By Keith Idec
Errol Spence Jr. isn’t brash or outspoken, but he has learned invaluable lessons from Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The undefeated welterweight prospect spent time in Mayweather’s Las Vegas training camp for Mayweather’s win against Robert Guerrero three years ago. That experience was eye-opening for the 2012 Olympian, who was just 23 at the time, and helped shape his approach to preparing for fights.
“This guy, he has everything,” Spence told BoxingScene.com. “He has a lot of money, he has been thought of as the top boxer in the world, and he trains like he’s poor. He trained hard, stayed dedicated and stayed focused. Just watching him train and work out, and seeing how he handled himself in training camp, that meant a lot to me, just to watch that.”
Spence (19-0, 16 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, also appreciates the praise the Mayweather has heaped upon him and the advice the retired superstar has given him. The 39-year-old Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) has called Spence boxing’s next great fighter, among other things.
“That means a lot because Floyd is a guy who says what’s on his mind,” said Spence, who will encounter Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) in a main event Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. “He has no reason to lie to the public or anybody. He doesn’t owe anything to them. He’s been around the game for 20-something-plus years, been around boxing since he was like 4 years old.
“For him to see that in me, that I can be the next great boxer and that he sees a lot of potential in me, that means a lot. Floyd texts me a lot and he calls me every once in a while. He just checks up on me to make sure I’m focused and to make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing – training hard, focusing on my fights and staying focused.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.