On Saturday, June 16, local boxer Errol Spence Jr., the current IBF Welterweight World Champion, will have a homecoming of sorts when he fights Carlos Ocampo at Ford Center here in Frisco.
Nicknamed “The Truth,” Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 knockouts) is a Dallas native who competed for Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
He has fought in the Metroplex once before as a professional, defeating Alejandro Barrera via a technical knockout in November 2015 at the Bomb Factory in the Deep Ellum area of downtown Dallas.
But this will be his first time fighting at the Star, and he’s understandably excited to again be competing before his hometown fans. During an early May press conference at The Star, Spence Jr shared,
This is a big opportunity for me. This has been a lifelong dream of mine. I can’t wait to fight in front of my hometown fans that have been rooting for me since the amateurs. It’s great to bring this event to Ford Center. I’m happy to defend my title against a great contender like Ocampo and I hope everyone comes out and supports their champion.
However, he’s not the only one who is ecstatic to see such a high-profile card, one which will be carried live on Showtime, come to Frisco.
Stephen Jones, son of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who serves as the Cowboys’ Chief Operating Officer, is also excited about bringing this event to Frisco. At the same May press conference Jones said,
These are two really special young men, and this is the kind of event that we had in mind when we opened The Star. To be able to have great athletes like these as part of unique events at The Star is something we’re very excited about.
Spence Jr. is the champion and an unbeaten titleholder at that, but he faces a formidable challenger in Ocampo (22-0, 13 knockouts), a native of Mexico who will be making his US debut. Ocampo said,
I have been the underdog before and I’m prepared to once again overcome that. I’m not worried about what anybody else thinks of me or this fight. My mind is only on winning and being prepared to do whatever I have to.
Some wonder if Spence Jr. might feel a little added pressure with this being a fight in front of so many friends and family.
But that’s where his trainer, Derrick James, enters the equation to ensure that “The Truth” maintains his focus on the task at hand and ignores any external distractions. James shared,
Being at home, this fight is going to be about Errol keeping his focus and staying task. He’s always been able to do that. He’s motivated and driven. He’s the guy that you have to drag away from the gym.
However, hearing Spence Jr. talk about fighting in DFW for just the second time as a professional, it’s clear he doesn’t feel any sort of added pressure fighting in such a familiar setting.
I don’t think there’s any extra pressure fighting in my hometown. It’s just added motivation. Real pressure was fighting against 30,000 fans in the champion’s hometown for my first title against Kell Brook. This is me fighting in front of people who love me and who have seen me grow up as a boxer. I can’t wait to put on a show for them.
The undercard for this night of pugilism will begin at 8PM with the main event to cap the evening a bit later. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at seatgeek.com.