Errol Spence Jr. has announced that he will defend his IBF welterweight title against former world champion Lamont Peterson.
Spence made the formal announcement in a media appearance at the Barclays Center and said he would fight Peterson for his first world title defense. Spence said the fight would take place sometime in January. No venue for the fight has been set, but Spence said it would happen in New York or somewhere on the West Coast.
Peterson was the WBA "regular" welterweight champion until a few weeks ago when he vacated the title. No official explanation for the vacancy was made except that Peterson wanted to give other fighters a chance to fight for the WBA title. When asked if the title vacancy was done in order to challenge for the IBF belt, Spence said he wasn't sure because he had not talked to Peterson about the matter.
Spence, who is not signed to any promotional company, said he was offered a seven-figure deal to fight Miguel Cotto. Spence declined the offer because the deal involved Spence having to sign a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions. Cotto is now fighting Sadam Ali in December, the final fight in Cotto's career.
When talking about the Golden Boy offer, Spence said he didn't want to sign with a promoter and even revealed plans of starting his own promotion company.
"I don't want a promoter right now. I feel like I'm starting my own promotional company, probably later next year and do my own thing. I'm already fighting on network [television], I'm already the main event, and I'm already getting great money. So I don't see what a promoter can offer me," Spence said.
The 27-year-old Spence won the title back in May when he beat Kell Brook in Sheffield, England. Spence knocked out Brook in the 11th round, breaking Brook's orbital bone during the fight.