ERROL SPENCE will make his first defence of the IBF welterweight title against Lamont Peterson.

The date and venue for the fight still needs to be confirmed but it’s expected to take place early next year. “I’m happy to be here, it’s been awhile. It’s finally time to defend my title, capture more titles and become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. That’s what I’m ready to do next year,” Spence said.

“[Peterson] is somebody that I looked up to as an amateur. I sparred with him as an amateur and learned a lot from him. He’s one of my favourite fighters and is a guy that will fight anybody. I’ve never known him to duck a fight.”

Spence won his world title in impressive style when he halted Kell Brook in his Sheffield hometown in May. Peterson is a former world champion at light-welterweight. He lost to Danny Garcia in 2015 but since then has picked up wins over both Felix Diaz and David Avanesyan.

“Lamont is a tricky fighter. He’s been around the block. He does a lot of cagey, veteran things. I’m looking to get experience in this fight. I’m still a young fighter,” Spence continued.

errol spence

But he added, “Since I was 5-0, I’ve said I’d fight Keith Thurman or anybody in the top five. He’s got to go through rehab, but I’m ready when he is. I’m always ready to fight the best.”