By Jeff Aranow: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. already has his sights set on a title defense against Jessie Vargas for his next fight after stopping his IBF mandatory Carlos Ocampo in the 1st round last night at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Spence believes he’ll have a shot at facing the winner of the Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter fight in the first quarter of 2019. But in the meantime, he would like to defend against #4 IBF Jessie Vargas next.
Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) says he’s not interested in defending against #2 IBF Yordenis Ugas next, because he doesn’t feel that will be a worthy fight. Spence prefers to face former two division world champion Jessie Vargas (28-2-1, 10 KOs) in his next fight if possible. Vargas is a high demand fighter, however, and he might not be willing to face him after the way he demolished the 22-year-old Ocampo last Saturday night in his second defense of his IBF 147lb title.
”I’ll probably fight later this year, a unification with (Danny} Garcia or (Shawn) Porter should happen 1st quarter next year,” Spence said. ”Keith Thurman coming back. [We share the] same manager, same network. I want big names. Jessie Vargas would be in front of Ugas, big names, ex-world champions, no disrespect, I’m looking to build my legacy and beating Ugas will not get me anywhere.”
Vargas isn’t a big name, but he is at least a recognizable fighter with the hardcore boxing fans. The so-called big names in the welterweight division are fighters like Lucas Matthysse, Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn are other options, but they’re unlikely to ever face Spence because they’re on the other side of the tracks with Top Rank, and they very rarely do business with his manager Al Haymon. Horn is likely going to be kept around for rematches with Terence Crawford by Top Rank boss Bob Arum. Pacquiao is still a money maker, so he won’t be put in with Spence.
Spence says the 22-year-old Ocampo didn’t have any punching power in the fight. With Ocampo’s 57% KO percentage, it was never thought that he was going to be a knockout threat to Spence. What’s really troubling about Ocampo’s low KO percentage is the fact that he has faced little known weak opposition in Mexico since he turned pro in 2013. Spence had no choice but to fight Ocampo though due to the IBF ordering him to defend against him.
”He didn’t have any power,” Spence said about Ocampo. ”I knew he would be nervous with all his fights in Mexico in small venues and then fight in front of all these fans against you. He was nervous, he wasn’t on that level. This was something I was supposed to do. I like being 100 with fans and people. I fought because he was my mandatory and did what I had to do,”
Spence wasn’t bothered by the shots from Ocampo. That made it easy for Spence to stand and unload on Ocampo with the hardest shots he could throw. It would have been smarter for Ocampo to have used movement to keep away from Spence.