Errol Spence’s career has been on an upward trajectory since he turned over to the professional ranks. In the eyes of many he is without doubt a future pound for pound star in the sport of boxing.
Already a well-established amateur with good pedigree, his skills have been honed excellently and now in fight number 21, Spence 20-0 (17KO’s) has the chance to place himself at the front of the queue for a crack at the IBF Welterweight title, currently guarded by the unbeaten Kell Brook.
But in order to make his date with destiny official, Spence must establish the dominance he has placed on all 20 of his previous opponents, against the former European Welterweight ruler and 41-year old Leonard Bundu 33-1-2(12KO’s) – on Sunday night televised by BoxNation in the UK and NBC in the USA.
What Brook’s next move will be – win or lose against Middleweight ruler Gennady Golovkin – could alter the landscape of the winner’s time frame for their mandated title shot.
But no matter how the next month’s proceedings unfold in both New York and London, the inevitability is that the winner of Spence and Bundu will be standing in the challengers corner for their maiden attempt to claim world championship honours – discounting the Interim WBA title Bundu fought for nearly two years ago against Keith Thurman.
That night Bundu may well have found his level.
He had previous well recognised wins over Lee Purdy (TKO 12) and Frankie Gavin (SD 12), but they were not at a high enough level to ready himself for a face-off with another of boxing’s hottest stars.
Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman dropped and dominated the durable African-Italian, but was unable to come through with a stoppage that his knockout ratio suggested he could get.
So whatever level you place Bundu at, an early triumph for the Dallas native would be impressive and send out another serious statement of intent upon a stacked 147lbs division.
Spence’s most recent triumphs place him as the most glamourous prospect in the sport.
(Spence talks about current welterweight landscape with Premier Boxing Champions):
He toyed with the capable Chris Van Heerden before stopping him in 8 rounds.vWhile Chris Algieri’s 12 round points defeat’s to Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao could not prepare him for the avalanche of fistic fury coming from the hands of the 26-year old sensation.
Algieri was blitzed in just 5 rounds in Spence’s latest victory.
Bundu’s defeat at the hands of the current WBA Welterweight ruler, Thurman, alongside his 33% knockout ratio, do not do the Sierra Leone fighter justice.
He fights at a frantic pace, and is durable at any level.
His punches become harder as the fight wears on, where he can dig with both fists, and is adept at switching from orthodox to southpaw on both the back and front foot.
Spence will be required to deal with all of this, which is why he may not have the opportunity to finish this contest early.
But his talents in the ring are far beyond his experience as a prize-fighter, and one senses that Bundu is facing the wrong man at the wrong time, unfortunately for him.
Spence’s momentum is growing, and it will come down to Sheffield’s Brook to attempt to derail the fast approaching steam train in the not too distant future.
For me, Bundu will frustrate Spence in the early going, but behind patient assaults, Spence will control proceedings.
Breaking down a tough operator such as Bundu will be no easy feat, but Spence’s heavy handed attacks will begin to take there effect as the fight enters the second half.
Bundu has the durability to see the fight out, but the pick is for Spence to rubber stamp his glittering potential with a knockout finish between rounds 7 and 9.
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