Mancuso: Spence Jr. Newest Barclays Center Estate

Errol Spence Jr. the undefeated IBF welterweight world champion could be considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing and there was little doubt after his win over Kell Brook. That was a fight back in the month of May that brought the best of Errol Spence Jr. in front of more  than 70,000 rabid boxing fans in Sheffield England that was televised on Showtime Championship Boxing.

With that in mind, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which has become a hotbed for the top welterweights, has welcomed Spence Jr. to their estate.  Saturday evening January 20th on Showtime he will defend his title against former champion Lamont Peterson.

Recall in May, it was Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, two of those premiere champions in the 147-pound division, thrilled a capacity crowd at Barclays Center that established the most  number of viewers in 20 years for a national boxing telecast on CBS Sports.  

And with this title fight in January, there is every expectation of another thriller because Spence Jr. and Peterson are no strangers to each other as former sparring partners. A win by Spence Jr. could mean an inevitable  meeting with Thurman or Garcia.

More so, the Barclays Center welcomed Spence Jr. to their prime estate in downtown Brooklyn as their newest and welcomed welterweight champion and this has become a habit at the venue.

“I think I can be known as the best pound-for-pound in the sport, but I have to take it one fight at a time,” said Spence Jr. during a press conference  Wednesday afternoon at Barclays Center that got the hype going for his first title defense.

He certainly has that ability to defend the title and all you have to do is ask Brook who was stopped in the 11th round. And Peterson said, “I knew this six years ago when Errol was in my camp that we’d get to this point. I knew he would be a world champion.”

There is also the short and sustained popularity that Spence Jr. has gained. He is that young and exciting fighter that boxing fans starve to see and that was displayed in that fight with Brook. It is also that southpaw stance and in this division that has credibility.

The  Barclays Center crowd and Showtime  television audience will see this welterweight champion that is deserving of being a top five in the pound-for-pound debate. With Thurman, expected to be back in business by March there is potential for a showdown with the current champion. 

“Errol Spence is one of the most talked about fighters in the sport,” said Lou DiBella, promoting another card at Barclays with the PBC. “Some think he could be the best fighter in the world. He’s consistently said he only wants to fight the best and on January 20, he will be fighting another champion and another great welterweight.”

DiBella said this was another run of significant fights on Showtime. And the Barclays Center has played host to many.

“The fight cards have all been incredibly easy to promote because the fights have been so strong,” he said. “You have to make fights with great great fighters battling other great fighters. That’s what we need to energize our fans and our sport.”

And Errol Spence Jr. has the opportunity to be the newest member of that estate.  He said. “I don’t feel like waiting to fight the best. I want to prove myself.”

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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