IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence expects a very tough challenge when he makes his first world title defense against Lamont Peterson on January 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Back in May, Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) traveled to England to dethrone Kell Brook for the IBF title before a rabid crowd in Sheffield.
Peterson, a former division world champion, vacated the WBA "regular" welterweight title to move forward with his fight against Spence.
In the fight against Brook, the bout changed in the second half when Spence took over the contest and broke the Sheffield fighter down for a stoppage victory in the eleventh round.
Some have questioned the heart of Brook, as he went down to a knee for the full count after suffering a fractured orbital bone during the action. It was Brook's second fight in a row where he was stopped after suffering a fracture orbital bone.
While some view Peterson as a heavy underdog, Spence views him as being a better fighter than Brook - and also possessing more heart. And Spence anticipates a much tougher outing.
"You're going to see the same Errol Spence that you're used to," said Spence. "I can't look ahead because I know how dangerous Lamont Peterson is. I've been in training camps with him and I know what he can do.
"I've seen too many fighters look down the road and get beat before they get to the big fight. I have to be 100 percent focused and hungry. I'm fully dedicated to this fight. Lamont can push me to even greater levels. I feel like he is a better fighter than Kell Brook and has even more heart than Kell Brook and he can bring out the best in me.
"I think it's going to start out as a boxing match, but as we go on, it's going to be a dogfight. We both have big hearts. I've never known Lamont to turn down any fight. Not a lot of people wanted to fight me."