Errol Spence Jr. working to turn hype into The Truth

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Nicknamed “The Truth,” undefeated Errol Spence Jr. is rapidly making a believer of those in the boxing world.

Errol Spence Jr.

Former U.S. Olympian Errol Spence Jr. is a rising star in the 147-pound division.

The 147-pound southpaw is considered one of the sport’s future stars. After competing for the United States in the 2012 Olympics, Errol Spence made an impression on Floyd Mayweather Jr. during a sparring session the following year.

It was at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas in 2013 where Spence, who was preparing for just his fifth pro fight, sparred with the undefeated Mayweather in advance of the champion’s victory over Robert Guerrero.

“At the time, being a first-year pro with four fights, I didn’t really know what to expect hearing from the pros how Floyd was destroying his sparring partners,” Spence said. “Floyd needed some good work, and sparring with him was a great experience. I learned a lot and that was definitely a big confidence booster. That let me know where I was, mentally and skill-wise.”

Spence has received numerous comparisons to Hall of Fame boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, and said he is a big fan of how the former five-division champion “carries himself inside and outside of the ring.”

Leonard will get his first up-close look at Spence (15-0, 12 KOs) on Saturday when the 25-year-old Texas native fights Samuel Vargas (20-1-1, 10 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The bout is on the undercard of a Premier Boxing Champions event that will be broadcast live on NBC—featuring Danny Garcia vs. Lamont Peterson, and Andy Lee vs. Peter Quillin—with Leonard providing ringside analysis.

“I have not seen this young man fight, but I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this guy. Now that I have a chance to see him in person, I can’t wait,” Leonard said. “I have heard about his hand speed and his natural abilities, and how focused he is and about how he punches and his combinations. I’ve just heard a plethora of things about this young man, and it’s good for boxing when that sort of buzz goes around a guy like this.”

Spence will be seeking his third consecutive knockout against Vargas, a 25-year-old Colombian-turned-Canadian who has won five straight fights since dropping a 10-round unanimous decision to Pablo Munguia in December 2013.

“I think that a lot of eyes are going to be on me in this fight. I’m not fighting a pushover. I always want to steal the show,” Spence said. “I want to put on a great performance and make it a one-sided fight. I want to give the fans and the critics and reporters something to write about. I want them to say, ‘Wow, this kid is the next big thing.’ I want to live up to all of the expectations of becoming one of the all-time greats before I retire.”

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