How IBF king Errol Spence combines qualities of the all-time great welterweights

Lamont Peterson and Errol Spence are close friends. They go way back but that is unlikely to save Peterson in New York City on Saturday night.

As well as bringing his own unique style to the ring IBF king Errol Spence is a composite of some of the greatest welterweights of all time.

He is not yet in the class of Ray Leonard and Ray Robinson but reminds me of both in the way he moves.

He carries the same whip in his shots as those great punchers Pipino Cuevas and Thomas Hearns.

I also see traces of Jose Napoles about him with his incredible timing and balance. And like Felix Trinidad he is naturally heavy handed.

Spence brings his own cunning to the piece, however. No-one, not even Gennady Golovkin, worked out Kell Brook quite like he did.

GGG took some heavy hits from Brook but as the bigger man eventually made his power tell at middleweight and blasted him out.

Arguably you could say that the way Brook caught Golovkin with some full blooded shots has given others hope.

Back at welterweight against Spence, he had no such success. Spence knew that the stand-and-deliver tactics of Golovkin was not the way to go.

Though Brook started confidently, Spence kept frustrating him and eventually closed him down, taking away his power.

It was a masterful display, one of the fights of the year, which ended with Brook nursing a smashed cheekbone and unable to resist Spence’s brilliantly destructive combinations. Peterson, best remembered for his barnburner with Amir Khan six years ago, after which he tested positive for testosterone, is essentially a super lightweight coming up.

Not only is Spence the naturally bigger man he is a class above Peterson and I expect he will demonstrate his superiority with a stoppage in the second half of the fight.

This will be only Spence’s 23rd fight. What he needs and what we need to see are the big showdowns in the division against the likes of Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, who fought themselves to a standstill in March last year.

Thurman edged it by a split decision and has yet to box since after elbow surgery. This is Spence’s first engagement since Brook last May.

His fight on Saturday has all the makings of a Thurman call-out. If he isn’t listening just yet Garcia will be. And if not him Terence Crawford is waiting to show what he can do after stepping up from super lightweight.

It all points to a massive 2018 for Spence and the chance to prove he is the best welterweight of his generation.

Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone.


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