See More: Sat, Apr 07, 2018

Lara vs Hurd

SAT, APR 07, 2018

Erislandy Lara photo
Jarrett Hurd photo

A pair of World Champions meet in a 154-pound title unification bout as Erislandy Lara puts his WBA championship on the line against Jarrett Hurd's IBF belt.

    • Record
    • Erislandy Lara 25-2-2
    • Jarrett Hurd 21-0-0
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Erislandy Lara 14 (48%)
    • Jarrett Hurd 15 (71%)
    • Weight
    • Erislandy Lara 154 lbs (70 kg)
    • Jarrett Hurd 154 lbs (70 kg)
    • Height
    • Erislandy Lara 5'9" (1.75 m)
    • Jarrett Hurd 6'1" (1.85 m)
    • Reach
    • Erislandy Lara 74" (188 cm)
    • Jarrett Hurd 76½" (194 cm)
    • Stance
    • Erislandy Lara Southpaw
    • Jarrett Hurd Orthodox
    • Age
    • Erislandy Lara 34
    • Jarrett Hurd 27
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Spotlight on Erislandy Lara
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See More: Sat, Mar 03, 2018

Charlo vs Centeno

SAT, MAR 03, 2018 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Jermall Charlo photo
Hugo Centeno Jr photo

Former 154-pound World Champion Jermall Charlo battles once-beaten contender Hugo Centeno Jr. for the WBC's interim 160-pound title.

    • Record
    • Jermall Charlo 26-0-0
    • Hugo Centeno Jr 26-1-0
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Jermall Charlo 20 (77%)
    • Hugo Centeno Jr 14 (50%)
    • Weight
    • Jermall Charlo 160 lbs (72.73 kg)
    • Hugo Centeno Jr 160 lbs (72.73 kg)
    • Height
    • Jermall Charlo 6'0" (1.83 m)
    • Hugo Centeno Jr 6'" (1.87 m)
    • Reach
    • Jermall Charlo 73½" (187 cm)
    • Hugo Centeno Jr 75½" (192 cm)
    • Stance
    • Jermall Charlo Orthodox
    • Hugo Centeno Jr Orthodox
    • Age
    • Jermall Charlo 27
    • Hugo Centeno Jr 27
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Sat, Mar 3, 2018

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Sat, Mar 3, 2018

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Spotlight on Jermall Charlo
Spotlight on Hugo Centeno Jr

IBF welterweight world champion TKOs former two-division titleholder, immediately calls out fellow champ Keith Thurman for future 147-pound unification bout.

Brooklyn, New York — Towards the end of the second round, Errol Spence Jr. could hardly contain himself. He smiled. The IBF welterweight world champion was in his element, punching in a comfortable, rhythmic flow. This was everything, you could tell, that Spence wanted and expected from Lamont Peterson.

It brought out his best.

Spence Jr., deep down, knew something else, too. Pretty much the same thing that the 12,107 fans knew that packed the Barclays Center Saturday night on the Showtime-televised card: He was better, regardless of anything Peterson tried.

Calculating, measured, calm and supremely confident, showing some improved footwork, Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) took apart a very good—and very brave—Peterson, whose cornerman, Barry Hunter, wisely stopped the fight at :01 of the eighth round. It was the second time Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) had been stopped in his career, and the victory extended Spence’s knockout streak to 10 straight.

By the fifth round, Peterson’s right eye was swollen shut as he suffered a knockdown, thanks to a classic Spence left hook that caught the former two-division titleholder on the temple. Spence’s punches landed with that hard thud only special fighters possess. By the eighth, both of Peterson’s eyes were swollen.

As he was throughout the whole promotion, Spence was very respectful of Peterson.

“I want to thank Lamont,” Spence said. “A lot of guys turned down the fight and he took it like a real warrior and I commend him for that. My coach [Derrick James] came with a great game plan and I just followed through with it. Keep my range, keep my composure.

“I know Lamont—he’s a tough fighter. He’s willing to die in there. You saw his coach had to stop the fight because he wanted to keep fighting.

