Errol Spence Jr. was in complete command in his maiden defense of the IBF world welterweight title on Saturday night. He rocked Lamont Peterson (35-4, 17 KOs) for seven rounds at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, before the latter's corner decided to call it quits before the eighth, handing Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) a TKO victory.
It was a ruthless, overpowering display from the 28-year-old Spence, who took the IBF title from Kell Brook in May 2017. He executed his plan perfectly, snapping hard shots to the body and using precision punching to the head to completely outfox Peterson, a veteran puncher and former two-time world titleholder who has fought many talented boxers in his career.
Boxer Sergio Mora is glad he's not a welterweight after seeing that display:
Saturday night Boxing's Adam Abramowitz saw a boxer sending a message:
The win is Spence's 10th in a row by stoppage. The ability he displayed against Peterson bodes well for his ambitions to dominate the 147-pound division.
Spence was appreciative of the 33-year-old Peterson's resolve and toughness in a post-match interview, per Showtime Boxing:
Spence began the bout in a laser-sharp manner, placing his punches perfectly and keeping himself balanced at all times. Every punch seemed to flow perfectly into the next, all starting with Spence's pinpoint jab.
Peterson needed a couple of rounds to get into the fight, finally landing a few crips power punches toward the end of the third. However, his power didn't seem to bother Spence, who refused to give up ground. Ring's Mike Coppinger felt Spence was intent on bringing the fight to his opponent:
Peterson struggled to find openings for his own punches, spending much of the fight with his gloves high to protect his head. While many of Spence's shots bounced off the gloves and forearms early, Peterson's technique left his body open to an onslaught of jabs and hooks.
Those body shots would eventually pay dividends, as Spence's uppercut started to slip between the cracks and find Peterson's jaw in the fourth round.
The fifth saw an aggressive push from Peterson at the start, hoping to give Spence some of his own medicine with blows to the body. Staying in range of the physical Spence did not turn out well, as the southpaw sent him to the canvas with a vicious combination that ended in a left hook through the guard.
Here's the knockdown punch, per Showtime Boxing:
Boxing journalist Andreas Hale thought Peterson needed to move more to survive the ordeal:
Spence's precision, rhythm and large repertoire of punches were simply overwhelming for Peterson. The veteran boxer was too often planted in the middle of the ring, as if he were mesmerized by the metronomic timing of Spence's thudding blows. With both of Peterson's eyes closing up after the seventh round, trainer Barry Hunter waived off the bout, saving his fighter further punishment.
The only question after this bout is who will step up to the challenge of taking on Spence next. Peterson is a solid fighter, even though he's never quite been able to beat the great boxers he's come up against. It's rare to see him get pummeled like he did.
Spence looks well on his way to becoming a major force in the talented welterweight division. Hopefully, for boxing fans' sake, it won't be long before Spence is getting a fight against the likes of Keith Thurman, the man who would likely prove to be the biggest challenge for him as the division currently stands.