Errol Spence Jr. (born March 3, 1990) is an American professional boxer. He is currently a unified welterweight world champion, having held the IBF title since 2017 and the WBC title since 2019. As an amateur in the welterweight division, he won three consecutive United States national championships and represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics, where he reached the quarter-finals. In 2015, Spence was named Prospect of the Year by ESPN.
IBF men’s world championship belts are red, whereas women’s world champ belts are light blue.20th cetury bribery scandal.
As of January 2021, Spence is ranked as the world’s fourth best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec,fourth by Boxing Writers Association of America and ESPN, and fifth by The Ring magazine and TBRB. He is also ranked as the world’s best active welterweight by BoxRec,The Ring, and TBRB, and second by ESPN. His knockout-to-win ratio stands at 78%.
The IBF was preceded by the United States Boxing Association (USBA), a regional championship organization like the North American Boxing Federation (NABF). In 1983, at the WBA’s annual convention, held in Puerto Rico, Robert W. Bobby Lee, Sr., president of the USBA, lost in his bid to become WBA president against Gilberto Mendoza. Lee and others withdrew from the convention after the election, and decided to organize a third, world-level organization, to co-exist with the WBA and the WBC. Formed as USBA-International, the fledgling organization was later renamed the International Boxing Federation, based in New Jersey, where its main offices remain.
Bobby Lee had also been a New Jersey boxing commissioner until 1985, when, according to news reports, he was suspended and fined by the Ethical Standards Commission for accepting contributions from fight promoters and casino executives.
The IBF’s first world champion was Marvin Camel, a former WBC world cruiserweight champion who won the IBF’s belt in the same division. During its first year of existence the IBF remained largely obscure, but by 1984 it decided to recognize Larry Holmes, Aaron Pryor, Marvin Hagler and Donald Curry, already established champions from other organizations, as IBF world champions. In Holmes’ case, he relinquished his WBC title to accept the IBF’s recognition. It established the IBF as the third sanctioning body, and a legitimate organization.
Despite achieving an appearance of legitimacy, subsequent to a three-year investigation started by 1996 charges levied by former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer; IBF’s reputation was ruined in 1999 with founder Lee’s indictment for racketeering and other violations for taking bribes in exchange for high boxer rankings. Indicted on federal racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges were president, Robert W. Lee, 65; his son and IBF liaison, Robert Lee Jr., 38; former IBF executive and Virginia boxing commissioner Donald William Brennan, 86; and South American IBF representative Francisco Fernandez. Lee was subsequently convicted of money-laundering and tax evasion in August 2000, then sentenced, in 2001, to 22 months in prison and fined $25,000.
In 2000, citing extortion, boxing promoter Bob Arum voluntarily testified to having paid IBF president Bobby Lee $100,000 in two installments in 1995, as the first half of a $200,000 bribe, through middleman, Stanley Hoffman, adding that Lee had first demanded $500,000 to approve the Schulz-Foreman fight, but had settled for the lesser amount of $200,000 (half of which was never paid). Arum was sanctioned and fined $125,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Boxing promoters Cedric Kushner and Dino Duva also admitted to making similar payments to Lee.
The IBF was under federal observation from Lee’s conviction through September 2004. Former Michigan Boxing Commissioner, WBA vice-president, boxing safety advocate and IBF interim president Hiawatha Knight (October 22, 1929 – October 22, 2014) became president following Lee’s conviction, and was the first woman president of any world governing boxing organization. In 2001, Marian Muhammad assumed the presidency, followed by Daryl J. Peoples, who remained president as of 2018.
The IBF ran the 1st Annual Convention of IBF Muaythai in Bangkok on 20–21 December 2017. Daryl Peoples, IBF president, attended the convention. The new champions of IBF Muay Thai were crowned in three weight divisions.
On 9 November 2012, a 22 year old Spence made his professional debut at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California in a scheduled 4 round bout against 19 year old Jonathan Garcia. Spence knocked Garcia down and out in the 3rd round. In December 2012, Spence knocked out Richard Andrews at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, which was part of undercard for Amir Khan’s comeback fight against Carlos Molina.
Spence fought eight times in 2013, being victorious in all of them, winning six inside the distance. He was taken the distance in an eight-round bout in October by Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. The fight was rather one-sided, with all judges scoring the fight 79-73 in favor of Spence. By the end of 2013, Spence had won all of his 10 professional fights, 8 of them by way of knockout.