“I still can improve a lot on my defense. I just have to keep perfecting my skills and keep progressing. You’d going to see a better Errol Spence next time I get in the ring. Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on (Keith) ‘Sometimes’ Thurman. Since I was 15-0, I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on.

Hunter, who looks at Peterson like a son, wasn’t about to see him take any more punishment.

“It was really hard, but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up,” Hunter said. “So I had to stop it. At the end of the day this is my son right here. And there’s nothing more valuable than his well-being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him.”

Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on (Keith) ‘Sometimes’ Thurman. Since I was 15-0, I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on. IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr.

One telling stat that said everything about this fight: Spence landed more punches than Peterson threw, connecting on 161 shots, while Peterson was able to get off 158 punches.

The fourth round saw Spence display some nifty foot movement, turning Peterson. In the fifth, Spence dropped Peterson, and the stopwatch began. Before the seventh, Peterson’s corner took a long look at his right eye. It’s already hell to fight Spence with two eyes, but trying to defend him with the use of only one?

“He was getting the shots on me early. He was the better man tonight,” Peterson said. “I always respect Barry’s decision. If he asks me to fight a million people, I will. If he asks me to stop. I will stop. I will never question his decision. I know he has my best interests at heart.

On retiring, the Washington D.C. native said, “That’s something that I would have to think about in the next few weeks.”

The result came as a little shock to Spence.

“I didn't know I would dominate like that,” he said. “I expected to get the knockout, but this was a great performance. We were facing a great fighter like Lamont Peterson and we did well in there. I could tell Lamont was wobbling before I got him down. It was just a great feeling to put on a strong performance.

“I want Keith Thurman. He has two of the belts and we both have big names. It's an easy fight to make and I want it.”

Robert Easter Jr.

Lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. lands a punch in his split decision victory over former two-division titleholder Javier Fortuna. (Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

Lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. hangs on to beat Javier Fortuna by split-decision

Robert Easter Jr. is a physical anomaly. The 26-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, is a confounding 5-foot-11 lightweight champion and takes advantage of all the perks that come along with being so tall in such a small weight class. It means facing off against shorter foes like 5-foot-6 southpaw Javier Fortuna, as he did in the co-main event Saturday night.

There is one drawback, however, from being so rangy and that’s the tendency to over reach. Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) did that a few times against the experienced former two-division champ. It brought on some tricky moments for Easter, like in the sixth round, when he survived a brutal counter left hook that sent him reeling.

But overall, Easter fell into a comfort zone, began going to the body more and eventually broke down the very game Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs)—who missed the chance to win a record third title by a Dominican-born boxer when he missed weight on Friday, making the bout a non-title affair.

Easter won by a 12-round split-decision, getting the nod on the scorecards of judges Glenn Feldman (114-113) and Kevin Morgan (115-112), while judge John McKaie had it for Fortuna, 114-113.

“It was a tough fight, he's a former world champion for a reason,” Easter said. “We made it tough trying to counter punch. He wasn't throwing much and it made it difficult for me to chase this guy around. I couldn't get the knockout but we got the win and that's all that matter. I knew he was going to run once he felt my power. He just wanted to grab and hold the whole fight.

I want to fight the champions and unify this belt. Fights like these aren't in my game plan. I'm ready for Mikey Garcia and Jorge Linares to sign the contract. No one can beat me. He just ran and held all fight. I apologize that I didn't get the knockout but the win is all that matters.”

Fortuna, who put on a great display, was understandably angry by the result, which was thoroughly jeered by the Barclays Center crowd.

“The public knows what happened here,” Fortuna said. “They booed because they know that I won this fight. If he's a man let's fight again at 135 pounds. I will definitely make the weight. I didn't give myself enough time to train.”

Easter didn’t use his reach advantage as consistently as he should have, and Fortuna went through spells of inactivity.

In the ninth, Easter used his superior size to measure then sting Fortuna, who had a point taken away for holding and hitting in the second round, with a right, then crowded him against the ropes, scoring to the body.  

