Errol Spence Jr. already has a claim to being the best 147-pounder in the
world. Saturday night in front of a hometown crowd, he did nothing to
dispel that belief.
Spence took care of undefeated but unheralded Mexican challenger Carlos
Ocampo with one second left in the opening round. A left, right combination
to the body put Ocampo down, slouched over. Referee Laurence Cole reached a
ten count, rendering Spence the winner by first-round KO on a
Showtime-televised card in front of a hometown Dallas-area crowd of 12,600.
The brief fight featured a fair amount of back and forth action as Ocampo
was game, but the body attack of Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) was unforeseeable by
the unbeaten Mexican. The knockout called to mind Roy Jones Jr. stopping
Virgil Hill. Spence retained his IBF belt at and is likely to find himself
in a marquee matchup in the next 12 months.
“I was a little disappointed. I wanted to give the crowd their money’s
worth,” Spence said. “I wanted him to sustain a bit and give him some
punishment, but the body shot got him and I dropped him.”
It happens to be the ninth time in Spence’s career he has stopped an
opponent with a body shot.
“I knew if I hit him again he would probably drop,” Spence said. “That was
my game plan. I’m the body snatcher. If he reacts weirdly, I just keep
going to the body and I keep breaking him down.”
Spence is in a stable of fighters that includes Keith Thurman, Danny
Garcia, and Shawn Porter. There are easy to make matchups amongst that
quartet, and then of course there’s Terence Crawford across the street.
That seems like the fight down the road that has the chance of being for
all the marbles at 147 pounds, and both fighters are capable of building
“I want to fight the best,” Spence promised. “Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter
are fighting each other (for the WBC title) and I definitely want to make
that a unifying fight. We both have the same management, we both fight on
Showtime. Why not make that happen? I definitely want that fight whenever
One thing Spence has in his favor is he has established himself as a
bonafide hometown draw—and that’s more than any 147-pounder can say about
themselves. The amount of people that turned out to support him against a
flimsy challenger at best in Ocampo is promising to see.
After the fight, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined Spence in the ring
to congratulate him on the victory.
“This moment is a dream,” Spence said. “I wanted to play for the Dallas
Cowboys and now I’m fighting in front of the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry
Jones. Thank you to the whole Dallas Cowboys organization.
“We’ll definitely be back after I unify some titles. We’ll make this an
annual thing where I fight here.”
Jones was thrilled with what was the first boxing event inside the Ford
Center at The Star, the centerpiece of the 91-acre campus of the Dallas
Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility.
“This room was full of Dallas Cowboys football players supporting you,”
Jones said. “They share your passion. I saw a guy in this ring who knew
what he wanted. When you knock a guy out by hitting him once on the side of
his back, you’re bad to the bone.”