Spence made his Showtime television debut on 27 June 2014 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas in a 10-round fight against Ronald Cruz. Spence was taken the distance and won a shutout unanimous decision.On 13 December 2014, Spence beat Javier Castro by TKO in the 5th round at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
On 11 April 2015, Spence defeated Samuel Vargas by TKO in Round 4 of 10 in a Premier Boxing Champions fight card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, bringing his record to 16-0. On May 16, it was announced that Spence would feature on the undercard of Shawn Porter vs. Adrien Broner on June 20 at the MGM Grand Arena. Spence defeated Phil Lo Greco (26-1, 14 KOs) via 3rd-round TKO. Spence was originally scheduled to fight Roberto García. García backed out of the fight three days before the card due to weight issues. Spence landed 73 of 142 punched thrown (51%) and Lo Greco landed 19 of 132 (14%).
Spence next fought on the undercard of Stevenson-Karpency against Chris van Heerden at the Ricoh Coliseum. The referee stopped the fight in round 8, after Spence knocked down van Heerden twice in round 7.
In October 2015 it was announced that Spence would fight at The Bomb Factory in Dallas on November 28 against Mexican boxer Alejandro Barrera (28-2, 18 KOs). Spence defeated Barrera via 5th-round TKO. This was an IBF eliminator for the number 2 spot in their welterweight contender rankings. Spence was ahead on all three judges scorecards (40-36, 3 times).
On 10 March 2016, it was announced that Spence would fight former light welterweight titlist Chris Algieri at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on 16 April, his biggest fight to date. The fight was scheduled for 10 rounds. In front of a pro-Algieri 7,628 crowd, Spence became the first boxer to stop Algieri. This was Spence’s seventh straight knockout. The end came when Spence delivered a left hook to Algieri’s face.
The hard shot sent Algieri straight to the canvas and referee Benjy Esteves waived the count. After the bout, Spence said Kell Brook knows what time it is. We got to get in the ring and fight.. IBF later stated that Spence must have a final eliminator before he is declared mandatory challenger. . For the fight, Spence earned $225,000 whilst Algieri earned $325,000. CompuBox punch statistics showed that Spence landed 96 of 311 punches (31%), whereas Algieri landed 36 of 114 thrown (32%). The fight averaged 1.482 million viewers on NBC.
Spence vs. Bundu
On 16 May 2016, Spence denied that his team turned down a fight against Brook, which had been previously insinuated by Eddie Hearn, Brook’s promoter. Spence said that the IBF had ordered him to fight their #3 contender Konstantin Ponomarev in order to become the mandatory challenger to Brook. Although there were no agreements to fight, on June 9, Ponomarev injured his hand, forcing him out of the eliminator. Instead, it was confirmed that Spence Jr. would fight IBF #7 Leonard Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) in the eliminator on August 21 at the Ford Amphitheater. The fight would be aired on a Sunday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.
Spence focused on breaking down Bundu from the start. After five one-sided rounds, Spence backed Bundu against the ropes and connected with an uppercut that dropped Bundu. Referee Johnny Callas waved off the fight without starting a count. After the fight, Spence Jr. reiterated his desire of becoming IBF World champion stating, I definitely want my shot at Kell Brook and his title, I want him next. If he vacates or gets stripped, then I’ll fight for his vacant title. I’ve paid my dues. For the fight, Spence received $250,000 compared to Bundu’s $30,000 purse. The fight drew 4.8 million viewers on NBC and peaked at 6.34 million. This was the highest TV audience for boxing in over 10 years in the United States.
In front of 27,000 fans, Spence dropped and eventually stopped Brook to win the IBF welterweight title after 11 rounds. In a fight where mostly power shots were landed, Spence threw combinations to the head and to the body, gradually wearing down Brook.
