Errol Spence Jr.'s first IBF welterweight title defense is a special fight for him and he hopes to send a message to the rest of the welterweight division.
During a press conference in New York where Fightful appeared in, Spence said his upcoming title fight against Lamont Peterson is an important one for the champion because he still feels slighted by several boxers in the division, despite being the world champion.
In regards to his opponent, Spence believes that Peterson, a former world champion at junior welterweight and welterweight, will give a much tougher fight than most boxing pundits would initially believe.
"This fight means everything to me. I still have a chip on my shoulder. I want to be the last man standing. I want to beat the top fighters in my division. Lamont is the one standing in front of me, so it's fight time. I think it's going to turn into a war. A lot of people have thought this would be an easy fight for me. But if you follow Lamont Peterson, you know this will be tough. He's always in great shape and has a lot of skills," Spence said.
Spence will be fighting at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, headlining a Showtime Championship Boxing card on January 20. Peterson may not have been Spence's ideal fight as the champion as his last appearance at the venue saw him hold a presser alongside WBC and WBA champion Keith Thurman just last year. Thurman brushed off a fight against Spence at the time, leaving Spence to find an opponent for his first title defense. Spence said he would love to eventually unify world titles with Thurman and hopes the fans in Brooklyn will be excited by his fight.
"I'm just excited to fight. I like to fight. I can't wait to be in front of those bright lights in front of the fans. Brooklyn is a great place to fight and my family from the area can come see me live. I can't wait to display my skills," Spence said.
Fightful will have live coverage at the event from inside the Barclays Center. Check out Fightful's preview of the fight on the latest edition of the Fightful Boxing Newsletter.