"The better the competition, the better you will see Errol look. He's so polished and it's going to take a strong opponent to bring the best Errol Spence out. Van Heerden was very durable...for the Olympic Games, his sparring partners were Lamont Peterson, Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, and Jorge Linares. Each one of those guys were ranked #1 in the world at that time, except Shawn Porter and he eventually became a world champion. People say he's not ready for this or ready for that...To get those 4 guys sparring with you, how can you say he's not ready for anyone," stated Derrick James, world-class trainer of undefeated welterweight contender Errol Spence, who explained why he's ready to face the top fighters in the division. Check it out!
PC: Errol Spence looked exceptional in his last performance against Chris Van Heerden. What did you think of the performance?
DJ: Yeah man, it was a satisfying performance. There is always things you can work on. I'm searching for that perfect performance. But from a fans point of view, it was great and it was great from mine also. I just want him to work on a couple of things, but it was good. It was really good.
PC: You're big on seeing that what you guys work on in the gym is showing up on fight night. Do you feel you are starting to see that more from Errol?
DJ: To be honest, I've always seen it from him, but I always push to see it because you can't get too comfortable and you can't get too relaxed. We really have to focus on the agenda that we want to push forward. He's a guy that goes in there and gets it done. He keeps on his jab. We had some video on this guy and I knew we would have to stay on his jab. Most fighters abandon their jab, but Errol stays with his jab and the jab was the punch that kept Van Heerden out of this fight.
PC: Did you expect so much bravado from Van Heerden? Did you see that on film, because Errol looked very prepared for that and never fed into it?
DJ: I think that when he had nothing else he could do, he's a showman at heart. That's all he could do is just that. He couldn't do anything else.
PC: How do you rate or gauge the progression of Errol Spence, because he's out of the prospect category and entering the next stage of his career?
DJ: If you think about it, he's doing everything that I want him to do. There is only a couple of small things I want him to do different; couple of steps here and there. People say his shoulders are square, he's not a fast puncher, and he keeps his hands stationary. People say a lot of things, but that's because they are inexperienced in what we do. My guy is in position to punch at all times. You take one step and your whole body goes with you, but you're still in position. You can't punch when you're trying to cover up. We focus on a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff we do a little different, but you see it works and the better the competition, the better you will see Errol look. He's so polished and it's going to take a strong opponent to bring the best Errol Spence out. Van Heerden was very durable. He's what I call a man. He was a man because most guys wouldn't take what Errol was hitting him with. He finally had to realize that he couldn't win the fight or that he can't win it the way he wanted to. But all of the posturing and all that other stuff, he was trying to get Errol off of his game plan and hit him with a lucky shot.
But you gotta remember, he sparred with Floyd Mayweather. For the Olympic Games, his sparring partners were Lamont Peterson, Adrien Broner, Shawn Porter, and Jorge Linares. Each one of those guys were ranked #1 in the world at that time except Shawn Porter and he eventually became a world champion. People say he's not ready for this or ready for that. He was their sparring partner for their world championship bouts just like they were his when he was getting ready for the Olympic Games. He sparred three #1 ranked guys in the world and a guy that eventually became a world champion. It don't get any better than that. Getting those guys in the room at the same time would be hard, let alone having them to spar with for 6 to 8 weeks is amazing. He grew from that and it made him an intelligent fighter and a patient fighter. He has an understanding of the game from that. Look at the 4 different styles you get. Shawn Porter is a rough and rugged guy, Adrien Broner is a smart and fast, slick guy with a little power, Lamont Peterson is a defensive wizard, and Jorge Linares is a guy that is an amazing boxer. To get those 4 guys sparring with you, how can you say he's not ready for anyone.
PC: With a great performance like that, I'm sure you guys are looking to get right back in there.
DJ: Yeah man, we going to be back sooner than expected I believe, so that's a good thing.
PC: You also have a talented fighter, Robert Brant, who is fighting next month as well.
DJ: Yeah, he's fighting October 23rd in Phoenix, Arizona. He's a middleweight that is 17-0 with 11 knockouts. Robert has been looking good, man. His fight will be on Showtime on a ShoBox card. He's a good kid from Minnesota.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]