Hunter, who has been with Peterson and his brother Anthony since they were homeless children in the mid-1990’s, wanted to protect Lamont, whom he refers to as his son.
Hunter walked into the Barclays Center post-fight press conference with his head down, making a beeline toward the podium, hanging black, purple and white Rival boxing gloves over his left shoulder.
Promoter Lou DiBella introduced Hunter as he stepped to the microphone and briefly explained why he stopped the soon-to-be 34-year-old Peterson, who was knocked down in the fifth round and took 138 power punches (161 total) from Spence, 28, according to CompuBox.
“I would rather give my life up before I let my child die in that ring,” Hunter said after the loss, Peterson’s second by stoppage. “And if you know Lamont, you know he’s going to march head first into war. He said something to me that really, really stuck in my mind, ‘you make the call. Other than that, I’m too far behind, I’m gonna go for broke.’
“When he said that, I knew he had too many holes in his defense, and Errol was too fresh, too strong,” Hunter added. “It seemed like he may have been getting stronger down the stretch, so that’s why I made the decision I made.”
On the flip side, DiBella sang the praises of Spence, who continues his rapid ascent up the boxing ladder as one of the greats in the world.
“He’s one of the very few guys in the world who has Floyd Mayweather upside,” said DiBella, who later added that Spence reminded him of Sugar Ray Leonard.
When Spence eventually arrived at the presser, the mild-mannered Texan, who was originally born in Long Island, reiterated that his goals remained the same: unify the welterweight titles and fight the best of the best, specifically WBC and WBA Super Champion Keith Thurman, who was side-by-side with Spence at a presser in Brooklyn last October.
Both Thurman and Spence have been linked for a couple of years now, with a mutual understanding that the two will meet in the future, likely in 2019, once Thurman could prove he’s all the way back after multiple injury setbacks.
Thurman, who like Spence, has made Barclays Center a distant home in recent fights, has only competed three times since July 2015, including a narrow decision victory over Shawn Porter in 2016 and a unification bout in March 2017, when he outlasted then-WBC champ Danny Garcia, both at Barclays.
Thurman’s sporadic activity was due to a car accident in February 2016 and elbow surgery in May 2017.
Regardless, Thurman has a fight in the works, likely in March, but Spence doesn’t want to wait until 2019. He wants to face Thurman immediately afterward in a match-up that could take place in Brooklyn.
“Keith says he’s a bigger puncher than these guys, but when was the last time he had a knockout?” asked Spence. It was in July 2015, by the way.
Spence in the meantime, plans to remain active, having already teased a new fight date less than 24 hours after stopping Peterson.
And as for Peterson it’s decision time, but whatever he does Hunter, who DiBella called “one of the best people in boxing,” insists he will remain with him every step of the way.
“I don’t know how many more we’ve got, but I do know this, I’ve never ever met a man like him,” he said. “I love him, I’m proud of him. If he never fights another day in his life, it’s all right by me.”
Errol Spence def. Lamont Peterson by 7th round TKO – IBF Welterweight Title
Robert Easter Jr def. Javier Fortuna by 12th round split decision – IBF World Lightweight Title
Marcus Browne def. Francy Ntetu by 1st round TKO
Adam Kownacki def. Iago Kiladze by 6th round TKO
Anthony Peterson def. Luis Florez by 10th round unanimous decision
Ivan Golub def. Fidel Munoz by 3rd round TKO
Keyshawn Williams vs Denis Okoth by 4th round draw
Dylan Price def. Nestor Ramos by 1st round TKO
Mathew Gonzalez def. Alexander Serna by 4th round unanimous decision