In an era where more and more boxers are aiming for titles early into their career, Joey Spencer might just be the latest that is on his way to contendership.
At just 18 years old and with only five professional fights under his belt, Spencer has already been exposed to a national television audience that has seen him score highlight reel knockout after highlight reel knockout. Despite having very limited pro experience, Spencer is already targeting big fights in 2020 en route to fighting for a world title.
In an exclusive interview with Fightful, Spencer outlined his goals for 2019, which is to gain more experience by having at least five more fights, starting with a bout on January 13 in Los Angeles that will be aired on FS1. After 2019, Spencer eyes fights that will get him on the cusp of challenging for a world title, joining the likes of Gervonta Davis, David Benavidez and Kosei Tanaka to win world titles in their late teens and early 20s.
“My goal for this year is to go out and fight five times and just to give a great performance each time I step into the ring, hopefully get knockouts every time I step into the ring. I want this year to be my breakout year to the boxing public. I want to try and get everyone to see me as someone to watch, even more so than they already are. Then the next year after that, 2020, is when I want to start fighting high-level contenders and start getting into the title conversation,” Spencer said.
Having been a pro boxer for a little less than one year, Spencer said he feels more comfortable fighting now compared to when he first made his debut. Spencer admitted that there will always be nerves whenever he steps into the ring, but now he's learned to better handle those nerves as he keeps gaining more experience.
“You get more comfortable and used to the nerves, but I would say that the nerves stay the same if that makes sense. It’s not that the nerves get better, it’s that you get better at how to control them and use them to your advantage,” Spencer said.
Of course, fighting in front of a national audience isn't the only thing Spencer has had to learn on the job. As a professional boxer, Spencer no longer fights using headgear, but if you ask him, Spencer feels more comfortable fighting as he is in the paid ranks.
“I personally like [fighting with no headgear]. I like to use my head movement and the thing about not having headgear is that you have more range of vision, so I like it from that standpoint a lot. You feel more free, peripheral vision [is better]. That has been working to my advantage so far," Spencer said.
As for the task at hand, Spencer said he feels ready to go and added he had his best training camp thus far.
“Training camp has been going great. It’s probably the best I’ve had. This is my sixth fight coming up and out of all five training camps that I’ve had so far, this being my sixth one, it’s been the best so far. I’m training harder than ever, feeling great, everything is coming along nicely," Spencer said.
Spencer's next fight will be a part of the PBC on FS1 main card that will be headlined by Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant for the IBF super middleweight title. FS1 is also airing a prelim card that will feature the in-ring return of former world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.