Errol Spence Jr's nickname is "The Truth," and the top welterweight prospect lived up to that in tonight's PBC on NBC main event, dropping Chris Algieri three times on his way to a fifth round stoppage in what was meant to be his first serious test as a professional.
Spence (20-0, 17 KO) pretty much plowed through Algieri (21-3, 8 KO) in this fight, dominating with early body work and a pretty relentless attack in the first three rounds. In the fourth round, Spence dropped Algieri pretty much straight out of the gate. To Algieri's credit, he got up and fought on, and even looked a bit more motivated.
But the talent difference was obvious, just as it was when Algieri fought Manny Pacquiao in 2014, and as it was at times last year when he fought Amir Khan (though Algieri did far better against Khan than in this fight or the Pacquiao bout). Spence's left hand power was too much, and he got off first pretty much all the time, which was a huge issue for Algieri.
Algieri did land a few decent counter shots here and there, but the bottom line is that he was pretty much physically overwhelmed by a superior fighter in this one. He went down again early in the fifth, and may have twisted his ankle a bit there. He was on the retreat from there, before a big sweeping left cracked his jaw and put him down again, which forced referee Benjy Esteves Jr to stop the fight, having already told Algieri he wouldn't let him take much more punishment.
"I think now I'm the number one contender to Kell Brook. Kell Brook knows what time it is, we've gotta get in the ring and fight. Danny Garcia and the rest of the welterweight champions, I want them all," Spence said after the fight.
Whether Spence gets a world title fight next or not remains to be seen -- it doesn't seem likely, but crazier things have happened -- but what's clear is that so far, the hype is deserved, and he's proving his supporters and his team right every time out.
For Algieri, this is his third loss in his last four fights, and at this point he's probably being looked at as a higher level gatekeeper in the crowded welterweight division, but there are some good options out there for him, and PBC has plenty of welterweights. Even something like a fight with Robert Guerrero -- sort of in the same position right now -- or the Ortiz-Berto II loser might make sense, and give him another shot. He could also step back a bit, look to get some wins, and try to make another run.
But tonight is about Errol Spence Jr, who just keeps rolling through the competition lined up for him. Eventually, he'll meet a really serious test. Everyone does. But there's not a welterweight out there who looks to have the mix of polished skill and youth that he has, and it's clear that he's moved into the mix to be the next big American star.