Ocampo Presents The Unknown For Errol Spence Jr.
Carlos Ocampo has never fought outside of his native Mexico. That changes on Saturday night, when he makes the sojourn to the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas for a shot at undefeated Errol Spence Jr.’s IBF welterweight championship.
In a conversation with FIGHT SPORTS, Ocampo said he’s embracing the opportunity to be the underdog against Spence, as the Texas native hopes to unify the welterweight division.
“I like [being the underdog],” claimed Ocampo, “The pressure’s on Errol Spence, because he’s the favorite, and its his hometown.”
During Wednesday’s conference call, Spence confirmed that prior to signing a contract, he had no idea who Ocampo was.
“I didn’t know who he was to tell you the truth. I didn’t know who he was,” Spence claimed Wednesday.
“And I don’t really look at the rankings. So I think, like, two days after my fight, the IBF had ordered me to fight my mandatory then they said it was Carlos Ocampo.”
“My original thought was just, let’s do it. I’d rather get it out of the way now so it’s not a bump in the road later on when I’m trying to get bigger and better fights. So I’d rather get my mandatory out the way right now.”
Even though he’s the “unknown variable” in the welterweight division, Ocampo has a solid resume of 13 knockouts to his 22 career victories. Ocampo feels his record and some other physical advantages give him an edge against Spence Jr.
“We’re both smart fighters,” said the Mexican welterweight. “I’m taller than him, and I’ll be able to keep my distance, I’m ready for whatever he brings.”
While Spence refuses to have a “false sense of security” as he puts his title on the line against the Baja California native, Spence doesn’t see his opponent as anything “special.”
“I found tapes on him. There’s nothing that you just see that’s special, but I mean the guy comes to fight.,” Spence said Wednesday.
“… I can’t give myself a false sense of security, because once you’re in the ring, there’s no turning back. So he’s been training hard and he’s going to show up on the night. And I just know he’s hungry. He’s 22 years old, he’s undefeated. He’s hungry and this is his dream to win a world title and make a lot of money so he can help his family.
I know what’s in the future for me. I know there’s big fights in the future so I can’t let someone like Carlos Ocampo detour my route of becoming a unified champion and soon, to become undisputed welterweight champion of world. So I have to get past him to reach those goals and those dreams.”
Carlos Ocampo and Errol Spence battle in a 12 round fight for the IBF welterweight championship at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas on Showtime.