Errol Spence Jr retained his IBF welterweight title tonight in Brooklyn, stopping Lamont Peterson after the seventh round when trainer Barry Hunter took a long, hard look, and made the call to save his gutsy fighter from himself.
It was the right call by a good trainer, as Spence (23-0, 20 KO) was simply dominant in this fight, overpowering Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KO) and walking through his challenger’s best shots.
Spence, 28, dropped Peterson in the fifth round, and pretty much owned the ring throughout. It was a game performance by the 33-year-old Peterson, who hit Spence with some good shots, but Spence simply wouldn’t budge.
Here’s the fifth round knockdown:
.@ErrolSpenceJr knocks down @kingpete26 in round 5. #SpencePeterson pic.twitter.com/r8Ho3RG5yl— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) January 21, 2018
The official time of the stoppage was 0:01 of round eight.
Spence landed 138 of 279 of his power shots, a staggering 49 percent connect rate, and 161 of 526 (31%) of his total punches. Peterson landed 36 of 115 (31%) of his power shots, and 45 of 158 (28%) total shots.
“My coach came with a great game plan, and I just followed through with it,” Spence said, adding, “I know Lamont. Lamont’s a tough fighter, he’s gonna give it all he’s got. He’s willing to die in there. His coach had to stop the fight. He wanted to keep going. That’s who Lamont is.”
Asked about his potential next fight, Spence said, “Everybody knows I’m waiting on ‘Sometimes’ Thurman. I’ve been waiting a long time. Since I was 15-0, I’ve been calling this guy out, and he keeps making excuses. I’ve been waiting on him. Let’s get it on, man.”
“He was getting his shots off early, pretty much established everything with the jab. I knew that was gonna be the case, but I was looking to get inside and start working. He was the better man tonight,” Peterson said.
Peterson called Spence the best fighter he’s faced.
“I will always respect (Barry Hunter’s) decision,” Peterson said of the stoppage. “If he asks me to go out here and fight a million people, I’m gonna fight them. If he says that’s it, that’s it.”
“Soldiers usually die on the battlefield. I knew he would’ve fought until the end, so I had to step up, because at the end of the day, this is my son,” Hunter said of the stoppage. “I don’t care nothing about boxing more than I care about him.”