"I'm just waiting it out and waiting to hear from Kell Brook's team if they are going into negotiations or vacate. I've been hearing him doing a lot of interviews and he's been mentioning guys like Amir Khan and Canelo and guys in the higher weights, so hopefully he vacates sooner or later so I can get my thing going and fight for the title and unify the titles with the other champions in the division...we will be fighting mid-January for the title," stated undefeated top welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr., who talked about his mandatory shot at Kell Brook's IBF title. Check it out!
PC: It's been a great year for you. It seems like right now you are playing the waiting game with Kell Brook. Is that the situation?
ESJ: Yeah, I'm waiting it out. They going through the lil process and I'm just waiting it out and waiting to hear from Kell Brook's team if they are going into negotiations or vacate. I've been hearing him doing a lot of interviews and he's been mentioning guys like Amir Khan and Canelo and guys in the higher weights, so hopefully he vacates sooner or later so I can get my thing going and fight for the title and unify the titles with the other champions in the division.
PC: The year is coming to an end. Would you be willing to take a stay-busy fight or is it all about that IBF title?
ESJ: It was something that I was interested in taking, a stay-busy fight. I'm in the gym and been running and stuff like that. I would have took a stay-busy fight, but my management team said we are just waiting around to see if he vacates and then we will be fighting mid-January for the title.
PC: We spoke when I was in Dallas and you said the process hadn't become frustrating to you yet. Months later and fighters still don't mention your name or they are dismissive of you. Has it finally started to get a little frustrating that guys just won't say your name, or if they do, it's in a passive manner?
ESJ: It is getting frustrating because I'm at that point where I'm right there. I'm waiting and I'm trying to stay patient, but it's just I keep being told it's a process, it's a process. Somebody mentioned to me a couple of days ago and they were saying Kell Brook can file for a medical extension or something like that and that'll be another 30 days or something like that.
PC: Yeah, that's what Charlo did to J Rock.
ESJ: Yeah, that is what happened with Charlo and J Rock. It's a process, but it gets frustrating because you want to get in there and fight somebody and he's sitting on the belt. It's been a dream of mine to fight for a world title and now I'm here and that gets kind of annoying.
PC: I hate to say any fight is easy, but you made the Bundu fight look fairly easy. Did you expect things to go so smooth or we're you expecting a little more resistance?
ESJ: Nah, I didn't. I looked at the Keith Thurman and Bundu fight and I looked at some of Bundu's recent fights and I was like, "Man, Bundu is a tough fighter and he's awkward and he switches and throws in combinations." That's why the game plan was to just stay composed, use the jab, and then once I caught his rhythm, that's when I would throw punches and break him down. I had to catch his rhythm; that's why in the first and second round, even in the third a little bit, I was just touching him with the jab and 1-2 and the hook. And then in the fifth, I started pressing him and throwing in combination.
PC: Does it normally take you about 2 rounds to figure your opponents out or did it take a little longer because of his awkwardness?
ESJ: Not usually. Usually it takes me a round to figure somebody out, but with him, he was doing so many different things. He was real herky jerky. He was jumping in and stuff like that, so it took me a little bit more time to figure him out.
PC: It seemed like at one point, the better you looked, the more people knocked your door down to fight you. Now it appears you are a victim of your own success. Do you feel that way sometimes, that you have looked too good in fights to warrant any call outs?
ESJ: I think that's the reason. I mean, even after Keith Thurman fought Bundu, people were like, "Man, Bundu is a tough and awkward fighter. He can fight. He fought a lot of great European fighters. He's a good fighter." And then when I beat him, it's like, "Bundu is old and past his prime." Or when I beat Chris Algieri, it was, "He's been in too many wars and he wasn't that good anyways." Stuff like that kind of gets under your skin a little bit, but that's alright because I'm going to keep looking good and looking impressive. The fans love it. I have a growing and big fanbase and I'm going to be the people's champ. They want to see me win the title and fight these top guys and that's what I'm going to do.
PC: Everyone makes a big deal about Kell Brook's size, but you're a throwback welterweight. You are very big for the 147-pound division. Do you think his size is kind of overblown?
ESJ: Yeah, it is. People try to make the excuse that he's too big and he's outgrown the weight and he walk around at 170's. I walk around in the 70's too. I walk around high 60's to 70, so it's not an excuse. Every fighter has weight problems. You look at any fighter a month after they fight, if they haven't been training, they are 20 to 30 pounds overweight. You have a few special fighters, like Floyd, who are just able to maintain their weight. Their metabolism is just freakish. You got guys like Bernard Hopkins, who is just so strict in diet that he doesn't allow himself to blow up.
PC: And to me, it looks like you just have a big frame. I don't know how hard you have to diet, but your frame is big.
ESJ: I have a real big frame. I'm muscular, I'm not fat. You won't see me with a stomach, titties, or anything like that. Everything is tight, even when I'm in the high 60's. I just have a big frame and I'm able to get down to that weight.
PC: Obviously you're an advocate for the best fighting the best. Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev is the gold standard for that label right now. What do you think of that fight being made between two undefeated guys?
ESJ: That's a great fight. That's what boxing is about; the best fighting the best. I commend Andre Ward 100% for moving up to 175 to fight him. I think that's a great fight for boxing. It's the top dudes, both of them on the pound-for-pound list, and they are fighting for everything. I feel like whoever wins that fight will be #1 pound-for-pound. I'm happy that fight's made. I'm a big Andre Ward fan and a big Andre Ward supporter and I will definitely be tuning in.
PC: EJ, I always appreciate your time. I wish you the best moving forward and keep me posted on everything you got going on. Is there anything else you want to add before I let you go?
ESJ: Shout out to FightHype and to all of my fans. I just want my fans to be patient with me. We going to get this sorted out and hopefully I will be fighting for the world title in January; mid-January or late January. And then after that, we are going to go after other belts.
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrLouis1ana ]