By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – You can’t blame Bob Arum, Oscar De La Hoya and Eddie Hearn for wanting to spend some of their vast resources on signing Errol Spence Jr. to a promotional contract.
The likeable, skillful welterweight is an emerging star who’s in his physical prime and knocks out opponents. Spence appreciates their interest, but the undefeated IBF 147-pound champion simply isn’t interested in making a contractual commitment to a promoter.
The 28-year-old Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), who’s advised by Al Haymon, works with promoters Tom Brown and Lou DiBella on a bout-by-bout basis.
Brown and DiBella are among the promoters that market shows featuring fighters affiliated with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organization. Brown’s TGB Promotions put together the card headlined by Spence’s first-round knockout of overmatched mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-1, 13 KOs) on Saturday night in Frisco, Texas.
Beyond that, though, Spence told a small group of reporters Tuesday at a Manhattan restaurant that he won’t sign with a promoter. The powerful southpaw from DeSoto, Texas, is satisfied with how he is being both marketed and compensated.
“I feel like basically Showtime is my promoter right now,” said Spence, whose past three fights have been broadcast by Showtime. “They’re promoting me. They’re promoting me, so I feel like if I don’t have to [sign with a promoter], why do it? I mean, I’m fighting on TV, I’m getting the main slots and basically doing what I wanna do, basically without have somebody basically telling me who I’m fighting or where I’m fighting at, things like that.
“Basically, my manager comes to me and says, ‘Do you wanna fight here?’ Or, ‘Do you wanna fight this opponent?’ And I have say-so in it. Everything’s been going good now. I’m getting publicized. I’ve been fighting on TV. My name’s been out there. Why change something? Everything’s going good. Everything’s running smoothly and I don’t believe I need to change anything or I need to add anybody to my team right now. … What could I possibly need a promoter for me to do that I’m not already getting done with the team I have now?”
Hearn was expected to try to sign Spence once he announced Matchroom Boxing USA’s new streaming deal with deep-pocketed Perform Group last month. According to Spence, that hasn’t happened.
“I haven’t gotten anything from Eddie Hearn,” Spence said. “Golden Boy was pursuing me. Top Rank was pursuing me. But they get that from my interviews. I tell them I don’t need a promoter, I’m not looking for a promoter. You know, we’re setting a new trend where you can do stuff without a promoter. And just the fact that everybody feels like you need a promoter to be this top guy, you really don’t.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.