Brook did well working the counter and landed his own shots to the body. In round 10, Spence cornered Brook against the ropes and unloaded some heavy power shots, which caused Brook to take a knee. In round 11, Brook motioned many times that he couldn’t see through his left eye and voluntarily took a knee. The referee started the 10 count, which Brook was unable to beat, giving him back-to-back defeats and his first as a welterweight. At the time of stoppage, all three judges had Spence ahead on their scorecards (97-92, 96-93, 95-94). Although he won the fight, Spence admitted it was not his best performance,
I give myself a B-. I was a little bit off with my offense and defense, but I give Kell a lot of credit. This is what true champions do. You go anywhere to fight. Spence landed 246 of 633 punches thrown (39%) while Brook landed 136 of 442 (31%). The fight was shown in the afternoon in the US on Showtime and averaged 291,000 viewers, peaking at 337,000 viewers. These were considered low numbers, even for an afternoon showing, possibly due to it being a holiday weekend. For the fight, Spence earned around £1 million and Brook earned a guaranteed £3 million.
On 3 October 2017, Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) vacated his WBA (Regular) title in hopes of challenging Spence for the latter’s IBF title.Dan Rafael revealed that Spence was promised a $3.5 million purse from his manager Al Haymon for his next fight.On October 13, it was reported that terms would be finalised within a week. The fight was tentatively scheduled for Spence’s 28th birthday, 13 January 2018, against Peterson. The event would be aired on Showtime. Peterson last saw action when he dethroned David Avanesyan in February 2017. The fight was confirmed on 14 October, with Barclays Center the front-runner to land the fight. At a presser, Spence spoke fondly of Peterson, He’s somebody I looked up to in the amateurs and I learned a lot from.
I had a training camp with him at the Olympic training center. So he’s a guy I really look up to. He’s one of my favorite fighters. He’ll fight anybody. I’ve never known him to say no to a fight. I’m looking forward to it. He’s got true grit. He’s a real fighter. He’s a guy who gives it his all and has a big heart. On November 5, it was reported the fight was confirmed to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on January 20, 2018.
On fight night, in front of 12,107 fans, Spence broke Peterson down mentally and physically eventually forcing Peterson’s trainer Barry Hunter to stop the fight a second into round 8. Peterson was dropped in round 5 from a left hand by Spence. Peterson beat the count and looked unsteady, surviving the round. Peterson took a lot of punishment, but managed to fire back some offence of his own before the round ended. Peterson’s face looked swollen and his eyes were puffy from Spence’s hard shots. Spence also worked the body from the opening bell. After round 6, Peterson knew he was behind on the scorecards and indicated to his trainer, who said he would give him a few more rounds.In the post-fight interviews, Spence said, I want to thank Lamont.
A lot guys turned down the fight, and he took like a real warrior, and I commend him for that. My coach [Derrick James] came with a great game plan, and I just followed through with it. Keep my range, keep my composure. Spence admitted he would need to work on his defence a little. When interviewer Jim Gray asked Hunter about the stoppage, he replied, It was really hard [to stop the fight], but if you know Lamont, you know he was not going to give up. So I had to stop it. At the end of the day this is my son right here. And there’s nothing more valuable than his well being. If it comes to him or winning, I pick him. I care about him. After the fight, Spence called out unified champion Keith Thurman, referring him to ‘sometime’. At the time of stoppage, all three judges had their scorecards at 70-62 for Spence.
According to CompuBox stats, Spence landed 161 of 526 punches thrown (30%), and Peterson landed only 45 of his 158 thrown (28%). For the fight, Spence had an official purse of $1.2 million and Peterson’s purse was $600,000.he fight averaged 637,000 viewers and peaked at 695,000 viewers on Showtime. Spence vs. Ocampo
On January 23, 2018, the IBF sent a letter to TGB Promotions ordering Spence to make a mandatory defence against unbeaten prospect Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) next. Zanfer Promotions, who promote Ocampo were also notified and were given until February 22 to reach a deal before purse bids take place. Because Ocampo was not rated in the top 2 in the IBF rankings at the time, at purse bids, he would be entitled to 15% rather than the 25% that a mandatory challenger receives. On January 24, Showtime announced that Spence would next fight on June 16 in Dallas, Texas.On February 24, according to ESPN,
The IBF ordered purse bids to take place on March 6. Four days later, it was revealed that both sides had reached a deal. On April 30, an official press release confirmed that the bout would take place at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. In front of a sellout crowd of 12,604 fans, Spence knocked Ocampo out in round 1 to retain his IBF title. In response to some body shots from Ocampo, Spence hit back with a hard left to the body that sent Ocampo to the canvas. Referee Lawrence Cole made the 10 count as Ocampo tried to get up, but was in too much pain. The time of the stoppage was at 3:00 of round 1. The knockout for Spence was his 11th consecutive stoppage since 2014.
