Saturday night in Dallas Errol Spence knocked out Carlos Ocampo in Round 1 to defend his IBF welterweight strap. There is no sane reason for this fight to have happened. That such a mismatch took place is directly the fault of corrupt, alphabet-soup insanity.
Ocampo had an undefeated record–22-0 with 13 coming inside of the distance. But not a single one of those victories should have raised Ocampo to contender status. It would have been a stretch to call the Mexican fighter even a “fringe” contender heading into his showdown with Spence.
But the IBF (i.e. the Idiotic Boxing Federation) ranked Ocampo as a “mandatory” contender. In other words, the IBF suits viewed him as so worthy and deserving of a title shot that Spence would have had to vacate his belt if he had declined to fight him.
For the IBF to rank Ocampo so highly they have to be either stupid, corrupt, or some ungodly combination of the two.
Note that it is not my intention to berate Ocampo himself. He’s a fighter with some talent and plenty of heart. He got in the ring with one of the best fighters on the planet and gave it his best shot. He went right after Spence and was clearly there to win.
He was even more clearly overmatched. He gamely tried to trade body shots with one of the sport’s best body punchers. Spence savaged him to the torso and sent him crashing to the canvas, where he was counted out with second remaining in the opening frame.
There is just no excuse for a sparkling talent like Spence to be wasting his time on opponents like this. It’s an insult to his talent and his potential to become a major superstar. At this point he should be fighting nothing but true contenders and other superstars.
One of the very best fights that could happen right now would be Spence vs. Terence Crawford. These are the two classiest fighters in the division and both look like potential Hall of Famers. Spence vs. Crawford would be this generation’s version of Felix Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya.
Both men hold belt at 147 and both fought within the past two weeks. They would line up perfectly for a showdown come the fall.
If any alphabet-soup clown show gets in the way with their stupid, so-called “mandatory” challengers, it will be a travesty. And unfortunately business as usual in the Sweet Science.