Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. made it known Sunday afternoon that his name is now a part of the welterweight division title picture. And his impressive sixth-round knockout over Leonard Bundu leaves little doubt about options as the mandatory challenger to Kell Brook.
So it could be Brook, the IBF champion from England or Keith Thurman. Add the other champion Danny Garcia to the list. The welterweight division has value, and in front of a soldout crowd at the Ford Amphitheatre on the Boardwalk in Coney Island Brooklyn, Spence Jr. delivered.
The PBC promoted elimination fight, televised on NBC Sports, followed the U.S. Men’s Gold Medal Olympic basketball game also gave Spence the needed exposure to sell a fight against one of those elite champions .
And if Brook is next, an audience is sure to follow Spence for that one.
“That’s what you want,” the undefeated (21-0-18 K0s’) Spence said about the knockout. “That’s what I want to do every time I come to the ring. I want a shot at Kell Brook. If he’s not going to fight me, he needs to vacate and I’ll fight somebody else. But I definitely want that IBF title shot this year.”
The opportunity for Spence is there. At 26-years of age, the southpaw used his right jab. He went to the body and Bundu, a credible opponent could not match what was thrown at him. So every bit of talk that Spence, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, is in line for a title does make his case more evident.
There is an uppercut and a right hand that Spence delivered. There is also the ability to finish off an opponent. Though Brook is formidable and deserving of his status, the anticipation for a Spence-Brook encounter is worth the wait because a knockout artist, as Spence has become, adds to the excitement.
This was the eighth straight knockout win for Spence, and in boxing that is marketable which makes cause for any of the other champions in a highly touted welterweight division to take note.
“I am one of the top fighters at 147 pounds,” he said. “With this performance, I proved that again today.” Spence won every round on the scorecards before the fight was stopped and connected with 35 percent of his punches.
A fight with Brook, is a matter of, if and when. Though too early to determine the particulars, Brook holds a majority of his fights overseas with huge success and a rabid fan base. Spence Jr. would prefer this potential stay in the states, but at the end he leaves that to the promoters and concentrates on becoming the premier welterweight.
Right now, and with this commanding win, Spence Jr. may have the leverage. He is the puncher that boxing fans admire and early returns said the NBC telecast was a ratings success. The fans in Brooklyn also got on the bandwagon and went with every punch that Spence delivered.
“I definitely want my shot at Kell Brook and his title,” said Spence Jr. “I want him if he vacates or gets stripped then I’ll fight for his vacant title.”
He added, “I’ve paid my dues.” And that said it all because Errol Spence Jr. is officially now a part of the welterweight title mix. ‘
Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso