighters, joining others such as Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko near the top of the list. Despite his dominance, he still sees room for development.
“I still can improve a lot on my defense,” Spence 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.”
On Spence’s shortlist for 2018 is undefeated WBA and WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman, who’s set to return soon after recovering from surgery on his right elbow. While Spence indicated at the post-fight press conference he’s comfortable with Thurman taking a tune-up fight to get back into shape, he believes this is the year the two should unify their belts.
“I’m not gonna sit around and wait for him,” Spence said. “The whole goal this year is to stay active and fight quality opponents.”
In the meantime, Spence plans to fight again in the middle of the year, with an eye on a Dallas homecoming.