But in the first minute of the 10th, Easter was lured into slugging mode. He forgot he was five inches taller and had a 7 ½-inch edge in reach. It made for some intriguing moments in the last 30 seconds of the round, as the two plowed away at each other inside.

In the 11th, the two engaged in close quarters again. Both landed great shots. Fortuna even snuck in a left that caught Easter’s attention for a moment.

Fortuna, sensing the fight was slipping away, came at Easter in the final round. He got up in Easter’s grill and pressured him. Easter had the wherewithal to bear the brunt of the attack and his record unscathed.

Marcus Browne

Unbeaten light heavyweight Marcus Browne celebrates his first-round TKO of Francy Ntetu. (Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

Unbeaten Marcus Browne scores another quick stoppage

Unbeaten light heavyweight Marcus Browne (21-0, 16 KOs) made quick work of Francy Ntetu (17-2, 4 KOs) in preliminary action, as he dropped and battered his opponent early to force referee Arthur Mercante to stop the bout at just 2:15 of the first round. Fighting for a recored 12th time at the Barclays Center, the 27 year-old Staten Island native kept his unblemished record intact by utilizing his powerful left hand on the overmatched Ntetu.

Browne established his dominance from the start, landing a clean overhand left that dropped Ntetu halfway through the round. The Montreal, Québec native was never able to regain his feet and found himself cornered against the ropes just thirty seconds later. A barrage of powerful combinations landed on the defenseless Ntetu left the referee with little option but to stop the fight with 45 seconds remaining in round number one.  

"We worked for this win. He walked into a sure shot and I made him pay," said Browne. "The overhand left caught him and that was the beginning of the end for him. I knew he was hurt.

"I need a world title shot. I'm ready to take on any of the champions. I don't have any preferences. I'm glad I put together another great performance here at Barclays Center. I'm going to keep improving until I really become Mr. Barclays Center."

Adam Kownacki

Brooklyn-based Adam Kownacki delivered a brutal knockout of Iago Kiladze in his hometown. (Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment)

Heavyweight Adam Kownacki records another hometown KO

In the opening bout, undefeated Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) delivered a brutal knockout of Iago Kiladze (26-2, 18 KOs) at 2:08 of the sixth round of their heavyweight matchup. Kownacki, born in Lomza, Poland but fighting out of Brooklyn, New York, enjoyed the support of his hometown crowd as he steadily wore Kiladze down. 

Kownacki was the more aggressive and accurate of the two fighters, landing 43 percent of his power punches and 35 percent of his total punches, compared to just 30 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for Kiladze. Despite a bloody nose that Kownacki suffered in the first round, the Polish heavyweight began to pour it on and tire Kiladze with a series of uppercuts and one-two combinations in the fourth round. The action-packed bout came to an end when Kownacki connected on a combination of two uppercuts and a right hand that sent Kiladze on his back in the final minute of the sixth round. After a stunned Kiladze returned to his feet, referee Shada Murdaugh called the fight at the suggestion of the ringside doctor. 

"I'm so thankful to all my Polish fans who come out and give me that extra support", said Kownacki, who fought in front of hundreds of his compatriots. "I'm going to keep fighting for the fans and give everyone a great show

"I think I made the fight a lot harder than I should have. It's another learning experience and I got the win. That's all that matters."

For a complete look at Spence Jr. vs Peterson, visit our fight page.

Fatherhood has helped New York native drown out distractions as the 2012 U.S. Olympian prepares for another big fight in his backyard this Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Marcus Browne

Marcus Browne celebrates his July 2017 victory over Sean Monaghan. (Ryan Greene/Premier Boxing Champions)

It only takes one look at a fight involving light heavyweight Marcus Browne to conclude he’s for real. Browne is a superior athlete who possesses speed, balance, punching power, footwork, reflexes, ring knowledge and instincts.

All of these attributes will be on display Saturday night when Browne attempts to take the next step towards a world title with a victory over highly-respected Canadian Francy Ntetu.