Spence stated he wanted to unify the division by going after the winner of the Shawn Porter vs. Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford. After the bout, Spence said, I was a little disappointed. I wanted to give the crowd their money’s worth. I wanted him to sustain a bit and give him some punishment, but the body shot got him and I dropped him. Spence wanted to go at least 5 rounds. According to Ocampo, it was overconfidence that caught up to him and ended his world title challenge. For the fight, Spence made $1.2 million and Ocampo was given a $75,000 purse. Numerous Cowboys players were in attendance, including quarterback Dak Prescott.The fight averaged 683,000 viewers and peaked at 726,000 viewers on Showtime, an increase from his previous bout
On October 25, 2018, BoxingScene.com reported that negotiations between Spence and Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) were progressing, with the fight likely to take place in February 2019 on Showtime PPV.Garcia first began to call out Spence for a fight before he defeated and unified the lightweight division in July. On October 30, Garcia vacated his IBF lightweight title and the purse bid for the potential Richard Commey fight was cancelled.[ On November 13, PBC made an official announcement for their 2019 schedule. It was announced that the fight between Garcia and Spence would take place at the welterweight limit at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 16, 2019, exclusively on FOX PPV. Many fans reacted to the fight being announced. Some welcoming the fight and praising Garcia for ‘daring to be great’ and some fans believed that the size difference would be too much as Spence is considered a big welterweight.
On the night though, Spence completely outclassed and dominated Garcia, using his superior reach to constantly land jabs to the head and body from a distance, landing 108 over the course of the fight. Garcia tried to close the distance, but with Spence’s weight and height advantage, he was able to completely dominate Garcia even in the pocket. In rounds 8 and 9, Spence landed over 100 punches in two rounds, with the majority being power shots, constantly using lead hooks and uppercuts on the increasing backing up Garcia. In total, Spence landed 345 punches to Garcia’s 75.
Garcia was unable to land double-digit punches in any of the twelve rounds. The scorecards on the night read 120-107 and 120-108, twice, to give Spence a perfect 12 round shutout victory. After the fight, Spence was joined in the ring by eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Both stated that they would love to fight
Spence fought two-time welterweight world champion Shawn Porter on September 28, 2019, in a unification bout with the IBF and WBC welterweight titles on the line. Spence knocked Porter down in the eleventh round en route to a split decision victory, with the judges scoring it 116–111, 116–111, 112–115. It was arguably a fight of the year
Spence vs. Danny Garcia.
In his first fight since being the victim of a car crash in October 2019, Spence fought former two-weight world champion Danny Garcia on December 5, 2020 on PPV at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with Spence’s IBF and WBC welterweight titles on the line. He was awarded a unanimous decision victory with scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 117-111, and retained his titles. Spence vs. Pacquiao Main article: Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr.
On May 21, 2021, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao made the unexpected announcement on his social media that he and Spence would meet in the ring on August 21 in Las Vegas to face each other on Fox PPV. PBC and Fox confirmed the news, and it was reported that both men have signed contracts to face each other. The two men had previously already met more than two years prior on March 16, 2019, in the ring following Spence’s unanimous decision victory over Mikey Garcia in Arlington, Texas, when both Pacquiao and Spence indicated they would relish the chance to fight each other. On June 23, the venue was officially announced as the T-Mobile.
Errol Spence Jr. is of Jamaican descent through his father and American descent through his mother. He was born in Long Island, NY, but has spent the majority of his life living in Dallas, Texas. He is the father of two daughters and a son.
Spence was involved in a single-vehicle accident at 2:53 AM on October 10, 2019 in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit. According to Dallas police, Spence’s Ferrari 488 Spider was traveling at a high rate of speed and then veered left over the center median onto the southbound lanes and flipped multiple times, ejecting the driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt.Spence sustained facial lacerations, but no broken bones.Earlier in the night, he had been drinking alcohol.He was released from the hospital six days later and was charged with a DWI, a class-B misdemeanor by the Dallas Police Department. Spence posted on Instagram No broken bones I’m a savage!! but deleted this post after receiving backlash, as fans stated he was lucky to be alive and noted that he could have seriously hurt others due to his drunk driving.Spence avoided jail time and received probation.