Peterson’s Trainer Expects A War Against Spence
Lamont Peterson is walking into Barclays Center as the perceived underdog against the unbeaten IBF champion, Errol Spence Jr.
Barry Hunter, who has trained Peterson since he was a child, and worked with Spence when he was an amateur. Hunter thinks that the fight will turn into a war, and that Peterson has more will than Spence’s last opponent, Kell Brook.
“When you look at the Spence-Brook fight, early on Brook had a lot of success,” Hunter said.
“Down the stretch, Errol imposed his will and broke Brook down. I know Errol well and I’ve coached him. He has a strong will. He’s not great in one area, but he’s good in a lot of areas. This is a different kind of guy he’s facing. Heart is something Lamont is nowhere near short on. I think this might start off tactical, and then turn into a war.”
The 28-year-old Spence is heavily favored to make his first defense of his 147-pound crown a successful one. Peterson, who turns 34 four days after the fight, is more comfortable at 147-pounds, as opposed to the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds.
Peterson, a native of Washington, D.C., became a two-division champion when he defeated David Avanesyan to win the WBA world welterweight title in his last fight in February of 2017. Peterson took an extensive break following his victory over Avanesyan to help heal a shoulder injury suffered during training camp prior to that bout.
“We don’t have the weight monster to deal with fighting at welterweight,” Hunter said. “Lamont is in a great place mentally and physically. I’m looking forward to an explosive fight.”
Spence expects something similar from his 2012 Olympic sparring partner.
“Lamont and I both have big hearts and I think everyone will be able to see that in the ring,” Spence said. “We’re both smart fighters, so there might be some feeling out before we get going. But I expect it to be a dogfight.”