Undefeated welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. retained his IBF title with an impressive stoppage of former two-division champion Lamont Peterson in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Saturday night from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING®.
In his first defense since dethroning Kell Brook on SHOWTIME last May, Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) out boxed a tough Peterson(35-4-1, 17 KOs) from start to finish, showcasing a wide array of skills, speed and power. The fight was stopped prior to the start of the eighth round after Peterson's trainer, Barry Hunter, called for the stoppage.
The fight played out similar to how both fighters predicted, starting in a cagey tactical affair before it turned into an aggressive fight in the middle rounds. Two minutes into round five, Spence used a blistering left hook to send Peterson to the canvas. The Washington, D.C. native returned to his feet and continued to battle, but Spence proved to be too much. The 2012 U.S. Olympian out landed Peterson 161-45, while connecting on 49 percent of his power punches to just 31 percent for Peterson.
After the fight Spence spoke to SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray and was quick to give credit to his opponent. "I want to thank Lamont," he said. "A lot of guys turned down the fight and he took it like a real warrior and I commend him for that. He's a tough fighter. He's willing to die in there." Click HERE to watch the interview highlight.
Undefeated 135-pound world champion Robert Easter (21-0, 14 KOs) earned a split decision victory over former world champion Javier Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs) in the co-main event of the SHOWTIME telecast. The judges scored the bout 114-113, 113-114 and 115-112.
The back-and-forth bout saw two skilled fighters stay in the pocket and look to do damage from the inside. A second round point deduction from Fortuna proved costly when the Dominican was warned and then penalized for hitting Easter behind the head. Without the one point deduction, the fight would have been scored a draw. While Easter Jr. was slightly busier, Fortuna landed the more powerful punches. Easter Jr., who held a significant height advantage, out landed Fortuna, connecting on 120 of 383 (31 percent) power punches while Fortuna connected on 113 of 441 (26 percent).