It seemed as if Errol Spence Jr. was auditioning for potential 147-pound opponents, with past titleholders Andre Berto, Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter and current champion Keith Thurman all sitting at ringside.
All eyes were on Errol Spence Jr. (16-0, 13 KOs) as the 25-year-old southpaw bludgeoned Samuel Vargas during a fourth-round stoppage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on April 11.
“I really didn’t know they were ringside until after the fight,” says Spence, who spoke to each of the fighters afterward. “There was no trash talking. There’s nothing but respect between us. I feel like they respect my skills and know I’m the real deal.”
Spence will try to take another step toward the top of the division when he faces rugged Roberto Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in a bout airing live on NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).
Against Vargas, Spence landed 135 punches compared to 15 for his opponent, stopping the previously once-beaten boxer for the first time in his career on the undercard of Danny Garcia’s victory over Lamont Peterson in a bout shown on NBC Sports Network.
“Keith Thurman came up and shook my hand and said ‘good fight.’ I talked to Shawn Porter and [his father and trainer] Kenny Porter, who I’ve been close with since the amateurs,” Spence says. “I was talking to Adrien Broner, who I’ve been friends with since the amateurs, and he said I looked great. Andre Berto said that I looked great, too. I know I’m a few fights from being where they’re at, but when I get there, I would like to fight some of these guys.”
Spence is looking to become the first man to knock out Garcia, who has won nine straight fights since losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Antonio Margarito in May 2010.
“Every fight I want to look great and to put on a spectacular performance, and if I can, I want to stop my opponent,” Spence says. “I want to be a household name and eventually fight those guys in the future, so the only way to do that is continue to look spectacular by destroying the guys that they put in front of me.”
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