Browne (20-0-0, 15 knockouts) is favored to leave the ring at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. still unbeaten as a pro, so much so, that he’s been bombarded with questions about his thoughts on facing current titleholders or other high-ranking contenders.

Out of courtesy, the Staten Island native—whose fight will stream live on Showtime Boxing’s Facebook page and Showtime Sports’ YouTube channel at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (main card featuring two title fights airs on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)—has provided answers. But every one of his responses should be taken with a grain of salt.

At the moment, he isn’t giving any thought to who he might be facing later this year. The only person on Browne’s mind these days is Ntetu (17-1-0, 4 KOs)—whose lone loss is to 168-pound champion David Benavidez.

“I’m not looking past him; I’m not looking past him at all,” said Brown, who has fought a record 12 times at Barclays Center. “He’s right in front of me. He’s the guy who’s in my way, so I have to take care of business.

“I take nothing for granted. When people ask me about title this and title that, I’m not getting there if I don’t beat Francy the way I’m supposed to. That’s all I’m focused on.”

It’s this mindset, this approach that has played a major role in Browne’s continued improvement as a fighter and has convinced many to label him a surefire future champion. What brought about Browne’s change?

Natural progression: A combination of physical and mental maturation. Browne is now 27; he’s physically bigger, stronger, faster and possesses more knowledge inside the ring. But it’s what’s fight fans can’t see physically that is having the greatest positive impact on Browne’s championship future—mental growth.

I take nothing for granted. When people ask me about title this and title that, I’m not getting there if I don’t beat Francy the way I’m supposed to. That’s all I’m focused on. Unbeaten 175-pound 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne

Two years ago, Brown became a father of two children—daughter, Milani, and son, Massiah. Since their births, Browne’s priorities have shifted significantly. His drive to be the light heavyweight champion of the world is no longer fueled by individual gratification, but by a desire to provide security for his children, while offering an example of how focus and hard work can make dreams a reality.

When Browne goes to the gym these days, it’s not just about preparation; he’s absorbing everything his trainers are dispensing to him. Nothing they impart—intellectual or physical—goes to waste. As a result, Browne has developed into a solid father, a mature adult and a future light heavyweight champion.

“As a man, I don’t live for myself anymore, I live for my kids,” Browne said. “It’s the same thing with fighting, I’m fighting for them and their futures, it’s not just about my future. They look up to me; I’m their dad. That in itself is a motivating factor.

“I’m a lot more settled. Believing (and knowing more) about the things going on in the gym and what my trainers are passing on to me. I’m more focused on the game plan and implementing it on fight night.

“I’ve found a good recipe with my trainers. And we’re continuing to grow and sticking to things. We’re doing new things while sticking to the basics.”

Saturday night, fans will still see another element of Browne’s ability few people have paid much attention to—his defense. Ntetu is a very active fighter. But Browne isn’t an easy fighter to hit flush. He isn’t a standstill boxer.

Browne constantly moves his head, rolls with punches and keeps his hands up. He knows, talent-wise, that the advantages are in his favor. But he isn’t taking Ntetu lightly.   

“Exactly! That’s it: being sure about yourself. Being settled and taking care of business the right way. I’m not just going in there to knock a guy out,” he said.

“He’s a very durable guy, a live guy. Even in his loss, he didn’t stop fighting. Like I always say, with a guy like (Francy), you have to convince him that he doesn’t want to be in the ring with you. And the way to do that is to take your time, take care of business and do the things we’ve been working on in the gym.”

Browne vs Monaghan: July 15, 2017 - PBC on FOX.

This week on PBC Jabs, Errol Spence Jr.'s trainer Derrick James calls in to discuss what makes Lamont Peterson dangerous and offers his prediction for this Saturday's welterweight title fight on Showtime.

Plus, we fill you in with all the details for our BIG January 20th Showtime card. And in case you missed it, Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz is all set for March 3rd… for real this time.

Brooklyn-based prospect looks to take the next step towards becoming the first Polish-American heavyweight champion when he faces Iago Kiladze this Saturday.

