Errol Spence Jr. draws inspiration from his wall of heroes

Errol Spence Jr. wakes up to the faces of the boxers whose accomplishments have inspired him throughout his career.

Errol Spence Jr.

Pasted to a wall in the bedroom of Errol Spence Jr. are various posters and magazine covers depicting fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones Jr., Chad Dawson and Zab Judah.

Those boxers all possessed traits and abilities the 25-year-old Spence tries to incorporate into his own skill set.

Above the photos are the words “Wall Of Inspiration.”

“Those are guys that I admired as an amateur. They’re all guys that I liked to watch fight,” said Spence, a 2012 U.S. Olympian. “I watched Zab for his hand speed and I liked that he threw his uppercuts. With Chad Dawson, he used angles and he worked the jab and was a combination puncher when he was younger. Plus, he’s a southpaw like me. With Floyd, I like how he sets traps and how he’s always composed. I just watch the different attributes of different guys and I try to learn from them.”

Spence (15-0, 12 KOs) returns to the ring Saturday night in a 147-pound bout against Samuel Vargas (20-1-1, 10 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight is on the undercard of a Premier Boxing Champions show on NBC, which begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT, featuring bouts between Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, and Andy Lee vs Peter Quillin.

As a competitor in one of the sport’s deepest and most talent-rich divisions, Spence aspires to one day be involved in a fight along the magnitude of the first meeting between Leonard and Hearns in September 1981, when Leonard rallied in the 14th round to score a TKO of Hearns, who was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards.

“That was a great one that I really liked. The will of Ray Leonard was incredible, because Hearns was punishing him over the first five rounds. He was killing him with the jabs and the one-twos and the hooks to the body, and Leonard couldn’t do anything,” Spence said.

“Leonard was having to rely on pure will and determination, and he fought through all of that and finally caught up to him in the later rounds and stopped him. I haven’t seen any fights today of that magnitude with an ending like that in a long time, but I think I can get to that point in my career where I can have a great fight like that. I think that can happen for me, especially with the talent that’s in the 147-pound division today.”

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