IBF welterweight ruler Errol Spence Junior will make the first defence of his title against tough and experienced contender, former 140 pound titlist Lamont Peterson, so reports RingTV.com – the fight set for January 13 at Barclays Centre in New York, the fight to go out on Showtime.
Unbeaten southpaw Spence, 22-0(19) snatched the belt from Kell Brook in Sheffield back in May, stopping the defending champ in the eleventh-round of a good fight. Now, after what seems like quite a stretch of time, the Texan finally has his first title challenger within reach. Spence wants the big fights but first comes the capable Peterson, 35-3-1(17).
33 year old Peterson, who has faced all manner of styles in taking on big names such as Amir Khan, Tim Bradley, Victor Ortiz, Kendal Holt and Lucas Matthysse (Matthysse being the sole man to stop Peterson) might be able to test Spence. Inactivity may well prove to be a derogatory factor for Peterson though – as he has boxed just one time since October of 2015, this being a February 2017 points win over David Avanesyan (in which Peterson won a version of the WBA welterweight title; this being a belt he recently gave up).
Spence, for a good many people the best welterweight out there today, seems pretty much unstoppable right now and he will almost certainly be gunning for another KO or stoppage win in what will be 2018’s first big (ish) fight. Peterson has shown he belongs at welterweight though: the win over Avanesyan and his close decision loss to Danny Garcia (which was actually fought at a catch-weight of 143 pounds) and he might stick around for a few good rounds against Spence.
Spence waited a long time to get his shot at a world title and he has also had to wait quite a bit of time to make his first defence. No way will “The Truth” make any mistakes in January. Look for Spence to get Peterson out of there some time in the fight’s second half.