Welterweight world titleholder Errol Spence Jr. and former titlist Lamont Peterson have been on the calendar to meet on Jan 20. Now they have a venue for the fight.
They will meet at the boxing hotbed of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, in the main event of a Showtime-televised card (9 p.m. ET), promoters Lou DiBella and Tom Brown announced Tuesday. Showtime said undercard bouts will be announced at a later date.
"I'm pleased to be promoting Spence vs. Peterson, one of the very best matchups in the welterweight division and in all of boxing," DiBella said in a news release. "Spence is not only one of the best welterweights in the world, but one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing. In Peterson, he faces another elite welterweight and a two-time world champion. Spence vs. Peterson will bring the heat to Barclays Center on a chilly Jan. 20."
Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), a southpaw from DeSoto, Texas, who turns 28 on Jan. 13, will be making the first defense of his 147-pound world title. He won the belt on May 27 when he traveled to Sheffield, England, as the mandatory challenger for hometown titleholder Kell Brook and broke his orbital bone en route to an impressive 11th-round knockout.
Spence only fought once in 2017, but has big plans for next year.
"My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook," Spence, a 2012 U.S. Olympian and the 2015 ESPN.com prospect of the year, said in the news release. "I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing."
Said Brown: "Errol Spence is a rising star with his sights set on title unification and the top of the pound-for-pound list, but he's going to receive a stern test from Lamont Peterson, a multiple division champion whose résumé is filled with top-class opponents."
Peterson, a former junior welterweight titleholder who has faced top opponents such as Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley Jr., Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse and Felix Diaz, gave up a secondary welterweight world title in order to be eligible to fight for Spence's belt.
Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), who turns 34 on Jan. 24, will be coming off an 11-month layoff and will be boxing for only the second time since October 2015. In his most recent fight, Peterson won a unanimous decision in a strong performance against Russia's David Avanesyan to win a secondary title on Feb. 18.
"First off, I'm happy to be getting back in the ring," Peterson said. "I've stayed in the gym and I'm ready to go. This is a fight I wanted and as I said before when I became a welterweight, I want to fight the best and make the fights that people want to see. I'm ready to give it my all and give the fans a great show."