Spence Jr. stops Peterson in eight rounds

Errol Spence Jr. put on a strong defence of his IBF welterweight crown on Saturday night in New York, beating Lamont Peterson when the fight was stopped just after the start of the eighth round.

Spence dominated the fight at the Barclays Center and was well ahead on points, his opponent looking tired and swollen as the referee called the fight just a second into the round.

The New York native landed quality shots in each round and put Peterson on the canvas in the fifth round as he took his record to 23-0 with 20 knockouts to retain the belt he won last May when he stopped former champ Kell Brook in Sheffield, England.

Speaking after the fight Spence paid tribute to his defeated foe: “My coach came with a great game plan, and I just followed through with it,” Spence said.

“I know Lamont. Lamont’s a tough fighter, he’s gonna give it all he’s got. He’s willing to die in there. His coach had to stop the fight. He wanted to keep going. That’s who Lamont is.”

On the undercard, IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. secured a split decision win over Javier Fortuna in their non-title fight.

Fortuna’s failure to make weight on Friday cost him a shot at the title, meaning Easter would retain his title whatever the result.

And it was Easter who prevailed as the judges scored the 12-round bout 114-113, 115-112, 113-114 narrowly in his favour, despite many pundits calling the result for Fortuna.