Errol Spence defends his IBF welterweight title against Lamont Peterson on January 20th, 2018 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Fighting At Barclays

The 27-year old Spence, a native of Dallas, Texas, traveled all the way to England to dethrone Kell Brook as the IBF welterweight champion in May of 2017.

Spence fulfilled his promise to become world champion by pummeling Brook, breaking his orbital bone in the process en route to an 11th round TKO win. This will be Spence’s third appearance at the Barclays Center and in his most recent outing there, he stopped former world champion, Chris Algieri.

Two division champion Lamont Peterson has faced some of the biggest names in the sport, including Amir Khan, Danny Garcia and Timothy Bradley Jr. Peterson won the WBA 147-pound title last February but relinquished it in order to challenge Spence. Peterson has lost just once in his last five fights and two of his most recent wins have come at the Barclays Center. It will be interesting to see who wins at the Barclays this time around.

A Huge Favorite

Spence is a huge -1600 favorite over the veteran Peterson, who came back at +1150. Although this is only Spence’s first title defense, he proved in his last fight that he is for real and not just hype. Spence’s demolition of Kell Brook last May showed that he should be ranked among the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet.

The 5-9 southpaw has an impressive 72-inch reach advantage and possesses power in both hands. Spence likes to work the body and does so with consistency until his opponent wears down. But unlike some elite punchers, he isn’t a free swinger. He’s a high IQ fighter who has excellent defensive instincts.

Best Welterweight Today

Peterson is no pushover. He is an excellent athlete and a former world champion. He moves well around the ring and has very decent punching power. He likes to work on the inside with his fast hands and can put up some great combinations if he finds a rhythm. Peterson’s been knocked out just once in three losses, so he’s a tough cookie to crack too.

But Spence is on a roll and is probably the best welterweight in the sport today despite the lack of big fights in his resume. Peterson is soon to be 34 and at that age, he may not be able to keep up with a hungry pitbull like Spence.

Peterson’s going to have his moments here but it’s going to be Spence who will open 2018 with a bang. Whether it’s a  late stoppage or a dominant unanimous decision win, we’re picking Errol Spence to win and keep his belt.

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