Adam Kownacki

After knocking out heavyweight contender Artur Szpilka in July, unbeaten Adam Kownacki looks to take the next step in a title run Saturday night in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. (Ryan Greene/Premier Boxing Champions)

Adam Kownacki climbed the heavyweight ladder with a devastating fourth-round KO of Polish-born heavyweight contender Artur Szpilka this past July.

Now the 6-foot-3 Kownacki (16-0, 13 KOs) looks to move up a rung, pursuing his fourth straight knockout against 6-foot-4 Iago Kiladze (26-1, 18 KOs) this Saturday night in his sixth appearance at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“Babyface” took some time out of training to talk about his upcoming bout—which can be viewed exclusively in the U.S. on Showtime Sports’ YouTube channel and Showtime Boxing’s Facebook page at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The main card that airs live on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT features two world title fights, including a 147-pound showdown between Errol Spence Jr. and Lamont Peterson.

Can you discuss how you finished off Szpilka and how that victory resonated with your Polish fans?

In the fourth round, my right hand drew blood from Szpilka’s nose, and I noticed he was getting tired. So I whispered into his ear, “Are you remembering the Deontay Wilder fight?” He was shocked. His eyes went wide like, “What the [expletive] he talking about?’

After that, I knocked him out a couple of seconds later. I pressured and stopped him like I knew I would. I had to prove that I’m the best of the Polish heavyweight fighters. I took out Szpilka in less than half the time that Deontay Wilder took him out.

Now it’s time to continue my goal of getting a title shot. I'm a man on a mission to become the first Polish, Polish-American heavyweight champion of the world. No one will stop me.

What do you know about Iago Kiladze and how will this fight break down?

I’m going to do what I do best, and that’s to bring the pressure and the fight to him. He’s a good fighter moving up from cruiserweight and he may have some good movement. I’m training out of Bellmore Kickboxing Academy in Long Island with Keith Trimble.

I’m feeling great. I’ve been working on cutting off the ring, going to the body and breaking him down.

I think that by Round 7, I should be able to take him outta there. You guys at the PBC have a knockout of the month, right? You should have one of those, because I’m going to have one of those this month.

I understand you spent time sparring with Alexander Povetkin?

I was with Alexander Povetkin for four weeks in November in Moscow, and I’m in great shape. It was good to see where I’m at.

Obviously, Povetkin is older and beyond his prime, being 38, but he still has it. He’s a great technical boxer and I picked up some things that will make me a better fighter.

How and when did you come to live in Brooklyn from Poland, and was the transition difficult?

Jobs were very hard to get at the time in Poland, and my parents received green cards and left Lomza, Poland, for Brooklyn in 1996 when I was 7 to provide a better life for my brother and I.

Immigrating to this country, not speaking the language, life was tough early on in Greenpoint, the neighborhood I grew up in. It was a big Polish community in Brooklyn, back then. I was a little bit fatter than most kids, so I got bullied a lot. It was hard.

I'm a man on a mission to become the first Polish, Polish-American heavyweight champion of the world. No one will stop me. Poland-born and Brooklyn-based heavyweight Adam Kownacki

How did you get into boxing?

I actually started with karate, first, at the age of 7 or 8. But I also grew up watching Andrew Golota fight, which sparked my interest in boxing. One day, I was walking to the movies with a cousin and I saw a boxing gym and got intrigued.

My cousin and I started going two or three time a week, training. My cousin stopped, but I continued to go by myself. Then I transferred to Gleason’s gym at 16 and entered the Golden Gloves.

I won the New York Golden Gloves championships in 2006 the first time when I was 17. I was second in 2007 and 2008 and won again in 2009. As a junior in high school in the finals, I fought a teacher from a different school. I dropped him twice.

How did you come by your nickname?

I was an amateur and I had a baby face. I was sparring with [Brooklyn-based contender] Taurus Sykes at Gleasons, and he called me that all the time and it just stuck, you know.

How frustrating was it to suffer a fractured hand during your fourth pro fight that required two surgeries?

