Friday, September 11, 2015
Errol Spence: Demolition Man Defeats Tough South African Chris Van Heerden
Settling in for a night of boxing. I almost missed the Errol Spence v. Chris Van Heerden fight on SpikeTV because I was tuning in to TRU TV boxing card. My home boy called me up fortunately and told me about the Errol Spence card. Ain’t it great now that boxing is once again ubiquitous after being prematurely declared dead by the straining and desperate MMA publicity squad?
Lennox Lewis, former world Heavyweight Champion was with the Spike TV promotion of Adonis “Superman” Stevenson versus Thomas Karpensky. Lewis had a partner so I hope he’s not the one who lined up Karpensky for Stevenson. I like Karpensky but it was clear he was from the minor leagues. He was the underfunded setup guy for a Stevenson KO. Stevenson got the big buildup but he should really be fighting Sergei Kovalev, whom he ducked by signing to a promotion which assured he could keep ducking Kovalev in perpetuity. I won’t believe Adonis is any kind of Superman until he faces Kovalev. It can be done. The fans want it even if Stevenson doesn’t.
The Error Spence matchup against Chris Van Heerden was a good match. Spence has gone from good beginnings at the 2012 Olympics to four rounder, then to six and eight rounders, and now to the whole distance. Spence had dispatched all his previous opponents and it was time to move him up. Van Heerden was a good pick, a tough, durable and talented fighter who actually had a chance of winning. Spence was his usual fantastic self, doing all the right things at all the right times.
He was methodical in his work, offsetting Van Heerden efforts with a stiff jab. If Van Heerden closed in, Spence would deliver uppercuts. Ultimately, he pounded a very game and courageous Van Heerden into a defeat but it was hard work with a guy who didn’t come all the way from South Africa just to lie down.
On the other hand, I’ve been a long-time fan of Spence and think he got a raw deal at the Olympics. Usually, I laugh when I hear people saying a guy could be the next Mayweather or the next Tyson, or the next anybody. But the plaudits that follow Spence around are well deserved. He’s got the complete arsenal, the body and the mentality to deliver it. While they mention him as a Mayweather, his temperament seems more like that of an Ali—much less noise of course—but with the same grace under pressure.
As for Adonis Stevenson, he gets no praise from me for knocking out a seriously overmatched and unrepresented kid from a small town in Pennsylvania. The matchmaker gets an “F” for making this one. It was entirely bogus and shouldn’t have been allowed. In spite of having an upset wins over Chad Dawson, justifying this supposedly, he was clearly not sturdy enough to fight a heavily muscled and fast punching Adonis who comes at you from all angles. Stevenson has some skills, and he’s strong but this fight with Karpensky didn’t do him any good.
At the end of the fight and during the post-fight interview, he calls out Kovalev, which was kind of a joke because he turned down a fight with Kovalev about a year ago before Sergei signed with another promoter. Fact is, Stevenson is milking his division for whatever he can get out of it.