Errol Spence continues Truth tour in boxing
Errol Spence Jr. is one of the stars of boxing, point blank period.
As I sat in a movie theater watching the fight last night, I looked around and saw very few week-to-week fight fans, but rather fans of Errol Spence Jr., and/or the PBC universe. It was the rare moment like seeing a leprechaun as I thought to myself “casual fight fans do exist.” Amidst a quality undercard, it was plain and simple, the majority of those in attendance wanted to see Errol Spence Jr. and that Spence is someone who silently and subtly is transcending boxing culture right now.
The soft-spoken boxer, Spence Jr., whose nickname “The Truth” reflects his serious demeanor and high accolades he has earned during his tenure in the sport. Within this decade, Spence represented the U.S. team in the Olympics in 2012, dethroned IBF welterweight world champ Kell Brook in Brook’s hometown and now headlined two successful pay-per-views against Mikey Garcia earlier this year and now against Shawn Porter. Spence Jr., the Texas native, is doing everything needed to be a star, and last night’s win was just yet another step.
Spence is the future of the division in terms of profit margins and paychecks with fantastic wins and accomplishments sprinkled in. Spence is no longer just a fighter who fights, Spence has become event viewing, not unlike Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Gervonta Davis and Canelo Alvarez.
Even after being outworked early in the fight by Shawn Porter, Spence fought Porter’s fight dropping Porter in the eleventh round en route to a split decision win. The bout was close, but was close, but the support for Spence was fierce. After facing adversity with Shawn Porter one couldn’t help but compare Spence to his chief rival, Terence Crawford, the other legendary welterweight, who fights for the rival promoter, Top Rank.
Terence Crawford and Errol Spence feel as though they’re the two best of this era, with Crawford being a three-division world champion and unifying the super lightweight division, yet somehow doesn’t have the sexy names on his resume and Crawford’s two appearances on PPV have been lukewarm efforts at best. Crawford is dynamic, a switch hitter, able to fight from orthodox or southpaw, along with unpredictable rhythm and terrific ability to adjust. Spence is a power puncher, who is a physical fighter, who wears opponents out. Both are elite, but it is getting to the point that after each fighter fights, we wonder what would happen if they fought.
Spence might not have the accolades of Crawford in the professional game, but he has the fans support.
Spence, who was forced to adjust last night has his next bout set to face another very popular fighter, Danny Garcia, as Spence Jr. has the deep welterweight roster over on the Premier Boxing Champions, which houses the best welterweights minus Crawford. Crawford meanwhile has to find foes that mirror the excitement of Spence’s upcoming bouts as despite being as talented is in need of exciting match-ups from a fan’s perspective.
Spence over the next 16 months will have faced three very popular fighters, all on PPV, the holy grail of boxing since the advent of the pay-per-view platform.
Sometimes you can’t place it, why people want to get behind one fighter and not another, it can be the machine behind them, the person, the fighting style, or all of the above, but whatever it is, Spence feels as though he is a cultural event for a subsection of boxing fans, one that you don’t see with a lot of other fighters.
As Spence continues his run in the welterweight division it will be just as much about the action in the ring as the numbers that follow him as he has a chance to make a run and become a face of boxing in the modern era.