Unbeaten welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Lamont Peterson are set to collide in the biggest fight of the new year to date headlining action this Saturday, January 20 live on SHOWTIME. The event is presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®. CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage begins live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“You’re going to see the same Errol Spence that you’re used to. I can’t look ahead because I know how dangerous Lamont Peterson is. I’ve been in training camps with him and I know what he can do.
“I’ve seen too many fighters look down the road and get beat before they get to the big fight. I have to be 100 percent focused and hungry. I’m fully dedicated to this fight.
“Lamont can push me to even greater levels. I feel like he is a better fighter than Kell Brook and has even more heart than Kell Brook and he can bring out the best in me.
“I think it’s going to start out as a boxing match, but as we go on, it’s going to be a dog fight. We both have big hearts. I’ve never known Lamont to turn down any fight. Not a lot of people wanted to fight me. The big names shied away from me but Lamont stood up and said he’d fight me. This is going to be a hard fight.
“I used to watch Lamont and his brother Anthony Peterson before I ever met them. I like their styles, the way they throw body punches and the fundamentals that they learned from Barry Hunter.
“I think I can be known as the best pound-for-pound in the sport, but I have to take it one fight at a time. I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion. That should be everyone’s ultimate goal – to be the best fighter in the sport. But first I have a big test ahead of me January 20.
“This is the business of the sport. I was a young guy when Lamont was giving me advice. Now we’ve gotten to this point. It really shows his longevity in the sport and how I’ve reached the ranks of being a top pro fighter.
“Sparring with Lamont Peterson was really great work. It was a learning experience. I was an amateur so I was going at a fast pace and Lamont was being patient, blocking and countering and picking his shots. He was fighting at a pro pace and I didn’t really understand it until I got farther into my career.
“You’ve seen me and Lamont fight. We’re not in boring fights. We have fan-friendly styles and you’re going to get a really good fight. We have the mentality to really go after it and give it our all to get this win.
“I want the best in this division to all fight each other. It’s time for everyone else to stand up and proclaim that they want to be great. That’s how we get this division to the peak. I don’t feel like waiting to fight the best. I want to prove myself.”
“This is a world title fight and I’m thankful for that. I try not to make too much out of each fight. I just want to take it one fight at a time. I’ve done this for 13 years as a professional. All fights are the same. I’m going to go in there and take care of business.
“As a top fighter, you’re obligated to take what comes on the table. Regardless of who it is. It’s boxing. It’s a sport and we’re competitors. We want to go in there and compete to see who’s the best. We’re going to treat it like business like we always do.
“You already know when I fight, it’s a feeling out process to start, but in my head, I’m ready to go. It’s going to get rough in the trenches and we’ll see who wants it more.
“I knew six years ago when Errol was in my camp that we’d get to this point. I knew he would be a champion. For the most part, I’ve seen him improve and progress throughout the pro ranks and I believe he’s going to keep getting better.
“I don’t pay any attention to the outside noise. I respect everyone’s opinion. I just go out and train to do what I love to do. I do this because I love to box. I’m not here to get on a list. I truly love this sport.
“I can’t worry about people thinking that Errol is the next star in this sport. I believe that, but I can’t worry about it. It is up to me and my team to come up with the right type of strategy and execute it.
“I’m not too worried about figuring out his southpaw stance. I’ve been around long enough and encountered enough southpaws. I’m confident I’ll be able to handle it.
“The size may seem like an advantage for Errol, but it’s up to me and my team to figure out the best way to negate it. I know who I am. I’m a competitive person. Regardless of everything, I’m going to come to win.”
Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), of Dallas, traveled to England to dethrone IBF 147-pound champion and hometown favorite Kell Brook on May 27 on SHOWTIME in one of the defining fights of 2017. The 27-year-old, who had long been touted as boxing’s next big thing, fulfilled his promise with a breakthrough performance, fracturing Brook’s orbital bone en route to an 11th round TKO. A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Spence will enter the ring at Barclays Center for the third time after most recently stopping former champion Chris Algieri in an April 2016 main event. He will fight in Brooklyn for the fourth time; he earned his title shot by knocking out Leonard Bundu at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in August 2016.
“My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook,” said Spence. “I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing January 20th.”
Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), of Washington, D.C., has won titles at 140 and 147 pounds while facing some of the biggest names in the sport, including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley. The 33-year-old won the WBA 147-pound title in his last outing Feb. 18 on SHOWTIME before relinquishing the belt for the chance to challenge Spence. Peterson has won four of his last five outings, twice fighting at Barclays Center. His Brooklyn debut saw him defeat Edgar Santana by TKO in 2014 before dropping a narrow majority draw to Garcia in a 2015 main event in Brooklyn.
“First off, I’m happy to be getting back in the ring,” said Peterson. “I’ve stayed in the gym and I’m ready to go. This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see. I’m ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show.”
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