Undefeated world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. spoke with the media at his Dallas gym ahead of his June 16 showdown versus undefeated mandatory challnger Carlos Ocampo at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Spence, 23-0 (20 KOs), will be making the second defense of his IBF title, a belt he won with an eleven-round stoppage over England’s Kell Brook in Brook’s native Sheffield. The 28-year-old southpaw is considered the best fighter in a stacked welterweight class that includes Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
Thurman initially held that title. In June 2016, the WBA world champion won a close unanimous decision over Porter in a Fight of the Year candidate. He followed that up with a split decision win over WBC world champion Danny Garcia in March 2017. He’s been sidelined by injuries since, beginning with major surgery on his right elbow to remove bone spurs and calcium deposits.
Thurman was scheduled to return this May, but suffered a hand injury during training camp. His team is now targeting a September return. In the meantime, Thurman relinquished his WBC title. Garcia and Porter will fight for the vacant strap either August 25 or early September, likely at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Assuming he gets by Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs), Spence says he wants the Thurman-Garcia winner next. On the other side of the division, undefeated two-division world champion Terence Crawford will make his welterweight debut on June 9 versus WBO world champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 30-year-old Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) is heavily favored to defeat Horn. With clamor for a potential Spence-Crawford bout high, here’s what the former had to say about it: