Following last weekend’s win over Lamont Peterson, IBF welterweight titleholder Errol Spence Jr expressed his desire to make his next title defense at home in Dallas, Texas.
The 28-year-old Spence (23-0, 20 KO) will get his wish, as his next fight is scheduled for June 16 in Dallas, live on Showtime.
Spence doesn’t have an opponent set yet, but it quite probably will be mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo of Mexico, as the IBF has ordered Spence to make that mandatory title defense following the optional defense against Peterson.
Ocampo (22-0, 13 KO) is an unknown to most U.S. fight fans, having fought his entire pro career at home in Mexico, where he’s never faced a serious contender. In other words, he’s not the ideal opponent for Spence’s next fight, but mandatory defenses are what they are, and Ocampo is the mandatory challenger.
This doesn’t mean that Spence-Ocampo is set in stone — obviously the sides haven’t negotiated a fight yet — just that it seems the most likely fight for this date.
Spence’s main target for 2018 is Keith Thurman, who returns on May 19, also on Showtime. If the two were to win their spring/early summer fights, a fight could happen later this year.