If you’ve been listening to Tha Boxing Voice’s twice-weekly radio show, or been on any kind of social media, then you know that young welterweight prospect Errol Spence is a sensitive subject these days, specifically regarding the question of whether he should be matched with a top welterweight right now.
It is a matter of whether or not Spence deserves to fight a decorated welterweight with only 17 pro fights. Spence is undefeated and he has tallied 14 KO/TKOs since turning pro in 2012. Still, his level of opposition isn’t overwhelming.
It’s not that Spence is being protected per say. In fact, his resume is more than acceptable at this point in his career, and if it weren’t for fans wanting him to move up faster, we wouldn’t even be debating this issue.
His competition progress is fine, and he has done plenty more than your average fighter with 17 pro fights.
The reason for the big fight demands is because of what boxing heads call the “eye test.” Spence looks like a top welterweight and his skillset is visibly apparent in a major way. Still, he might look different when he takes the next step or the one after that.
The other big issue that sparked this debate was Floyd Mayweather Jr. giving Spence his stamp of approval. Mayweather Jr. is on record claiming that Spence is the next best welterweight. The night of the Shawn Porter-Adrien Broner fight in June, Mayweather Jr. actually suggested that highly ranked contender Keith Thurman or Porter fight Spence on his undercard on September 12th.
This did not sit well with either fighter, who believe that they’ve done far more than Spence and shouldn’t be forced into a fight with the former Olympian from Texas, especially by Mayweather who both fighters want to fight and believe deserve the shot.
Thurman recently told Tha Boxing Voice that he took further issue with Floyd’s suggestion. He says that Spence’s name shouldn’t even be associated with his at this juncture, and he has a valid point.
Tha Boxing Voice recently spoke with Porter about the same topic. He agrees with Thurman, and after defeating Broner a fight with Spence would be a step backwards in Porter’s career.
Nestor Gibbs of Tha Boxing Voice filled Porter in on Thurman’s thoughts and then asked what he thought of the prospects of a fight with Spence.
“I feel the same way. The way I look at it is I’ve been around the block 100 times. I had to pay my dues. I had to put my work in. I feel like in a lot of ways Mayweather kind of deemed Errol Spence and kind of handed him the plate, and I don’t think that’s right. I think he’s still got some work to do.”
Porter doesn’t totally discredit Spence at this point, and he isn’t saying that he’d never fight Spence. He just believes that Spence still has to achieve some things at welterweight to reach the level Porter finds himself in at the moment.
“It’s not upsetting because he’s a good fighter. I respect him as a fighter. I didn’t win my title until I was 24-0, so he’s got some work to do.”