Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott
If you have had the chance to watch Errol “The Truth” Spence as he climbs the ranks and increases his popularity you have undoubtedly witnessed a real treat. Spence is treating fans to stellar performances and leaving a litany of contenders, grizzled veterans and world champions with an extra L on their records. What makes Spence so good? Is it his power? Is it his ability to stop his opponents (or make them quit)? In a word, yes, but that only scratches the surface of Spence’s ability let’s take a deeper look at a few more reasons why he really IS the truth
Most good trainers will tell you that boxing begins and ends with a fighters feet/legs. Spence uses his footwork to dominate his opponents in a few ways. First and foremost Spence wins the battle for dominant foot position against his opponents. When fighting a southpaw (if you’re an orthodox fighter) you have to keep your lead foot on the outside of their lead foot this helps you control their movement and dictate the pace of the fight. This small victory in each of Spence’s fights allows him to always be in position to strike his opponent and allows him to cut the ring off when they try to evade his offense.
One of the things that impresses me most about Spence is how efficient he is, he doesn’t expend any excess energy with wasted movements or excessive offense, he does everything exactly as he should whether it’s mounting his offense, moving around the ring or even on defense. Spence’s economical style of fighting and his composure allow him to be relentless and wear his opponents down because of his footwork and efficiency, he seems to always be in front of his opponents, that physical and mental pressure breaks an opponent down as the fight progresses.
EVERYTHING Spence does comes behind his jab (a rarity now-a-days) Spence uses the jab in all of its many forms, most effectively as a range finder, to control his opponent’s movement and to set up more offense. Another overlooked fundamental skill that Spence employs which allows him to hurt opponents seemingly with either hand is he turns his body into every shot EXACTLY as he should using leverage and foot movement during his offense, he throws punches in a textbook manner consistently.
Spence sets up his offense the way that old school heavyweights and pros of a by-gone era did, when watching Spence fight you can see shades of the best of Felix Trinidad, Julian Jackson and even a young George Foreman (to name a few).
There are other names out that are being thrown around as the best fighter pound for pound and I think Spence belongs in that conversation (I predict he will take the crown after beating Terrance Crawford in a fight that will possibly begin to be built up this year but won’t take place until late 2019). Say what you will about Spence but the scary thing is we haven’t seen the best of him, he hasn’t peaked yet or reached his zenith in terms of his danger rating (I just made that up), it’s the point that most great fighters reach where no one wants to fight them and they become proverbial boogeymen where opponents in the same weight class won’t even mention their name in interviews. For young Errol Spence, I truly believe the best is yet to come.
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