By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Errol Spence Jr. was willing to fight Miguel Cotto.
Like Mikey Garcia, though, Spence wasn’t willing to sign a long-term contract with Cotto’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, to get that high-profile fight. Spence confirmed that Golden Boy Promotions offered him an opportunity to fight Cotto on December 2 at Madison Square Garden during a press conference before a 154-pound championship tripleheader Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“Yes, the offer was made from Golden Boy,” Spence said. “I mean, everybody’s been trying to get me to be their [fighter]. You name ‘em, they’ve been trying to get me since I turned pro. I just declined it. I don’t want a promoter right now.
“I’m planning to start my own promotional company by the end of next year and do my own thing. I’m already fighting on network [television], I’m already main event and I’m already getting great money, so I don’t see what a promoter can offer me.”
Spence works with adviser Al Haymon and is part of Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organization, but doesn’t have an exclusive contract with a promoter.
California’s Tom Brown represented Spence for his last fight, an 11th-round knockout of Kell Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) on May 27 in Sheffield, England, Brook’s hometown. New York’s Lou DiBella also has promoted Spence fights.
The 27-year-old Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) would have had to move up from 147 pounds to 154 to face Cotto. The IBF welterweight champion eventually expects to advance to 154 pounds, but said Saturday he first wants to clean out the welterweight division.
The 2012 Olympian also confirmed that he will defend his title against former two-division champion Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) in his next fight. Spence, of DeSoto, Texas, said Saturday that he’ll oppose Peterson “in mid-January” either at Barclays Center or somewhere on the West Coast.
Puerto Rico’s Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) will box Brooklyn’s Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs) on December 2 at Madison Square Garden in what is expected to be the final fight of the four-division champion’s 16-year, Hall-of-Fame career.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.