Errol Spence Jr’s career has been that of destiny as he is the great American boxer of the 2012 Olympic class. Though he didn’t medal at the Olympic Games, Spence Jr. hit the ground running and from an early point in his career was viewed as phenom and a next-level fighter by his peers, and anyone astute looking at the sport.
Armed with his trusty trainer, Derrick James, the humble, soft-spoken fighter with a country twang, Spence, kept picking up praise as he fought on television undercards or off-TV to develop his record.
When Spence stopped Chris Algieri with the lead-in being the Olympics to this heavily watched bout on network TV, at the post-fight press conference, promoter, Lou DiBella spoke praise of Spence, foreshadowing his great career. After one more fight, Spence would be a world champion.
Spence is a modern remix of Donald Curry, who is showing a bit more longevity than Curry at the top of the sport. On July 29th, Spence is facing Terence Crawford, as he hopes to also become an undisputed welterweight champion, just like Curry once was as well.
Let’s look at the world title wins of Errol Spence Jr.
Errol Spence Jr.’s first world title win was a historic one as he defeated Kell Brook, the IBF welterweight world champion, who was coming off an odd middleweight loss to Gennadiy Golovkin, for a ton of money. Despite suffering a bad eye injury in the Golovkin fight, Brook kept his IBF welterweight title since he lost to Golovkin at middleweight which was two weight classes above his championship weight
Brook was hoping to make his fourth defense of his IBF title but instead was stopped once again when he suffered yet another facial fracture, as his previous bout saw him suffer major damage to his eye from Golovkin. The stoppage came in the eleventh round.
The fight took place in Sheffield, England, and took place in front of 27,000 fans. The fight came to be when Amir Khan and Kell Brook couldn’t reach a deal, as an IBF mandatory defense was the next best option.
For Spence, the win was bitter-sweet as he felt as though he’d been calling out world champions, but was being largely avoided as many of the best of that era appeared uninterested in fighting him. Most notable is Keith Thurman, someone who Spence seems to hold lingering frustration with as Spence has never even looked in his direction since becoming a marquee main event fight.
Spence’s first world title win was his most dramatic, as he went overseas and took the title from a game opponent.
Despite having defeated Mikey Garcia on pay-per-view in March of 2019, Porter was the WBC welterweight champion after defeating Danny Garcia.
On paper, a lot of people scoffed at the match-up, but what we saw was arguably the toughest test of Spence’s career taking place in September of 2019 - Spence had to drop Porter late to pull out a split-decision victory, as Porter started quick and bullied the bully at times, winning a lot of the early rounds. Despite the fight being a welterweight unification bout, a lot of cynical observers viewed Spence as a heavy favorite despite a strong pedigree from Shawn Porter.
In fairness, this was the last truly great Shawn Porter performance we ever saw, and though the knockdown in the twelfth round didn’t per se win the fight on the cards for Spence, it won the fight in the court of public opinion. Though touted in the build-up as one of the best welterweight unification of all time it was a hard sell when despite being a snoozer and a reflection of greed and American capitalism, Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao had just occurred in a unification bout a few years prior.
Of all of Spence’s wins, his win over Shawn Porter and how he got it done late in the fight is one of the most underrated victories of his career.
Errol Spence Jr. had a well-documented car crash that had him facing legal charges as well as some consequences outside the ring. Spence Jr was set to face Manny Pacquiao but was not cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission over an issue with his eye. Yordenis Ugas would step up and replace Spence and defeat the future hall-of-famer, Manny Pacquiao, taking his WBA welterweight world title.
The end result saw a pay-per-view fight between Spence and Ugas in a three-belt welterweight unification bout, with only Terence Crawford holding the other belt in the division, the WBO welterweight title.
The bout which took place in April 2022, saw Spence’s size and skill play a major role. As Ugas was able to shake up and hit Spence a few times in the fight, the damaging blows Spence landed on Ugas slowly took a toll as Spence would hold three of the four major world titles after a tenth-round stoppage.
The aftermath - a very clear path to what Spence wants next…Terence Crawford is the man who holds the only welterweight title he doesn’t have.
By The Numbers
Spence has had 28 professional and is undefeated, with 22 of his wins coming by way of knockout. In those 28 fights, he has gone 142 rounds.
His record in world title fights is 7-0, with 4 wins by way of knockout.