By RON HARRIS
Errol Spence, Jr. retained his International Boxing Federation welterweight championship with a TKO of Washington, D.C.’s Lamont Peterson on Jan. 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Peterson came out for the eighth round, however trainer/mentor/father figure Barry Hunter signaled to referee Harvey Dock that Peterson had had enough.
Never one for excuses, Peterson called it like it was.
“(Spence) was getting shots on me early. He was the better man tonight,” Peterson said. “I always respect Barry’s decision. If he asks me to fight a million people, I will. If he asks me to stop, I will stop. I will never question his decision. I know he has my best interest at heart.”
Hunter had a tone of sadness in his voice as he spoke about the decision.
“It was really hard, but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up,” he said. “So I had to stop it. At the end of the day, this is my son right here and there is nothing more valuable than his wellbeing.”
Spence dominated Peterson from the opening minutes of round one. Spence is what is known in boxing as a “volume puncher” and the southpaw kept his right jab in Peterson’s face and gloves all night long. Playing off of the jab, Spence was able to land some body shots, as well as some left hooks and combinations.
Spence (23-0) threw 526 total punches to Peterson’s 158, and threw 247 jabs to Peterson’s 43. Peterson simply had no answers.
Peterson (35-4) hit the canvas in the fifth round on a clean shot from Spence. Spence’s jab was working so well that Peterson could never get set to throw his own shots. He was able to get in a jab or a right cross on occasions, but they had little affect on Spence.
All 12,107 in attendance could easily score the fight, as it was a shut out through seven rounds.
Spence is one of the classiest fighters in the business and commended Peterson afterward.
“I want to thank Lamont. A lot of guys turned down the fight and he took it like a real warrior and I commend him for that,” said Spence, who is a friend of the Petersons.
Spence, who hails from Dallas, credited his game plan.
“I just followed through with it. Keep my range, keep my composure,” he said.
As for Peterson, when asked if it may have been his last fight, he paused and said, “That’s something I would have to think about in the next few weeks.”
If Peterson does indeed hang up the gloves, he will have had a tremendous career and will have come a long way from the streets of Washington, D.C.
In other news, after a two-year layoff, Peterson’s younger brother, Anthony, was as sharp as ever in a 10-round unanimous decision over long-armed Luis Florez and improved his record to 38-1. All three judges scored the fight 100-90, a shutout.
“I was glad I went the distance,” Anthony said. “I showed people that I am ready and should be considered for a title shot.”
Despite the relatively easy win, Florez was able to knock Anthony’s mouthpiece out in the third round.
“I was talking trash and my mouth was open and the piece came out,” he joked.