Errol Spence Jr. vs. Leonard Bundu: Winner, Knockout and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16:  Errol Spence Jr. celebrates in the fourth round after he knocked down Chris Algieri during their welterwieght bout at Barclays Center on April 16, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.Spence Jr. knocked out Algieri in the fifth round.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Errol Spence Jr. remains unbeaten after a knockout victory over Leonard Bundu on Saturday night in the Ford Amphitheater in Brooklyn, New York.

Spence sent Bundu to the mat in the sixth round with a vicious right hook. Premier Boxing Champions' official Twitter feed shared replays of both knockdowns in the round:

Spence was the stronger of the two for much of the fight, and RingTV.com's Douglass Fischer thought the knockout was inevitable:

Toronto Raptors forward Jared Sullinger liked what he saw from Spence:

Former champion Antonio Tarver praised Bundu's defense and gave the victor credit for breaking that defense down as the fight wore on:

As BoxNation tweeted, Spence wasted little time before looking ahead to his next fight:

Considering the stakes, this is arguably Spence's biggest victory to date. ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported in July this fight would determine who gets the first crack at IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. Brook is fighting Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 10, but he won't be putting the welterweight title on the line.

Should Brook opt to vacate the belt, Spence would then fight somebody else for the championship.

Speaking with Rafael, the 26-year-old explained taking on Bundu allowed him a level of attention he has largely lacked in his career.

"This is another great opportunity for me to gain exposure on NBC," Spence said. "A lot of people will be watching because of the Olympics that may not have known my name before. As an Olympian, headlining a major event four years after my Olympic run is exciting."

Floyd Mayweather's retirement has created a major vacuum for the sport in terms of top stars. Along the same line, boxing can only rely on 37-year-old Manny Pacquiao for so long, too. Spence obviously has a long way to go to become one of boxing's marquee names, but his ascendancy comes at the perfect time.

The question now is how high he can climb in the sport. Promoter Lou DiBella believes Spence can eventually be at the top of the mountain.

"I'm not crowning him champion or a pound-for-pound fighter," DiBella said, per Lem Satterfield of Premier Boxing Champions' official site. "But I think he [eventually] will be with his ring generalship, tremendous power, intelligence, great body work [and] great jab. [Spence] knows how good he is but allows his skills to do the talking."

Beating Bundu is a step forward for Spence, and taking on Brook—assuming Brook holds onto the IBF title—will be his next challenge. Should he then get past Brook—of if he assumes the vacated IBF belt—the next level up will be somebody such as Keith Thurman, Jesse Vargas or Danny Garcia.

Plenty of promising fighters have failed to live up to the hype once they clash with the best in their weight class. That could happen with Spence in due time, but for now, Saturday's win is further validation he's one of the rising stars in the welterweight division.

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