IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. will take on mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo this Saturday (June 16) on Showtime at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
It will be the first boxing event to take place inside of the impressive 12,000 seat training facility, used by the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. It will also be the first time that Spence Jr., a huge Cowboy’s fan, will be fighting in his hometown since 2015.
A visibly stoked Spence Jr. reflected on the significance of the moment at a May news conference with Cowboys executives to promote the fight.
“This is a big opportunity for me. This has been a lifelong dream of mine. I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans that have been rooting for me since the amateurs. It’s great to bring this event to Ford Center. I’m happy to defend my title against a great contender like Ocampo, and I hope everyone comes out and supports their champion.”
Of course it is not all fun and games for the reserved Texan (23-0, 20 KOs) as he undergoes final preparations for the undefeated Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs).
Spence Jr. is the logical pick over the little known Ocampo, who will be competing in the United States for the first time, having previously fought exclusively in his home country of Mexico.
Some have lambasted the matchup, feeling that Ocampo is wholly undeserving of his mandatory status when he has never faced anyone in the current top 10 IBF rankings. His career best win came via unanimous decision over former world contender Jorge Paez Jr. in 2015.
In essence, Acampo has not fought anyone near the pedigree of ‘The Truth.’ Speaking through a translator, Ocampo appears to grasp the magnitude of the moment as well:
“I know that this is a great opportunity to be fighting here in Spence’s hometown. That’s a plus for me and it motivates me. It’s supposed to be tough with the crowd against me, and I know I’m the underdog, but my mind is only on the fight. I’m just fighting one man, not a whole crowd. I know that I have what it takes.”
A win over Ocampo could set-up a super fight with Terence Crawford, a recent victor himself over Jeff Horn and the newly crowned WBO welterweight champion.
It is a fight that the hungry and humble Spence Jr. would welcome, given his ambition to collect all of the titles within the crowded 147-pound weight division and reign supreme.
You have to appreciate Spence Jr’s confidence and his competent approach to making his mark as a pro. That intensity and singular purpose has helped him stop 20 of his prior 23 opponents.
On paper, this is a fight that Spence Jr. should easily win. The 22-year old challenger presents nothing readily obvious that would trouble the IBF champion, who will be making his second defense of his crown.
Somebody’s “O” must go in a fight that is almost certain to end inside of the distance. Expect a very focused and fully prepared Spence Jr. to do a number on a brave but inexperienced Carlos Ocampo.
Prediction: Spence Jr. batters Ocampo into submission by fifth round TKO.