In the opinion of more than a few good judges, 26-year-old Errol Spence Junior is the best up and coming welterweight contender today. The gifted southpaw who enjoyed a stellar amateur career that included a trip to London 2012, is currently 20-0(17) and is closing in on a shot at a world title. Fast, powerful and hugely skilled, all that Spence has left to prove is his chin. Last time out, “The Truth” cracked a chin that had never previously been cracked when he became the first man to stop experienced former WBO 140pound champ Chris Algieri.
Spence stopped Algieri in the 5th-round in April, a great result considering the fact that Manny Pacquiao was unable to KO Algieri (instead turning him into a yo-yo, scoring an incredible six knockdowns in their November 2014 fight). Now, Spence will face another guy who has never been stopped, in tough Italian Leonard Bundu. Bundu is best known for taking the hard-hitting and unbeaten Keith Thurman the full 12 rounds back in December of 2014. The Spence-Bundu fight is an IBF eliminator and Spence will be looking to go one better than “One Time” and halt the 41-year-old who both fights and looks much younger than his years.
Whether he gets the KO victory or not, Spence is widely expected to get the “W” on August 21 and it will be interesting to see where he goes next. Kell Brook is the reigning IBF welterweight champ, but we do not know what “The Special One” will do after his upcoming September 10 fight with middleweight ruler Gennady Golovkin. It could be that Spence winds up fighting for a vacant IBF title (if Brook shocks the world in September or loses but decides he can no longer make 147).
First though, before he can worry about who he may or may not challenge in his first world title challenge, Spence must give Bundu, 33-1-2(12) respect. The Italian has won two straight since the wide points loss to Thurman, including a win of the WBO European title. Having boxed in the US before (three times now) Bundu doesn’t figure to be overwhelmed by the Spence fight or its location of New York. Bundu is not big puncher but he is physically strong he had plenty of heart and he is of course durable.
Spence has yet to be taken the full 12 rounds, his previous longest fight being a ten-rounder and he has gone this limit just once. Coming off seven straight stoppage wins, it is easy to be expecting Spence to make it eight later this month. He may well do it, but some good judges feel Bundu might give him a tougher fight than most people think. A late stoppage for Spence maybe?
At age 26, Spence has a number of years in which to develop into the star he and his fans feel he will.