Being out for almost three years, it was tough walking around and people asking you when are you fighting again and what’s going on?

The community I grew up in always pushed me, so the thought of retiring never crossed my mind.

My fans and my friends always wanted to see me fight again, so it was about waiting out the process and for my hands to heal.

How uplifting was it to be invited to work with Wladimir Klitschko?

That was awesome. Klitschko was training for his [fourth round KO of Jean Marc Mormeck, March, 2012.]

It was at a five-star resort in the mountains of Austria, and I learned a lot about what big time boxing is all about. Hopefully, I’ll be in Klitschko’s position pretty soon.

How would you describe your relationship with Jarrell Miller?

Last time we sparred was the month that he fought and knocked out [Mariusz Wach in November.] We did eight rounds together, but we’ve sparred for 10 or 11 years.

I’d say it’s been a thousand or more rounds. We both grew up in Brooklyn and were always around Gleason’s Gym.

I wasn’t surprised that he knocked out Gerald Washington [eighth-round stoppage in July.] I knew he was gonna do that. I was actually surprised that it took him that long.

Under what conditions would you fight Miller?

There are a lot great fights in the heavyweight division, and it would have to be worth something for us to fight. We’re two, very good, up and coming fighters from Brooklyn who are on the verge of becoming heavyweight champions.

I think it would be a great fight to have in Brooklyn, down the road, and if we fought at Barclays Center it would be a great show and a sellout. You look at the buildup for a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight and it’s like that.

It’s something that you have to wait for and it takes time. This fight would be a fight that everyone would want to see. It doesn’t make so much sense right now, so it’s better to wait for the money it would [generate] later on.

For a closer look at Adam Kownacki, check out his fighter page.

Former two-weight world titleholder says all the pressure is on the young champion as he embraces the underdog role once again for Saturday night's showdown on Showtime.

Lamont Peterson has overcome entirely too much in his life to worry about public perception.

When you’ve overcome homelessness to win world titles in two weight classes, you tend to disregard daunting odds. So no, Peterson isn’t all that concerned with how fight fans or boxing writers view his supposed role in his welterweight title fight against IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York and live on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

“I’m not worried about what anyone says about me being the underdog,” Peterson said. “Supposedly, Errol is this, that. I’m this, that. I’m not worried about it one bit. I’m gonna go in there and perform the best I can, enjoy myself and, of course, always you go in there to win the fight.”

Based on Peterson’s personal experience, he knows winning will be much easier said than done. Peterson realized six-plus years ago, when he sparred against Spence to help Spence prepare for the 2012 Summer Olympics, that the accomplished amateur would eventually occupy this position.

The 28-year-old Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) is one of the top 10 boxers in the sport, according to most credible pound-for-pound lists. Against Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), the powerful southpaw will make the first defense of the IBF 147-pound championship he won by traveling to Kell Brook’s hometown and knocking him out in the 11th round May 27 in Sheffield, England.

To continue his anticipated ascent to superstardom, however, Spence must get past a gritty, intelligent, well-conditioned former champion who has lost only to Lucas Matthysse and former champs Danny Garcia and Timothy Bradley. Garcia, whose majority-decision win was widely debated, and Bradley were undefeated when they beat Peterson.

An appreciative Peterson, who’ll turn 34 on January 24, has tried to enjoy preparing for his biggest fight since Garcia edged him nearly three years ago at Barclays Center. As the Washington, D.C., native moves toward the twilight of a pro career that began 13 years ago, Peterson recognizes that he might not get another opportunity like the one he intends to exploit Saturday night.

“I’m not caught up in the pressure,” Peterson said. “That’s what happens a lot of times, especially with these young fighters, where they get to this stage and they lose strictly on putting too much pressure on themselves. All the pressure should be on him. I’m honestly not worried about anything.”

The mature, low key Peterson respects Spence, who has responded positively to pressure thus far. He doesn’t think Spence is overrated and even if he felt that way, Peterson isn’t the type to talk trash.

