Lem's Corner: Notebook
By Lem Satterfield
ERROL SPENCE, JR. IS A NEW YORK GUY, TOO.
Everyone knows that Chris Algieri, who was born and lives in Huntington, Long Island, will be the “hometown’’ fighter when he takes on Errol Spence, Jr. in a welterweight showdown at Barclays Center as Premier Boxing Champions on NBC returns to prime time on Saturday,April 16 (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).
But not many people realize that Spence was born on Long Island and moved to Desoto, Texas with his parents when he was 2 years old. Spence will have plenty of relatives from New York rooting for him when he steps into the ring against Algieri.
Here are 5 Things You Don’t Know about Errol Spence:
1. His 91-year-old paternal grandmother, Ivy Spence, has never seen him fight live. She doesn’t like to watch him fight.
2. His father, Errol, Sr., is one of nine children and moved to New York from Jamaica with his parents when he was 15 years old.
3. Spence named his four-month old daughter, Ivy, after his grandmother.
4. His mother, Debra, was born and raised on Long Island.
5. Spence was one of Floyd Mayweather’s sparring partners when Mayweather was preparing for Robert Guerrero in 2013.
Mario Barrios Stays Busy
Last year Mario Barrios (14-0, 8 KOs) doubled the number of fights he had on his 2014 resume, going from 7-0 to 14-0.
He doesn’t plan on letting any grass grow under his feet in 2016. He has been added to the undercard of the super lightweight main event between Sergey Lipinets (8-0, 6 KOs) and Levan Ghvamichchava (16-1-1, 12 KOs) at Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California on “TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS” on FS1 on March 15. No opponent has been selected for Barrios yet.
Barrios will be making his third appearance on a FS1telecast. He finished 2015 strong with a unanimous decision over Enrique Tinoco in Austin, Texas in November, and a sixth-round stoppage of Manuel Vides in San Antonio in December.
“It’s meant a lot to my career and it’s great exposure to be on another PBC card. I’m always trying to be an entertaining fighter who people want to follow, and people are starting to do that,” Barrios said. “I’m a boxer-puncher, but my intention is to hurt the other fighter, so every punch I throw is with mean intentions. I think the traditional Mexican fans who like the brawls, and others who appreciate it from a boxing perspective both like my style.”
In 2015 Barrios went 7-0 with five knockouts, including a 20-day period which separated two bouts - first-round stoppages of Jose Cen Torres in Corpus Christi, Texas on September 6 and Eduardo Rivera in Birmingham, Alabama on September 26.
Barrios competes in a stacked division boasting champions Jose Pedraza, Takashi Uchiyama, Francisco Vargas, Javier Fortuna and Rocky Martinez, as well as former titleholdersand contender Takashi Miura, Orlando Salido, Bryan Vasquez, Nicholas Walters and Saul Rodriguez.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t guys who were, not necessarily scared, but who might not be as willing to fight me because of my height,” said Barrios. “Being 6-foot-1, that’s a great advantage to me. I’m able to use my height, size and leverage. I can only imagine how someone in the 130-pound division would feel having to fight someone who has my range, but when the opportunity comes, I’ll be ready for it.”
GERVONTA DAVIS WANTS TO ‘BRING LIGHT TO BALTIMORE’
Adrien Broner and Floyd Mayweather might not see eye-to-eye on many things anymore. But they both have an eye for talent.
The result of that keen eye for talent is super featherweightprospect Gervonta Davis (14-0, 13 KOs), who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and will fight Guillermo Avila (16-5, 13 KOs) on the undercard of Broner-Ashley Theophane junior welterweight championship fight at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C. on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike on Friday, April 1 (9 p.m. ET/PT).
It was Broner who brought the 21-year-old Davis to Mayweather’s attention a few years ago. Broner has his own promotion company – About Billions – now. But at the time that he introduced Davis to Mayweather, he didn’t. As a result, Davis fights for Mayweather these days.
“Adrien Broner brought him to the gym (in Las Vegas), and we saw him work,” said Mayweather, who thinks Davis will be a big star of the sport. “We stacked the cards against him that day, but he’s a very explosive fighter and a future world champion.”
Davis has trained under Calvin Ford in the Upton Boxing Gym in Baltimore, which is located in a particularly violent section of the city. Davis has embraced the opportunity to encourage and inspire youth the way Mayweather did with him.
“There’s a lot of knowledge that Floyd has passed on to me, showing me the right things in and outside of boxing. I’m trying to reach the next younger generation of fighters who look up to me,” said Davis.
“There’s a lot of bad stuff that comes from Baltimore, but if they see that one person can do it, then the next (one) can do it, and so on and so on. Hopefully, the whole city will come and watch me fight on April 1. The only thing that I can do is to bring light to Baltimore.”