The first significant night of boxing in 2018 took place at the Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, New York last night with two IBF world title fights taking place.
Errol Spence Jr and Lamont Peterson took center stage as the main event to contest the IBF world welterweight title, Spence Jr making his first defence of the title he won on the road against Briton Kell Brook and went in as a 20 to 1 odds on favourite to win the fight.
Spence Jr started sharply in the opening round, utilising a fast stiff jab while working Peterson’s body, round two was again all Spence Jr working the body, clearly mindful of slowing Peterson down, anticipating the fight going long.
In round 3 Peterson had his first real success landing some head shots which Spence Jr complained were around the back of the head, still, Spence Jr continued to up the work rate and landed more often to go 3-0 up in the fight. Round 4 and Peterson was really showing his toughness marching forward with a high guard and making Spence Jr work.
In round 5 Spence Jr dropped Peterson in the opening minute with a combination of punches, however, Peterson clearly hurt got up from the canvass gritted his teeth and fought back, a war broke out and the crowd responded. Round 6 and Peterson’s eyes were beginning to swell from the heavy punishment but he showed his toughness and bravery to get through the round.
However, it was clear by now this was a fight Spence Jr was dominating and Peterson would almost certainly need a knockout from nowhere to win. In the 7th Peterson continued to take a beating and despite his high work rate through the first half of the fight, Errol Spence Jr still looked like a man with a full tank left, he was relaxed, sharp and in complete control.
At the end of the 7th Peterson’s corner had seen enough and retired their fighter before the start of the 8th round, handing Spence Jr a 7th round TKO victory. It was a dominant and sharp display from The Truth who did little to harm his reputation as a force within the welterweight division.
Meanwhile, Robert Easter Jr scraped past Javier Fortuna via a split decision with scorecards of 114-113 Easter Jr, 114-113, Fortuna, 115-112 Easter Jr to retain his IBF world lightweight title.
It was not without controversy as Fortuna was deducted a point for holding and hitting in round two which on replay appeared harsh, yet proved to be significant.
In other results ‘Babyface’ Polish Heavyweight Adam Kownacki wore down Georgian Iago Kiladze for a TKO victory in the sixth round, Marcus Browne stopped Francy Ntetu inside a round and Lamont Peterson’s brother Anthony Peterson scored a 10 round unanimous victory over Luis Eduardo Florez with scorecards of 100-89 x 2 and 100-90.