Spence reciprocated that respect. Having shared a ring with Peterson, Spence expects a difficult fight.

“Lamont and I both have big hearts and I think everyone will be able to see that in the ring,” Spence said. “We’re both smart fighters, so there might be some feeling out before we get going. But I expect it to be a dogfight.”

I’m not caught up in the pressure. All the pressure should be on him. I’m honestly not worried about anything. Two-division World Champion Lamont Peterson

Derrick James, Spence’s trainer, figures Peterson’s mental strength will test Spence in his first title defense. Spence is bigger and stronger than Peterson, but Peterson’s experience, particularly at the championship level, should enable him to make this 12-round championship match problematic at times for the favored fighter.

“Lamont Peterson is very witty and intelligent in the ring,” James said. “He’s a tough guy, too. He brings that mental fortitude that you need to be successful. We have to be coming to this fight 100 percent and be focused the whole time. If we don’t, we may come up short.”

Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer, suspects Spence will have to dig even deeper to defeat his fighter than he did to beat Brook. Spence was ahead on all three scorecards through 10 rounds (97-92, 96-93, 95-94), but began battering Brook late in their fight, broke Brook’s orbital bone around his left eye and knocked him out in the 11th round.

“When you look at the Spence-Brook fight, early on Brook had a lot of success,” Hunter said. “Down the stretch, Errol imposed his will and broke Brook down. I know Errol well and I’ve coached him. He has a strong will. He’s not great in one area, but he’s good in a lot of areas. This is a different kind of guy he’s facing. Heart is something Lamont is nowhere near short on. I think this might start off tactical, and then turn into a war.”

Peterson hasn’t fought in 11 months, but that lengthy layoff allowed an injury to his left shoulder to heal.

He suffered a torn deltoid during training late in 2016, yet fought through it and beat Russia’s David Avanesyan (23-2-1, 11 KOs) by unanimous decision to win the WBA world welterweight title February 18 in Cincinnati. Peterson picked physical therapy over surgery after beating Avanesyan, which kept him from boxing training until late last summer.

Shoulder surgery would’ve held him out longer than the rehabilitation program Peterson chose and thus likely eliminated him from the list of potential opponents for Spence’s first title defense. Having full range of motion in his left shoulder has left Peterson optimistic about pulling off an upset.

“Right now, my body feels better than ever,” Peterson said. “I’m comfortable with everything that’s gone on in camp and I think you can see it in my body.”

Peterson feels fresher because he no longer has to struggle to make the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds. His win against Avanesyan represented Peterson’s impressive debut as a full-fledged welterweight, but upsetting Spence would do much more to rejuvenate Peterson’s career.

“I have to look at this as really just another big fight,” Peterson said. “When you’re at the top, you try not to make too much of each fight. We know what’s at stake. I know that when I keep it simple, that’s when I perform best.”

For a complete look at Spence Jr. vs Peterson, visit our fight page.

See More: Sat, Mar 03, 2018

wilder vs ortiz

SAT, MAR 03, 2018 Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Deontay Wilder photo
Luis Ortiz photo

WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder defends his title for a seventh time when he faces fellow unbeaten contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz in Brooklyn, New York.

    • Record
    • Deontay Wilder 39-0-0
    • Luis Ortiz 28-0-0
    • KOs (KO %)
    • Deontay Wilder 38 (97%)
    • Luis Ortiz 24 (80%)
    • Weight
    • Deontay Wilder 226 lbs (102.73 kg)
    • Luis Ortiz 240 lbs (109.09 kg)
    • Height
    • Deontay Wilder 6'7" (2.01 m)
    • Luis Ortiz 6'4" (1.93 m)
    • Reach
    • Deontay Wilder 83" (211 cm)
    • Luis Ortiz 84" (213 cm)
    • Stance
    • Deontay Wilder Orthodox
    • Luis Ortiz Southpaw
    • Age
    • Deontay Wilder 32
    • Luis Ortiz 38
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Spotlight on Deontay Wilder
Spotlight on Luis Ortiz

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