On January 14th 2017, the years first major fight card standard for the years remainder would be set when Badou Jack and James DeGale met at the Barclays Center looking to unify their super middleweight crowns. This past Saturday, once again at the Barclays Center a years first major fight card would take place and bar of standards for its remainder when Errol Spence Jr took on Lamont Peterson for Spence’s IBF welterweight world title. This would be the first title defense for Spence since winning his belt last spring when he stopped Kell Brook in England and he was looking to make a statement. The champion wanted to silence critics who had been stating “Spence beat Brook who entered off a severe injury suffered against middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin, can he beat an uninjured elite caliber opponent in that same fashion?” He would answer that question with exclamation marks behind it!
The opening round was slow as both me looked to gauge their distance, Spence slightly more active while no telling blows landed edged the round. Once round two started both men started to open up, Spence applying pressure landing hard body punches while Peterson jabbed and circled the ring. They would both step up the pace in round three, Peterson circling away from Spence power while landing his jab, Spence slowly closing the gap throwing
landed hard thudding punches which moved Lamont Peterson’s entire body when landed. In the fourth, Errol Spence gained complete control as his pressure and power punches made Peterson hesitate to unleash his own offense.
It looked as though Spence would score a stoppage in the fifth after dropping Peterson with a combination, yet Peterson the champion he is would rise and trade with Spence for the rounds remainder. Over the next two rounds, Spence with accurate punching and relentless pressure broke Peterson down swelling his face around both eyes. While Peterson attempted to land his own offense and did land an occasional clean hard blow he still could nor deter Spence who answered those punches with his own harder more telling blows.
When the bell ended for round seven, Lamont Peterson with both eyes swollen, his body battered and looking defeated argued with head trainer Barry Hunter who stated “I am going to stop this, you had enough” then even attempted to walk past Hunter to resume fighting. While his heart was determined to to quit, Barry Hunter wisely knew Peterson had enough and informed referee Harvey Dock he was halting the contest despite Peterson wanting to fight on. It would end officially at one second into round number eight due to the sixty second interval between rounds having expired. With his first world title defense Errol Spence jr improved to 23-0 (20) while Lamont Peterson now stands at 35-4-1 (17).
In his post fight interview, Spence thanked Peterson for taking the fight staing “He took the fight when no one else would he is a warrior and I respect him for that”, when asked about who he wanted to face next, only one name came up unified belt holder Keith “One Time” Thurman.
“Thurman is coming back in the spring, he needs a warm-up or tuneup fight whatever. I have been calling him out since I was 15-0, lets sign the fight but we know how “Sometime” responds when called out.” In the post fight interview of Peterson, he also thanked Spence for the opportunity and when asked acknowledged that Errol Spence Jr is the best fighter he has faced to date.
The nights co-feature would be a lightweight affair between IBF title holder Robert Easter Jr and former two division world champion Javier Fortuna. This was originally scheduled to be the third defense of Easter Jr’s IBF title, with Fortuna missing the lightweight limit, there was no title on the line. It started as a feel out round of sorts, Easter moving forward while Fortuna gauged the real estate around him, it would be the only round of limited action.
Over the next twelve rounds, Javier Fortuna other then a point deduction in round two for hitting behind the head out boxed and made Easter Jr look amateurish. The belt holder lunged with punches, missed wild hooks and the rounds outside the second he did win were ones Fortuna spent moving backwards making Easter miss while not making him pat for those misses.
The best punch of the night for Easter Jr landed towards the closing of round six, it was returned with a Fortuna counter that shook the legs of Easter Jr who went to his corner looking unsteady. The bout closed with both men throwing punches, Easter over all threw more pounces but none other than one in round six landed with any meaning. When the official scores were read they were announced 114-113, 115-112 for Robert Easter Jr and 114-113 in favor or Javier Fortuna. The difference being the second round point dedication and rounds Fortuna made Easter look foolish while not making him pay doing do. With his suspect victory Robert Easter Jr improved to 21-0 (14), Javier Fortuna now stands at 33-2-1 (23).
In Undercard action
Light Heavyweight-Marcus Browne 21-0 (16) def. Francy Ntetu 17-2 (4) via TKO 1.
Heavyweight- Adam Kownacki 17-0 (14) def. Iago Kiladze 26-2 (18) via TKO 6.
Super Lightweight- Anthony Peterson 38-1 (24) def. Luis Eduardo Florez 23-9 (19) via UD 10.
Welterweight- Ivan Golub 14-1( 12) def. Fidel Monterrosa Munoz 38-16-1 (30) via TKO 3.
Middleweight- Mathew Gonzalez 3-0 (2) def. Alexander Serna 1-2 (1) via UD 4.
Scores read 40-36 on all three cards in favor of Gonzalez.
Welterweight- Keyshawn Williams 1-0-1 (1) drw. Denis Okoth 1-0-1 (1) DRW 4.