DiBella: Peterson Is A Test For Spence
One of the promoters of this Saturday’s Errol Spence and Lamont Peterson fight, Lou DiBella anticipates Peterson to put Spence Jr. to the test.
DiBella considers an opponent like Peterson as the proving ground for Spence, to see if the IBF welterweight champion can be considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing.
Peterson, who walked into Wednesday’s media workout with supreme confidence, is listed as a 10-1 underdog by most online bettors, for when he faces the 28-year-old Spence at Barclays Center.
“Without question, Lamont Peterson is in the top handful of welterweights in the world and is a very, very high-quality, championship-caliber fighter,” DiBella told BoxingScene.com.
“So the matchup is a strong one, the opponent is a strong one. Lamont Peterson is an excellent, excellent fighter. Now, if this fight doesn’t turn out to be as competitive as many people think it will be, then that’s gonna be more of a commentary about who is Errol Spence. Because it’s very possible when you’re talking about Errol Spence, you’re talking about a guy who belongs in the same conversation as [Vasyl] Lomachenko and [Terence] Crawford.”
“If you look at the fights against Kell Brook and the manner in which Spence has dispensed of some very good fighters, well now he’s going in there against a guy who’s legit, one of the best welterweights in the world. Spence is the favorite, but he’s the favorite against a guy who is on that very short list of world-class, champion-level fighters. Lamont Peterson is a serious fighter, with a great trainer and a great resume.”
Spence will make his first defense of the IBF 147-pound championship he won in his last fight, an 11th round knockout against Kell Brook on May 27th.
The 2012 Olympian hopes to make either WBA/WBC champ Keith Thurman and/or Crawford his next opponents in welterweight title unification fights either later this year or in 2019. Crawford, the mandatory challenger for the WBO welterweight title, is heavily favored to beat champion Jeff Horn when they meet sometime in April.
“We wanna find out if this young kid, who believes he’s the best, who believes he can beat a Crawford or anybody else in the world, is this young kid thinks he is?,” DiBella said.
“Is this young kid what many pundits and experts think he is? If Errol Spence is able to look great against Lamont Peterson and dominate the fight, that doesn’t cast Peterson in a bad light or indicate in any way that this was a bad matchup. That’ll speak volumes, though, about just how good Errol Spence may be. … If it turns out that the young kid dominates, then hell yeah, start mentioning him in the same breath as Crawford and Lomachenko and the Mikey Garcias and Thurmans and the handful of best guys out there.”