There are a few moments that stand out from Saturday night’s Showtime main event between Errol Spence and Lamont Peterson.
1. In the 3rd round, Peterson finally got into the fight a little bit. Spence, who had been in full control to that point, amped up his activity and seemed to hit him even harder.
2. In the 4th round, the ref spent a good intermission warning Spence for low blows. Spence barely looked at the ref the whole time, focusing his gaze like a laser on Peterson.
3. In the 5th round, Peterson dared to get feisty again. Spence paid him back with a left hook knockdown.
There are so many things Spence does well — he hits super hard, he varies his offense, and his defense is getting better to the point he barely took return fire despite throwing a billion punches — that the thing that’s best about him sometimes slips notice.
It’s the kind of thing all the greats have: He is in full control, and refuses to relinquish it. His determination is total.
Now, look, you’ve got to acknowledge that Peterson is past his best days. He’s not shot or anything like that, but he’s also not really a welterweight and has been shaky here and there of late. But even in his close fights, he hasn’t looked like this. You could see him struggling to find openings against Spence.
By the end of the 7th, Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter had seen enough and pulled the plug.
You see “special” like Spence and you daydream of what he might do one day. The Kell Brook win last year was a breakthrough, but there are better opponents even than Brook for him.
Keith Thurman is the fight everyone wants and should, although maybe the word “everyone” isn’t right, because Thurman doesn’t seem interested, saying the match-up needs time to build. Coming off an injury layoff and with alphabet title obligations, we might not get this fight until early 2019 at the earliest anyway.
But the daydreaming. Think about this for a second: Maybe politics gets out of the way and, one day, Spence fights Terence Crawford for all of the marbles in all of boxing.
(Photo: Errol Spence swings at Lamont Peterson; via Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment)