RED-HOT welterweight prospect Errol Spence insists he was ready to box for a major title two fights ago as he prepares for his toughest test to date against Chris Algieri on Saturday [April 16].
Spence takes on the former super-lightweight world champion at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a fight which could turn him into a real contender at 147lbs.
The Texan southpaw plans to make a statement against Algieri – whose only pro losses came to Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan, both on points – and prove he is ready for the division’s big guns.
“I’ve always felt like I was ready for this level. Saturday night, I’m looking for a coming out party. My focus is 100 percent on this fight,” he said.
“I was ready two fights ago to fight for a title. After this fight we can talk about what’s next, but right now, Chris Algieri is in front of me.
“Chris has been in a lot of hard fights. At the end of the day he’s a boxer and so am I. It’s going to be a war.”
Spence has been tipped for stardom ever since turning pro after competing at the 2012 Olympic Games, and has so far passed every test asked of him with flying colours.
Samuel Vargas, Phil Lo Greco, Chris Van Heerden and Alejandro Barrera all failed to hear the final bell against the 26-year-old last year, but Algieri signals a significant step up for Spence.
“I never thought fight week would come. I’m just so excited to put on a show. It’s going to be the best Errol Spence you’ve ever seen,” he said.
“I just need to stick with my game plan. The game plan that my coach laid out for me and do what I do and get the win.
“Whatever happens, happens. I’m going to have to feel it out in the first round. I just need to fight smart.”
New York’s Algieri, who rebounded from his back-to-back losses to Pacquiao and Khan with a 10-round decision over Erick Bone in December, won the WBO world super-lightweight title from Ruslan Provodnikov in a hellacious affair in 2014.
While most expect him to provide a tough fight for Spence, few seem to think Algieri can stunt Errol’s rise.
“I don’t think I’ve gotten as much respect as I deserve throughout my career,” Algieri said.
“I don’t know why, but it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day I go out there and perform. More often than not I’m victorious.
“I think everyone knows that I’ll fight anybody. Spence is a guy people don’t want to fight, so they brought him to me.
“The hard work is done. Training camp was long, hard and grueling. Not much more to be said. It’s time to fight. It’s going to be a great night of fights. “