By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Errol Spence Jr. is willing to put his money where his mouth is.
As part of an ambitious, 11-stop media tour Tuesday through Manhattan, Spence told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith during his radio show that Jermall Charlo will beat both Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez if Charlo can secure the opportunity to fight either of those elite middleweight stars.
“Jermall will beat Triple-G at 160, he’ll beat Canelo at 160,” Spence told Smith. “I guarantee you Triple-G won’t fight Jermall Charlo. I’ll be surprised if he take that fight.”
When Smith asked again to make sure he heard Spence correctly, Spence doubled down by offering to wager with Smith.
“If that fight happens, Jermall Charlo will beat Triple-G and Canelo Alvarez,” Spence said. “I’m willing to bet on that, too.”
Spence, of DeSoto, Texas, is friendly with Houston’s Jermall Charlo and frequently spars against Jermall’s twin brother, Jermell Charlo. Spence and Jermell Charlo, the WBC super welterweight champ, also work with the same trainer, Derrick James, at a gym in Dallas.
Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) is the WBC’s interim middleweight champion and the mandatory challenger for Golovkin’s WBC 160-pound championship. The former IBF junior middleweight champ, who’s eight years younger than Golovkin, will have to wait for his shot at Golovkin, though.
Kazakhstan’s Golovkin (38-0-1, 34 KOs) and Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) agreed to terms last week for their grudge rematch September 15 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Spence, meanwhile, is fresh off a first-round knockout of overmatched mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo on Saturday night in Frisco, Texas. The 28-year-old champion’s punishing left-right combination to Ocampo’s body ended their scheduled 12-round, 147-pound title bout at the end of the first round.
The card headlined by Spence-Ocampo also drew a crowd of 12,604 to Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.