It’s a big weekend for DeSoto native Errol Spence Jr. The IBF welterweight champion will make his first title defense on Saturday in the first high-profile boxing match of the year.
Spence will take on former two-division finalist Lamont Peterson at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 27-year old Spence had one of the most impressive wins of 2017 by beating Kell Brook in Round 11 of their title fight in England. He goes into this title fight at 22-0 with 19 knockouts.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Spence said. “I don’t think the pressure can amount to going overseas for my first title fight and fighting the champion in his hometown. If there is any pressure, I enjoy it. It makes me work harder and keeps me focused.”
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The 33-year old Peterson has won titles at 140 and 147 pounds, He relinquished the WBA 147-pound title for a shot at Spence.
“It’s a statement fight,” Spence said. “Lamont Peterson has a name. He’s been in there with a lot of great fighters. It’s a statement fight for me to know that I can show everybody that I am the best welterweight in the division. “
The two are familiar with each other in the ring. When Spence was an amateur, he sparred with Peterson. Now, both will meet under the bright lights in New York with the world welterweight title on the line.
“This is what you work for,” Spence added.