On Saturday, May 27, Errol Spence Jr. walked into enemy territory, stared down one of the best welterweights in the world, and took care of business in front of 30,000 fans – most of whom were hoping to see him falter on the biggest stage of his career.
Spence bested fellow welterweight Kell Brook in his native Sheffield, England to claim the IBF title and solidify him as one of the best welterweights in the world.
A week and a half removed from the biggest bout of his career, Spence visited the CBS Local studio to discuss the bout and his future plans in a division rife with formidable challengers vying to unify the belts in the weight class.
“Fighting Kell Brook in England, that was a big opportunity for me,” Spence told CBS Local. “It was a legacy-defining fight for myself to fight the hometown champion in his home town. That’s pretty unheard of for an Olympian and a guy of my pedigree to go overseas and go into somebody else’s backyard and fight the champion. It was great, and I think I gained a lot of fans from it, and I think I gained a lot of U.K. fans too. It was a great opportunity for me. I’m glad it’s over with, I’m glad I won, and now I can get on to bigger and better things.”
One of the keys to victory for Spence was hurting Brook badly in the 7th round. Spence, it would later be revealed, actually broke Brook’s orbital bone, which would eventually force Brook to essentially throw in the towel in the 11th round.
“I didn’t know that I broke Kell Brook’s orbital bone, but I knew it was bothering him because he kept pawing at it,” Spence said. “When I hit it again he kind of cringed a little bit, so I knew something was up with his eye, so I kept attacking him and I was fortunate enough to make him submit.”
As a result of that submission, Spence is now the IBF champion of the welterweight division, a title the 28-year-old from De Soto, Texas has worked to make a reality all of his life.
“When you say Errol Spence Jr., IBF champion, that means everything,” Spence said. “It’s something that I’ve been wanting my whole life and something that, when I first started out boxing that was a dream of mine… to become a world champion. It’s something I accomplished, but there’s a lot more belts out there — three more — and Keith Thurman has two of them. So something that I really want is to become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world and conquer all the belts to be the No. 1 welterweight in the division.”