Undefeated welterweight boxer Errol Spence Jr. claimed he would defeat a prime version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. if such a thing were possible. In reality, Spence, 30, and Mayweather, 43, are generations apart, so a matchup such as that could never really happen. Regardless, Spence likes how the best version of him stacks up against the best version of Mayweather and predicts he’d win that fantasy fight.
“One-hundred percent focus, in my prime, I think I’d beat Floyd,” Spence said
Spence: ‘I Would Cut Him Off…Use My Jab’
Spence revealed that information to ex-NBA ballers Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on Showtime’s “All The Smoke” podcast, but the fighter didn’t just stop there. In fact, Spence proceeded to reveal exactly how he would go about attacking Mayweather, the fighter most boxing fans consider the best of his era.
Spence said it would come down to using physical advantages.
“Well, Floyd, he’s very mentally tough, “Spence said. “I would cut him off. I would use my jab. Oscar De La Hoya should have used his jab a lot more.”
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Mayweather vs. De La Hoya in 2007
Mayweather defeated De La Hoya via split decision in 2007. While De La Hoya seemed on his way to claiming victory over the first half of the contest, Mayweather rallied down the stretch to score his first win in the junior middleweight division.
Nine years prior, Mayweather had won his first world title in the 130-pound junior lightweight division. By the time he retired in 2017, Mayweather had claimed championships at 130, 135, 140, 147 and 154 pounds.
Meanwhile, Spence is a career 147-pounder, something that would give him a solid size advantage against Mayweather.
Mayweather’s Welterweight Resume Was Stellar
Still, the Mayweather who defeated De La Hoya probably wasn’t the prime version of the fighter, at least in terms of competing in and around the welterweight division.
After beating De La Hoya, Mayweather went on a brilliant stretch over the next five years against top competition.
Between 2007 and 2012, Mayweather defeated Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz and Miguel Cotto to prove he deserved top billing as boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Spence still has a lot of work to do if he hopes to enjoy the same kind of success against top-flight opponents.
More on Spence’s Strategy to Beat Mayweather
However the matchup might unfold inside anyone’s head, Spence at least seems to have a solid strategy in mind about how he would attack Mayweather, usually considered one of the best defensive fighters of all-time.
“I’d throw combinations,” Spence said. I’d work the body and then work the head. Because, a lot of people, they go to the head and then work the body, but they go for the head and then you can’t hit him in the head.”
Last year, Spence unified the WBC and IBF welterweight titles by defeating Shawn Porter via split decision before a car accident derailed the rest of his 2019 campaign. The fighter seems to have now recovered from the injuries and figures to be a big part of boxing again once promoters figure out how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But until that happens, fans will just have to settle for these types of fantasy matchups.
“I’d just try to break him down physically, because I know it’s not break him down mentally,” Spence said. “He’s just one of those type of fighters…You can break him down physically, but mentally he’s always going to be there. So I would just try to break him down physically.”
Still, that’s easier said than done. Mayweather retired 50-0 with wins over the biggest rivals of his era, most notably Manny Pacquiao.