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Errol Spence Jr. expected to make first title defense in December/January

Whether in December or January, Spence is expected to defend in New York.

Boxing at Bramall Lane Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) is inching towards his first title defense since winning the belt from Kell Brook in May. ESPN's Dan Rafael cites a source with knowledge on the situation who says that Spence will either return at the end of the year in December, or at the top of the year in January.

If Spence is to defend in December it's most likely to take place at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. If he fights in January it'll likely be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

No opponent as been finalized at this time but there are a couple of frontrunners for the assignment. Word has it that it could either be Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), who is coming off a win over David Avanesyan in February, or Luis Collazo (37-7, 20 KOs), who is coming off a knockout win over Sammy Vasquez in the same month.

Although both are capable fighters, neither opponent should be expected to be a real challenge for Spence as both are veterans getting up there in years. Peterson will turn 34 in January while Collazo is 36 years old. I mean, it's not just the age factor, but also the fact that Peterson and Collazo have both repeatedly lost when stepping up to face top level opponents. Peterson's three losses have come against Timothy Bradley Jr., Lucas Matthysse, and Danny Garcia, while Collazo has seven losses with names like Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Amir Khan, and Keith Thurman among them.

But the fact of the matter is that Spence doesn't have any real prospects for a title unification in the immediate future, so he's got to fight somebody.

Personally if I had to choose one over the other it would probably be Peterson because I just think he's fresher and more likely to put up a better fight against Spence, but Collazo is coming off a sensational knockout win, much to his credit.

The official opponent will likely be finalized soon so we'll have more information on that front as it becomes available.

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