Ultimately, it was about the homecoming, not the opponent. All along, the second defense of Errol Spence's IBF Welterweight championship was intended to be a celebration, the icing on the cake, signifying his transition from 2012 U.S. Olympian to highly touted prospect, to world champion, to probable pugilistic superstar. Carlos Ocampo was the perfect foil; undefeated, younger, bigger and the mandatory challenger for Spence's 147-pound strap. That said, it took all of approximately 2 minutes and 57 seconds for “The Truth” to leave his foe on the ground, writing in pain for the full 10-count and beyond.
Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones
Premier Boxing Champions presented this event from the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, TX, on the campus of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility. Showtime Championship Boxing aired the mismatch live, as a sellout crowd of 12,604 (rumored to have produced a live gate of a million dollars or more) provided a clear home-court advantage. It had been 50 years and 2 months since a man from Dallas defended his world title in Dallas, but Saturday, June 16th, 2018 proved to be well worth the wait.
From head to toe, Spence was decked out, representing the city of Dallas and “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys during his ring-walk. Rapper, Yella Beezy performed his hit “That’s on Me”, as Spence walked beside him, smiling, mouthing the lyrics. Among those in attendance were Cowboys starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, Hall of Fame wide receiver, Michael Irvin, All-Pro pass rusher, Demarcus Lawrence, and of course owner, Jerry Jones.
As the opening bell tolled, Spence (24-0, 21 KO’s) closed distance with his jab, sticking and stabbing Ocampo (22-1, 13 KO’s) to the head and mid-section, as the challenger moved and looked to counter. Ocampo landed two nice body shots, prompting Spence to fire harder ones. Before long body blows were being traded toe to toe. Spence fell just short of Ocampo’s chin with a couple southpaw 1-2’s. With about three seconds remaining in the 1st, Spence folded Ocampo with a left-right to the body. The left did the damage, crashing against Ocampo’s unprotected torso as he threw a right hand of his own. Referee, Laurence Cole, administered a full 10-count and could’ve reached 75 or 100 before Ocampo was eventually back on his feet.
Spence admitted to being slightly disappointed in the brevity of the moment, hoping to put a bit more hurt on Ocampo. He quickly re-focused on the positive, basking in the moment of performing well in front of his core fans and the football team he dreamed of playing for growing up. Jones climbed in the ring to celebrate with Spence, making victory that much sweeter. "This room was full of Dallas Cowboys football players supporting you," Jones said. "They share your passion. I saw a guy in this ring who knew what he wanted. When you knock a guy out by hitting him once on the side of his back, you're bad to the bone." Clearly impressed, Jerry then playfully threw out a challenge to anyone in the building, saying Errol could "fight again tonight if someone wants to step up and fight him."
More than anything, Spence is hoping the winner of the upcoming Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter bout, for the vacant WBC Welterweight title, will step up and fight him. Or Keith Thurman, the WBA champ, assuming he’s still interested in boxing these days. Keith Thurman became the WBO 147-pound titlist a week prior, but that affair needs time to build, simmer and there’s the obstacle of both men fighting for rival networks.
One thing’s for sure, Spence will fight once more in 2018. Could be Jessie Vargas, Omar Figueroa and even 135-pound champion, Mikey Garcia, threw his name in the mix. Highly doubtful either of those three has what it takes to derail the momentum of the man who looks like the top dog at Welterweight, each time he’s in the squared circle.