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Errol Spence Jr to defend title against Lamont Peterson

Errol Spence Jr’s first title defense is coming in January.

Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Though a specific date and venue have not yet been finalized, it was announced today that Errol Spence Jr will defend his IBF welterweight title in January 2018 against Lamont Peterson, with Showtime televising.

It’s finally time to defend my title, capture more titles and become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. That’s what I’m ready to do next year,” Spence said at a press conference.

Spence (22-0, 19 KO) won the IBF belt on May 27, when he traveled to Sheffield, England, and knocked out Kell Brook in the 11th round.

Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO) is a veteran and former junior welterweight titleholder. He last fought on February 18, outpointing David Avanesyan.

“[Peterson] is somebody that I looked up to as an amateur. I sparred with him as an amateur and learned a lot from him. He’s one of my favorite fighters and is a guy that will fight anybody. I’ve never known him to duck a fight,” Spence added.

“Lamont is a tricky fighter. He’s been around the block. He does a lot of cagey, veteran things. I’m looking to get experience in this fight. I’m still a young fighter.”

Spence, 27, also shared the stage today with WBC titleholder Keith Thurman, who is currently on the shelf with an injury, and the two men didn’t ignore one another at the presser.

“Since I was 5-0, I’ve said I’d fight Keith Thurman or anybody in the top five,” Spence said. “He’s got to go through rehab, but I’m ready when he is. I’m always ready to fight the best.”

“I look forward to that [potential] fight against Errol. I look forward to great competition and Errol is that,” Thurman remarked. “This is a fight that you guys have been talking about, you won’t stop talking about, and you should keep talking about it because when it goes down it will be one of the best fights of this generation.”

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