Tonight at 9 pm ET on Showtime, Errol Spence Jr will headline a two-fight main card, defending his IBF welterweight title against veteran Lamont Peterson in a 12-round bout.
Spence (22-0, 19 KO) hasn’t fought since winning the belt last May in Sheffield, England, where he went on the road to defeat Kell Brook by 11th round knockout. Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO) hasn’t been seen in 11 months, since he defeated David Avanesyan to win the WBA “world” welterweight title, which he’s vacated to chase this opportunity.
In the co-feature, Robert Easter Jr (20-0, 14 KO) will defend his IBF lightweight title against Javier Fortuna (33-1-1, 23 KO), who cannot win the belt after missing weight.
There will also be fights starting at 7 pm ET on Showtime Sports’ YouTube and Facebook pages. Light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne (20-0, 15 KO) will meet Francy Ntetu (17-1, 4 KO), and heavyweights Adam Kownacki (16-0, 13 KO) and Iago Kiladze (26-1, 18 KO) will also square off. Both fights are set for 10 rounds.
Wil Esco will be on the round-by-round call for BLH tonight. Join us as we kick off a new year of Showtime Championship Boxing!
- ERROL SPENCE JR. def. LAMONT PETERSON BY TKO (0:01 of Round 8)
- ROBERT EASTER JR. def. JAVIER FORTUNA by Split Decision (114-113, 113-114, 115-112)
ROUND BY ROUND
ERROL SPENCE JR. vs LAMONT PETERSON
Round 1: Spence comes out featuring the jab but it looks like he's just trying to establish something rather than really land it. Spence continues to push forward with stiff jabs but Peterson is avoiding them well. Now Spence lands a jab and then a straight left hand to the body. Spence follows the same formula and lands another jab, straight left to the body. Peterson is standing his ground more than I'm accustomed to seeing from him, Peterson not punching much yet though. It seems like he's trying to feel out Spence's power early. Spence 10-9.
Round 2: Peterson walks straight in to open the round and Spence goes downstairs. Peterson pressing forward behind a tight guard and tries to get Spence to blow off some steam. Hard right hook to the body lands for Spence. Peterson sneaks in a lead right hand upstairs and gets Spence's attention. Spence strafes the body again with a nasty right hook to the ribs! Peterson stands in and continues to play heavy bag for Spence. But now Spence hurts Peterson with a body shot and Peterson is backing away for the first time in the fight. Straight left to the body lands for Spence and Peterson has taken some punishment in this round. Spence 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Peterson has used almost not lateral movement, or any movement at all in the fight — which I find a little surprising. Spence comes out and whips two left hooks to the body and head. Hard straight left to the body lands again for Spence. Spence puts three punches together targeting the body on both sides. Now Peterson lets his hands go for the first time in the fight and lands a left hook that Spence says was behind the head. Spence stabs Peterson again with a left to the body but Peterson continues to walk forward and press Spence. Spence 10-9.
Round 4: Trainer Barry Hunter implores Peterson to "get mean" in between rounds. Spence comes out with a one-two, followed by another stabbing left down to the body. Now Spence changes it up and starts from the body and goes to the head. The referee warns Spence for letting his body punching stray low. Peterson walks forward right into a left uppercut from Spence. Peterson must really be hoping that Spence gasses out because he's not working much in the opening rounds. Spence throws another left uppercut which splits Peterson's guard. Peterson sneaks in an overhand right hand towards the end of the round. Spence 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Peterson's right eye looks like it's swelling up. Peterson finally mounts an attack with a short flurry of punches, landing a couple. Spence comes back with a one-two combination, landing the straight left. Spence rocks Peterson with a left hook that puts Peterson on the floor! Peterson beats the count and Spence marches forward. Peterson goes on the defensive and tries to catch Spence getting reckless. Peterson fighting back but taking punishment. Spence battering Peterson but Peterson is digging deep to fight back as best he can. Poor Lamont. Spence walks forward and is beating Peterson up. Peterson wobbling but still punching back! The crowd is electric! Spence 10-8.
Round 6: It wouldn't seem that Peterson can take much more of this but he's back out here, giving it his all. Spence walking Peterson down and hitting Peterson to the head and body. Spence misses on a big uppercut that might've ended this fight. Spence catches Peterson with an uppercut now, though, and Peterson wobbles ever so slightly. Peterson showing tons of heart but this is getting ugly. Spence 10-9, 60-53.
Round 7: Between rounds trainer Barry Hunter tells Peterson he doesn't like what he's seeing and that Peterson is showing too much heart for his own good. He warns Lamont that he's going to stop the fight if he continues get off their game plan. Peterson comes out and is finally trying to box a little but it's too little too late. Peterson's already been worn-on from standing straight in front of Spence's power for the first half of this fight. Spence is basically treating this like a cat with a ball of yarn, toying with Peterson as he tears him up. Spence 10-9.
Round 8: Peterson's trainer still seems uneasy with what he's witnessing but Peterson and another cornerman try to convince him they can turn things around. It looks like Hunter really wants to stop it anyway though, which is the right call. Hunter decides at the last moment, right as the opening bell rings, that he doesn't want this to continue. It's over. Spence TKO-8.
