Errol Spence Jr. Cruises In First Title Defense, Beats Lamont Peterson By TKO

Rolling into the Barclays Center on a cold January evening, Errol Spence Jr. knew he needed to make a statement with a win over a veteran such as Lamont Peterson and Spence did just that.

Spence retained his IBF welterweight title with an impressive stoppage win in front of more than 12,000 fans at the Barclays Center. Spence battered Peterson throughout seven rounds and once the eighth round began, the referee stopped the fight, preventing a massively bruised Peterson from getting punished even more.

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Below is the ending of the fight, from Fightful's live coverage of the fight.

Round 7: Peterson gets checked out by the ringside doctor before the round begins, but he's cleared to fight. Spence continues to control the pact of this fight, but Peterson is fighting hard to land a clean shot. Spence tags Peterson with a jab followed by an uppercut. Peterson connects with the jab, but Spence lands several big punches. Spence lands an uppercut and Peterson is almost hurt again.

Fightful scored round 7 for Spence 10-9

Round 8: The referee called a stop to the contest at the start of the round. Spence retains the belt.

Official Result: Errol Spence Jr. (c) defeated Lamont Peterson via TKO, Round 8 to retain the IBF Welterweight Championship

This was Spence's first title defense since winning the title off of Kell Brook last year. With Peterson out of the way, Spence's attention now continues to be fixed on a unification superfight with WBA/WBC champion Keith Thurman. In a post-fight interview, Spence called out Thurman and issued the challenge once again.

"Everybody knows I’ve been waiting on “Sometimes” Thurman. Since I was 15-0 I’ve been calling this guy out and he keeps making excuses. Let’s get it on. I want Keith Thurman. He has two of the belts and we both have big names. It's an easy fight to make and I want it," Spence said.

The fight was all Spence, who landed 161 punches, while Peterson threw just 158 punches, according to CompuBox. The fight started to become a blowout by the fifth round, when a stiff left hook by Spence knocked down Peterson. Spence landed 35 power punches to Peterson, which is the most power punches Peterson has ever gotten hit with in a round in his career. Peterson's right eye started to swell up around the fourth round, making it hard for the former world champion to land any meaningful punches.

As for when Spence will be back in the ring, he tweeted that a fight date will be announced soon.

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