By Keith Idec
Errol Spence Jr. didn’t confirm that he gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. a black eye during a sparring session in the spring of 2013.
He didn’t deny it, either.
Spence instead told Showtime’s Mark Kriegel that, like Kriegel, he also has heard that he once left Mayweather with a black eye following sparring at Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas. The exchange took place during filming for a segment of “The Reveal,” which will air on Showtime in advance of Spence’s fight against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) on May 27 in Sheffield, England.
“Well, I never seen his eye,” Spence told Kriegel.
When Kriegel countered by asking Spence (21-0, 18 KOs) if he would argue with the version of the story Kriegel told him, a smiling Spence said, “I mean, I don’t know. I didn’t see his eye black at all. I didn’t see it, but that’s how the story goes and that’s what people say in the gym.”
Spence, who was 4-0 (3 KOs) and 23 years old when he squared off against 36-year-old Mayweather, wasn’t disrespectful of Mayweather when he answered Kriegel’s questions. Four years later, he remains appreciative of the opportunity Mayweather gave him to learn when he was a younger fighter, at the time less than a year removed from the 2012 Summer Olympics.
“I get a call from one of his boxers, asking me to come to camp because Floyd needs work,” Spence said. “He’s not getting any good work [for his fight against Robert Guerrero]. And it was right after a fight, so I was like, ‘Spar Floyd? Yeah, definitely I’ll come out there. This is a dream, to spar somebody the caliber of Floyd, the top welterweight, the top boxer in the world.’
“I went out there and basically I didn’t go in as a sparring partner. I went out there like he was my opponent. I had my whole career ahead of me and I was going in there to get the same, exact equal work and get the experience of sparring a great like Floyd Mayweather.”
Kriegel also asked Spence why he didn’t sign with Mayweather’s promotional company when an impressed Mayweather pursued him following their sparring sessions.
“Oscar De La Hoya has his own promotions,” Spence said. “Floyd Mayweather has his own promotions. And basically everybody’s getting their own promotions. So I feel like I’m getting big fights without a promoter, getting paid very well without a promoter. So I feel like what do I need a promoter for?”
To see the entire interview, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9p1uAH9WPw&feature=youtu.be
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.