Ray Leonard Compares Spence-Brooks to His Hagler Fight
One of the most celebrated welterweights in boxing history, and no stranger to moving up weight classes, "Sugar" Ray Leonard still pays close attention to the boxers of today. One fighter he is quite impressed with will step into the ring on Saturday, as Errol Spence attempts to win his first world title against Kell Brook.
A lot of hype has been attached to Spence as he has risen up the ranks, but Leonard believes that Spence deserves every bit of praise he has gotten.
"This fight is so intriguing and I like it because the winner is going to be based upon who carries out their game plan and who doesn’t get too cute, who doesn’t get too comfortable. The guy who fights this fight, wins this fight. From what I’ve seen, Errol Spence is the real deal. I watched this young man from day one and I’ve seen improvements in him," Leonard said to Sky Sports.
"I see he has gained experience and that’s why I think the world is excited about this particular fight with Kell Brook and Errol Spence. Spence has his asset of speed, poise and balance. He is a young man who has the whole package and, again, I watched this young man from day one. Every time he gets into the ring, he improves."
Given that Brook fought at middleweight in his last fight and is expected to rehydrate up to 20 pounds between the weigh-ins and the fight, Spence will likely be the smaller man when he enters the ring on Saturday. Leonard compared the fight to his own clash with Marvin Hagler, a fight that Leonard famously won by a very narrow margin that is disputed to the day. Leonard believes that Spence can take some motivation from his fight with Hagler when he faces off with the bigger Brook.
"That additional five pounds, 10 pounds or 20 pounds makes a huge difference," Leonard said. "One thing I did against Hagler was I didn’t necessarily stand toe to toe with him. I picked my shot, I kept my balance and I used my speed to kind of nullify his power. I think that’s the same approach that Spence has to take."