[REAL VERSION] London 2012

REAL VERSION

Full coverage on NBC through August 12

America's Top Boxer Eyes Gold

Nicknamed "The Truth," Errol Spence Jr. is the top-ranked amateur welterweight in the country and fifth-ranked in the world

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    NEWSLETTERS

    His nickname is The Truth, and the truth is, DeSoto's Errrol Spence, Jr. is America's best welterweight boxer and he's planning to bring a gold medal home from London. (Published Thursday, Jun 14, 2012)

    Boxer Errol Spence Jr.'s nickname is "The Truth," that's because he is the real deal. No flashy moves or showboat attitude, he is simply one of the best amateur fighters in the world, and this year he'll leave training ring of a gym in Dallas for the Olympic rings of London and the 2012 Olympic Games.

    At 152 pounds Errol Spence Jr. is America's best welterweight boxer. For the last three years, the DeSoto native has been ranked No. 1 in the nation -- and he has London on the brain.

    "I think about it every time I wake up," said Spence. "I want to bring a gold medal back to America."

    His coach says that is more than just a possibility.

    "When they say he's a favorite, he really is a favorite," said Derrick James.

    And if you ask him what drives him in the ring he'll tell you the truth.

    "I hate to lose," said Spence.

    His parents say he has always been that way.

    "Five years old he was out there playing soccer and he just wanted to win, he had to have the ball," said his mother Debra Spence.

    "If we were playing a game, whatever game it is, if he thinks he's gonna lose he would just knock the whole thing over and start all over again," said his father, Errol Spence Sr.

    Spence played soccer, football and basketball, but it was Spence's father who put him in the ring in a calculated act of parenting.

    "I heard he liked to fight, so I got him into boxing." said Spence Sr.

    You cold say he was a natural. Spence started training for boxing at age 15, and six months later he won the Texas State Silver Gloves Championship.

    But his drive to be the best, to make it to the Olympics in London could be credited to his mother.

    "You get nothin' for nothing.' Whatever you want you have to work hard for it and put 100 percent in it," said Debra Spence.

    But Spence no longer needs the parental nudge.

    "I hear the door open up at two in the morning, and he's out running," said his mother.

    Through all the titles and all the sparring, Spence Sr. has been a constant presence ringside, spending countless hours watching over his son.

    "It's a dangerous sport, and if he's gonna do it, I want to make sure he's doing it the right way," said Spence Sr.

    Several hours a day, almost every day, Spence Jr. is in the ring, pushed by a coach who won't settle for second.

    "He wants to be the best fighter, I want to be the best coach," said James.

    It's not just about being physically ready for London. According to his coach, Spence's ultimate edge may be his mental toughness.

    "I can feel when an opponent's getting weak, getting tired and slowing down a little bit," said Spence Jr., and that's when he strikes taking down his opponent.

    Spence Jr. has already beaten the reigning world champion, now he heads to London to add more hardware to his collection.

    "Man, an Olympic gold medal would be the icing on the cake," said Spence Jr.

    Team Spence is confident that will be the outcome.

    "I believe that he will, I know that he can," said James.

    Spence has already visualized the outcome.

    "I won the gold medal, and I'm on the podium hearing my National Anthem," said Spence. "I'll probably break down and cry at the podium."

    More: Errol Spence Jr. on Facebook | @ErrolSpenceJr on Twitter | www.ErrolSpenceJr2012.com