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Errol Spence Jr. continues his modest rise up the pound for pound rankings

Undefeated Errol Spence Jr. seeks to remain unbeaten in his usual quiet demeanor.

The soft-spoken Spence will be making his second defense of the International Boxing Federation welterweight title against Carlos Ocampo on Saturday, June 16 at the Dallas Cowboy's training facility, the Star, in Frisco, Texas.

Spence, 28, traveled overseas last year to dethrone Kell Brook on his own turf to claim the title and now will be seeking some home court advantage in Texas, the state he currently resides in.

"Dallas already is a boxing town, just not enough boxing comes here. I can be the star who has annual fights and bring the city out like we're doing Saturday night. I'm going to prove we're a boxing city in Dallas and that Texas is a boxing state period. I do this for the whole state," Spence said in a press conference with media on Thursday.

Sports fans have always been drawn to outlandish talkers, especially in combat sports, where the macho bluster is even more of a psychological factor in an effort to intimidate the opposing foe, but Spence prefers to let his actions inside of the ring do the talking for him.

"Every fight is a statement fight. It doesn't matter who I'm fighting. All eyes are on me in the welterweight division. People want to see if there are chinks in my armor, so it's important for me to put on a great performance and prove I'm the best welterweight in the division," said Spence.

The loaded welterweight division consists of top contenders Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, undefeated World Boxing Association champion Keith Thurman, future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao, and recent newcomer to the division, Terence Crawford, who stepped up in weight after cleaning out the junior welterweight division.

Crawford (33-0, 24 knockouts) bested Jeff Horn last weekend to claim the World Boxing Organization title and seems like a logical future opponent for Spence Jr if their respective promoters can put aside the usual politics of boxing to make the bout happen.

Spence is managed by Al Haymon and fights on Showtime while Crawford is aligned with Bob Arum of Top Rank and has been recently showcased on ESPN.

Mikey Garcia has also expressed interest in a future bout with Spence at AT&T Stadium in Dallas at the end of the year if he can get past Robert Easter Jr. next month at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) will be fighting for the first time in the United States after mostly competing in his native Mexico.

"I'm really happy to be here and I'm so happy that everyone came out. Saturday night is going to be great. I've been training for 10 weeks and I'm 100% percent focused on Ocampo. I'm here to do my job, which is to win and look good winning," Spence said.

After a robust variety of combat sports last weekend that included the Crawford v. Horn fight, the rematch between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares, plus UFC 225 in Chicago, the floor is open this weekend for Spence Jr. to make another quiet statement.

 

 

Alex Solano