My favorite up-and-comer Errol Spence Jr. (19-0, 16 KOs) has just been awarded ESPN's Prospect of the Year Award (as he also takes the same honors from Premier Boxing Champions). You may or may not have read me raving about Spence's talent over the past two years, but I think personally think his hype is well deserved. The 25-year-old fighter has all the tools -- speed, power, IQ, and discipline -- to become a top pound-for-pound fighter in the near future, and more importantly, he is driven to reach his potential.
Spence was an amateur standout, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, and widely regarding as the best prospect of that group. Since then Spence's stock has only risen as he gained notoriety for giving Floyd a black eye as he was heading into his 2013 fight with Robert Guerrero, and then for reportedly knocking out Adrien Broner during a sparring session. And ever since Mayweather's sparring sessions with the young prospect, Floyd has sung nothing but praises of the young man -- even going so far as to say Spence is the future of boxing and advocating for him to get an immediate shot at Keith Thurman.
Spence, and all the humility that surrounds him, has been fully appreciative of the ringing endorsement:
"It's an honor for him to stand behind me and say I'm the future of boxing, and I'm not even signed with [Mayweather Promotions]," Spence said. "He obviously believes in me. I have to prove him right by winning titles and beating these top fighters."
"A lot of people have high hopes for my career," Spence said. "I'll stay in the gym and prove everybody, and myself, right, that I'll be a top pound-for-pound fighter, win titles in multiple weight classes, and beat the best fighters out there."
Spence, who last fought in November, doesn't have his next fight scheduled yet, but he could get his first title shot before 2016 is through.