ROBERT EASTER JR. vs JAVIER FORTUNA
Round 1: Easter comes out and throws several long jabs, trying to establish the range early. Easter comes forward with a flurry and gets Fortuna on the ropes. Easter tries a lead right that falls short as Fortuna backs away. Fortuna is having trouble getting past Easter's long arms so is trying to bait him into overcommitting. Fortuna gets warned for holding behind the head as Fortuna goes to the body. Fortuna tries another combination and gets in a body shot. Easter wins the round on the jabs. Easter 10-9.
Round 2: Fortuna comes out with a long flurry of punches but holds Easter behind the head as he punches! Referee warns Fortuna again about this tactic. Hard counter left hook lands for Easter. Fortuna throws like 5 rabbit punches in a row and the referee calls a timeout to take a point from Fortuna. Both fighters exchange combinations and both have some success. Easter is walking straight in and has abandoned fighting at range for the most part, and it's giving Fortuna chances. This is the thing about Easter, he doesn't consistently play to his strengths. Fortuna 9-9, 18-19.
Round 3: Easter tries a jab, right hand, left hook but can't land them clean. Easter fighting more on the outside now and this is the difference in the fight. On the outside Easter owns Fortuna. When he smothers the distance Fortuna gets off shorter punches. Counter left hook lands for Easter as Fortuna leaps in with a combination! Fighters back on the inside and trade some body shots. Fortuna lands a hard shot on the inside and has Easter on the retreat momentarily. Ahhh! Tough round for me to score. I'm going to edge it to Easter for his work in the early round. Easter, 10-9.
Round 4: Fortuna comes out on the attack and tries to press Easter back to the ropes. Easter finds the range again and misses some punches, but is occupying Fortuna at a distance where Fortuna can't reach him. Fortuna tries a four punch combination but can't get them to find the target. Fortuna throws a few more combination punches. I still think Easter takes this round. The crowd starts to boo as the action comes to a crawl. Easter 10-9, 39-36.
Round 5: Hard left hook to the body lands for Easter as we have us a phone booth fight! Easter rushes in behind a high guard and goes to work. Fortuna ties up and forces a break. Easter tries bullying his way back on the inside (for a reason I can't fathom) and attempts to exert some physicality on Fortuna. Double left hook to the head and body lands for Easter. Fortuna comes back and sneaks in a shot of his own. Fortuna throws two body shots but they don't land well. Easter wins the round, but he's not making it as easy as it could be. Easter 10-9.
Round 6: Easter tries a straight right hand to the body to open the round. Easter pressing more and more, trying to walk Fortuna down. Fortuna ties up when Easter gets too close. Easter whiffs on a huge left hook as Fortuna ducks and pivots away. Easter misses on two hooks and the crowd boos as there's been very few landed punches for a majority of the round. Easter seems to want to pick things back up now and lands a hard straight right, but Fortuna immediately lands a counter in return which shakes Easter up! I think that wins the round for Fortuna. Fortuna 10-9, 55-58.
Round 7: Fortuna lands a counter left hand, but doesn't land with much pop. Easter pumps a jab for the first time in a while, and is keeping Fortuna at a more comfortable range. Easter yelling at Fortuna to mix it up instead of circling the ring. Now Fortuna taunts Easter back! Fortuna runs around the ring to end the round — kinda shitty. Easter 10-9.
Round 8: Fortuna sneaks in a straight left hand to the body. Easter walks forward and backs Fortuna to the ropes but can't keep him there. Fortuna throws a probing combination and circles away. Easter ducks right into a well-placed punch from Fortuna. Right uppercut to the body lands for Easter. Lead right hand lands for Easter but Easter can't keep Fortuna in front of him. Easter 10-9, 78-73.
Round 9: Easter pops a jab. Fortuna slips and falls to the canvas, and is ruled as such. Easter gets Fortuna on the ropes and lands a few punches until Fortuna wraps him up. Fortuna leaps forward with two punches but the tall Easter is able to duck them. Fortuna circles the ring some more and then tries to time a left hand. Easter gets Fortuna in the corner and throws a couple hooks until Fortuna gets in a counter. Easter 10-9.
Round 10: Easter throws a few jabs and then immediately goes from long range to hugged-up close. It's amazing! There's no in between with him. Unbelievable. The fighters exchange punches in close quarters and Fortuna gets in a few good shots. Left hook partially lands for Easter. Fortuna pokes away with a few shots but they had nothing on them. Fortuna gets on some good counter shots in as the two are right on top of each other and I'm going to give this round to Fortuna just because Easter is fighting stupidly. Fortuna 10-9, 92-97.
Round 11: I think Easter is winning this fight but he's just not doing it in the fashion he should be. He could dominate this fight at range but is intent on making it hard but giving the shorter fighter the advantage by forcing an inside fight. Both fighters trade shots for about a full minutes and both are landing! The crowds gets animated! Fortuna lands a few body shots on the inside. Fortuna 10-9.
Round 12: The fighters battle and exchange a bunch of punches, and wouldn't you know it but Fortuna winds up holding Easter behind the head and punching again. He gets away with it this time, I guess. Right hook lands for Fortuna and Easter wraps him up. Fortuna lands a left uppercut on the inside, and then a few body shots as Easter is hunched over. I think Fortuna takes the final round. Fortuna 10-9. I've got the fight for Easter, 115-112.