Who Is Next for Errol Spence Jr?
By: Waqas Ali
Errol Spence Jr is on the receiving end of deciding who his next opponent in the ring should be as he claimed the WBC welterweight title to his IBF crown on Sunday night. He defeated ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter in a split decision win.
The bout became a slugfest as the pair traded shots for twelve rounds at the Staples Centre with over 16,000 fans in attendance.
Spence Jr (26-0) started the round much like in most fights by being cautious with his punches and stalking his prey as he approached.
But Porter was no animal to be hunted.
He found ways to make things uncomfortable for Spence Jr by pounding him to the ropes and landing some hooks to the body. Though Spence responded well with clean shots of his own.
In the second round, he landed a good counter left hand on Porter around the 2:24 mark which rose the crowd to their feet.
Porter (30-3-1) came back in the third round with power punches and at the 2:06 mark landed two consecutive right hands that pushed Spence Jr on the edge.
The middle and later rounds were more competitive by flurries of exchanges and power shots from both fighters.
In the eleventh round, just as the two fighters are launching devastating blows to each other, Spence lands a left hook on Porter which forces him to a knee.
A brave Porter did not give up as he stood and traded with the Texas-based fighter.
At the end of the bout, the scores were 116-111 for Spence, 115-112 for Porter, and 116-111 for Spence.
Compubox statics revealed that Spence landed 221 of 745 punches (30%), and Porter landed 172 of 744 (23%). An astonishing 44% of power punches were landed Spence Jr, including 113 body punches.
With regards to the 172 punches, it was the most blows ever landed on the unified champion.
Boxing sources have stated that the fight is tracking at 300,000 buys which in modern-day technology of DAZN and ESPN+ streaming age is excellent numbers.
After the victory, the No.5 P4P fighter by Ring Magazine, had his eyes on all the welterweights in his division, especially veteran legend and current WBA champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I think so,” Spence Jr told FOX Sports when asked if he thought his win over Porter has made him best welterweight on the planet.
“I’m the only unified champion and the next fight I do want is Manny Pacquiao.”
“But if not, we got my man Danny Garcia right here.”
“I told Al [Haymon],’ Line them up. I’mma [sic] knock ‘em down. I’ve been calling Danny out for a long time too. I’ll fight Danny Garcia or anybody else that’s in the top of the welterweight division.”
But who is the next opponent ready to take on Spence Jr?
Former WBA welterweight champion Danny Garcia has been pushed as the forefront candidate, according to boxing sources and the bout is expected to take place on January 25th 2020 on FOX pay-per-view event. No venue has been confirmed as of yet.
He has beaten the likes of Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Martin Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Paul Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero and Brandon Rios.
His best style of weaponry is his left hook and is certainly one of those fighters you would not want to exchange shots with.
His weaknesses are that his jab is not utilized effectively to set him up with a flurry and his footwork is not highly compatible with a long-range fighter.
The candidate that most boxing fans have been dreading is Terence Crawford. He is currently ranked at the number two spot on the Ring Magazine P4P list.
His resume of opponents consists of Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, Jeff Horn, and Amir Khan.
According to Compubox review, Crawford throws around 48 punches per round and connects with a rate of 35%. That’s five percent higher than the average welterweight.
In the power-punching department, Crawford throws around 22 with a connect rate of 48%. That is 11% higher than the average welterweight.
Crawford opponents landed just 7 punches per round- 10 fewer than the welterweight and just 5 power shots per round.
Manny Pacquiao has also been named as a possibility for Spence.
Despite his age, The Filipino Slugger still that exceptional speed that he possessed in his younger days.
In his recent wins over Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman, Pacquiao at age 40 still that a lot in the tank to bear threat and fear. His footwork compares to Spence’s will be well well-matched.
Pacquiao has been fighting since 1995 and boasts a record of 60 victories, seven losses and two draws.
By level of competition, he’s faced 19 former, current or future world champions. Four of them he’s fought more than once.
Just to name a few: Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Erik Morales (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez (four times), Oscar De La Hoya, and Antonio Margarito.
Before the Broner bout, Compubox released a ‘Last Six Bout Stat Overview’ of Pacquiao and showed that the activity level was lacking the superstitious work of the average welterweight.
He threw around 41 and landed about 13. His power accuracy was 39% with nine connecting per round.
One must keep in mind that since the two bouts with Broner & Thurman, Pacquiao’s numbers may have marginally increased following his activity level with the jab and power.
As an overall view, boxing fans would more likely prefer Crawford or Pacquiao to take on Spence Jr. They generate more money and their styles are far more challenging than of Garcia. Crawford has that range and height along with the reach that could seize a deal of opportunity to make this fight a mega bout. Both the casual and hardcore boxing fans would be cheering for one of these men.
Pacquiao would certainly bring styles and stage to the bout, considering the fact that he has generated over 20 million pay-per-view buys and over 1.2 billion dollars in revenue from his 25 PPV bouts. A legend who still has the skill set of a 20-year-old and many boxing fans can vouch that he is no walk in the park for Spence.