Errol Spence Jr. to defend his IBF Welterweight Title against Lamont Peterson
January 17, 2018 11:06 AM
by Alan Berg
With Floyd Mayweather retired, Manny Pacquiao aging and Miguel Cotto retired, a lot of people out there might wonder who are the next great fighters?
For those who haven’t stayed up with the boxing scene regularly, Errol Spence Jr., one of the brightest young stars in the sport, defends his IBF Welterweight Title Saturday against veteran Lamont Peterson on Showtime from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Spence (22-0, 19 knockouts) has put together eight straight knockouts, his last was on the road at Sheffield, England taking the IBF title from then undefeated Kell Brook. The fight was a very entertaining highly competitive battle that showcased Spence’s high level as he took apart Brook as the fight wore on for an 11th round stoppage.
Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) is a former two-time world champion who has battled some of the top stars at Junior Welterweight and Welterweight. He has wins over Amir Khan, Kendall Holt and Felix Diaz. A draw with Victor Ortiz in 2010 and he lost a disputed decision to Daniel Garcia back in 2015.
At age 33, the time is ticking on Peterson being at the Top 5 level and is now entering the ring against one of the fastest rising stars in the sport. For Peterson to topple the champ is a tall task, which is built right into the betting line.
BEST LINES (updated 1/19 at 11:19):
Spence: -2500 at Westgate
Peterson: 15/1 at William Hill and Stratosphere
Total: 9.5 OV +135 at WG; UN -155 at WG and Stratosphere
If you have been reading my columns or listening to me on the Cash Considerations podcast, you know I would never recommend a bet with line the size of -250 let alone -2500. Spence should handle Peterson without too much drama, but you can never completely count out former champions, who could have one great performance left.
With that said, Spence isn’t the guy for Peterson to have that night. If there is a total in town eventually, look to bet under because nearly five years ago Peterson was stopped by Lucas Matthysse. Now, Matthyse had incredible stopping power, but he’s nowhere near the talent of Spence. The point being UNDER the total seems to be the right play. The money-line price is too high so pass.
The Scratch Sheets: Spence is rated No. 2 Welterweight in the world by The Ring Magazine, behind only Keith Thurman, which is the fight boxing fans need, hopefully on CBS or ESPN. ESPN has Thurman rated No. 5 pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, and Spence sits No. 6.
Fights on the horizon worth checking out (Berg’s “must see” in bold):
Jan. 27, HBO, Ring/WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares vs. Mercito Gesta; Feb. 3, ESPN, IBF Lightweight Champion Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed; Feb. 10, SHOWTIME, IBF Jr. Welterweight Champion Sergey Lipinets vs. Mikey Garcia; Feb. 24, HBO, WBC Jr. Bantamweight Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Juan Francisco Estrada; March 3, SHOWTIME, WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz; HBO. WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev vs. Igor Mikhalkin; and WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol vs. Sullivan Barrera; March 10, ESPN, WBO Featherweight Champion Oscar Valdez vs. Scott Quigg.