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Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson Pick

Errol Spence vs. Lamont Peterson Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Where: Barclays Arena, Brooklyn, New York
TV: Showtime
Weight Class: Welterweight
Titles: IBF Welterweight Championship
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Errol Spence, 22-0 (19 KOs), DeSoto, Texas
Lamont Peterson, 35-3-1 (17 KOs), Washington, D.C.

Betting Odds: Errol Spence (-2150), Lamont Peterson (+1300)

Errol Spence defends his IBF Welterweight Championship against WBA champ Lamont Peterson on January 20 in Brooklyn. Spence, 27, is one of the top young fighters in the sport, an exciting young and unbeaten champion that some think could take over the rich waters of the welterweight division. His opponent Peterson, a 33-year old champion in two weight classes, is a big underdog. But Peterson has made some nice things happen in the ring in big fights before and looks to do so again on January 20 in Brooklyn.

Everything looks to be in-order with Spence. He's a big-framed welterweight who relies on aggression and power. He had a decorated amateur background, with a calculated rise through the ranks that culminated in May of 2017 with an 11th-round KO win over IBF Champ Kell Brook. And for a young fighter to go into Brook's hometown of Sheffield, England and beat a fighter of that stature says a lot about Spence. Leading up to that win, he had illustrated his potential with KO wins over guys like Chris van Heerden, Chris Algieri, and Leonard Bundu.

Peterson has had a bit of a rocky career, but he's still here—coming off a nice February win over David Avanesyan for a WBA trinket. Peterson has been neglected a lot, a former champion who hasn't been able to get solid-footing. By the same token, his only clear loss since 2009 was a KO defeat to Lucas Matthysse. Highly-regarded Danny Garcia barely beat him in this very building in 2015, a fight many felt Peterson won. He beat top-regarded guys like Amir Khan. And his last two wins, over the talented and young duo of Avanesyan and Felix Diaz, shows he's still a very dangerous fighter.

We aren't in opposition to the notion that Spence might be a big thing. But looking at his odds, one would think he was a monster getting ready to squish a bug in this fight. There is evidence to the contrary that we need to analyze. While he has beaten some good fighters, Spence's win over Brook is really the only time he has mixed with a top-level guy. And it was a top guy who was coming off a fight two divisions above where he sustained considerable damage. And in the early-rounds of that fight, Brook was doing very well, showing he could hit higher notes than Spence, while just not being able to do it over the long-haul and maybe due to some of the reasons we cited.


If looking for someone who can topple Spence, you'd probably look for a younger and bigger fighter than Peterson. He's not a big 147-pounder. At 33, it's a weird time for him to be at his best after a long and trying career. Having three fights since 2014 is also far-from-ideal. At the same time, he's a fighter who has proven more in his career at this high level. Peterson has been involved in big fights before and has managed to shine. It's not fair to cast him as the guy who was close but never made it. He sure seemed to do enough to beat Garcia in 2015, who was an unbeaten champion at the time. He's done well with fast fighters and boxers who are really aggressive before.

Peterson is more nimble than Spence. He can employ tactics where he is super-aggressive, while having the back-foot game that makes him very versatile. Against a version of Spence that will be looking to reaffirm his status, he might have to use that back-foot a lot. At the end of the day, Peterson is a super-cagey vet, a fighter who can make mid-fight adjustments and come back from deficits and adversity. He's a proven commodity at this level. Sure, there's a reason he doesn't occupy a premier spot, but a lot of it is tied up in happenstance.

A reader can probably sense a case for Peterson is being made here and you'd be right. Spence definitely deserves to be a favorite and even a prohibitive one, but his quote of -2150 is purely absurd. At those odds, you want a scenario with a crystal-clear path to victory wrought with very few possible hazards. While he seems to have the size, skills, and power to trouble Peterson, it's certainly not to an extent where you'd forecast him to beat Peterson in 22 fights if they fought 23 times.

In other words, if someone just asked you who is going to win this fight, you'd say Spence. But personally, I see Peterson's chances being more in the one-in-four range. And with him getting a +1300 quote, that equals superlative value. Let's not mistake what we're dealing with here, though, as Spence might be good enough to render Peterson's attributes moot. And with Spence being the clear A-side in this fight, we've already seen Peterson scammed on the cards and this could be a fight where edging Spence is not enough to win on the cards. It's a tough spot, but +1300 is more than enough to make taking a whirl with Peterson the right move.

Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Lamont Peterson at +1300 odds. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the Spence vs. Peterson fight at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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