Errol Spence Jr., the proverbial next cash cow in boxing perhaps and the most streaking prospect in the game, scored a spectacular 6th round knockout over tough veteran Leonard Bundu, a feat Keith Thurman Jr. was unable to accomplish.
Through the first 5 rounds of the welterweight affair, Spence was using his superior jab to set up powerful left uppercuts and hooks to the body and head. Bundu was being his usual self, who is a cross between Sam Soliman and Felix Diaz, and trying to confuse Spence into a lull through awkward movement. Bundu was able to time Spence coming in on several occasions showing the young hot prospect still has defensive holes in his game. Bundu landed a few powerful lefts over some range-finding jabs but failed to stun or phase the sturdy chin of Spence.
Eventually, in the 6th round, Spence timed a beautiful picture perfect left uppercut after a jab to knock down Bundu. Bundu recovered enough to stand up and start to throw back at Spence, but he succumbed to another knockdown, and now knockout, from a power lead left hook by Spence up close. Bundu crumpled over himself and through the ropes completely out.
Now most fans and pundits believed this was a mismatch and a tune-up for Spence for a potential fight against the champion Keith Thurman, and it was proven to be such. The question the boxing world is asking now, is Spence fighting Thurman next?
Yes, Spence is still quite green in his boxing career and has holes in his game a power puncher like Thurman could exploit, but Spence is such a true talent that has clearly defeated top 15 level opposition. Who else could Spence fight before Thurman that would help him prepare yet still not be perceived as a legitimate threat to kill his hype? Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Sammy Vasquez, Felix Diaz, Robert Guerrero, etc. all equal much harder matchups and styles to overcome than a Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu. Is it worth the risk to give Spence more time to clean up his game and another “tune-up” before going after possibly the best welterweight in the world? That is a question only his adviser and the team could truly answer.
However, if that fight does happen next, who has the advantage? Thurman epitomizes the slick powerful boxer who tries to land a power shot off of slips and awkward angles, while Spence is the personification of pure boxing fundamentals. Spence is metal and substance, while Thurman is lightning and flash.
Bundu in this fight showed that a boxer can time Spence’s volume jab by slipping and coming in from an angle, something Thurman is exceptional at as a boxer. Porter showed classic setups and pressure could drown Thurman. This is vinegar and water incarnate. If Spence can add proper head movement after he throws a punch or combination, it would a much-needed level in his defensive toolbox.
Spence, even though he wasn’t perfect today, showed the boxing world again why he’s the number one prospect in the game. Spence delivered on his showcase; now hopefully Al Haymon and PBC can deliver on this possible fight of the year waiting to happen.