- Errol Spence Jr. just wrote boxing’s comeback tale of 2020.
- The American boxer was ejected through the windshield of his $US300,000 Ferrari in October, last year, before the vehicle flipped multiple times in shocking scenes caught on CCTV.
- Spence was taken to hospital but escaped without any broken bones – just broken teeth, a twisted ankle, and a messed-up face. Dallas police slapped him with a DWI [driving while intoxicated].
- Considering the wreckage and potential for mental trauma, there were questions as to whether Spence would be the same boxer he was before.
- But on Saturday, December 5, in front of 16,102 fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, he answered those questions in style with a comfortable decision win over Danny Garcia.
- “He’s back,” the former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis said on the Fox Sports pay-per-view.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Errol Spence Jr. wrote the boxing comeback tale of the year Saturday after winning gloriously one year after wrecking his $US300,000 Ferrari at high-speed.
The American boxer, ranked No.3 in the world by Insider, was ejected through the windshield in October 2019 before the motor flipped several times in shocking scenes caught on CCTV.
Spence was taken to hospital in the middle of the night but was lucky to have escaped without any broken bones â€” just a twisted ankle, broken teeth, and a messed-up face, as reported by Sports Illustrated.
His car came off worse â€” it looked like it had been crushed.
Six days after the incident, Dallas Police charged Spence with a DWI [driving while intoxicated], misdemeanour B, according to Dallas-Ft.Worth CBS.
Because of the crash and the days Spence spent recovering in hospital, he later said he could not remember, there were doubts the fighter would be able to compete at the same level he had shown before the accident.
But on Saturday, December 5, in front of a socially-distant 16,102 fans inside Arlington’s AT&T Stadium in Texas, Spence proved the doubters wrong with a decision win over Danny Garcia.
To those who weren’t aware of what was going on behind-the-scenes, the matchmaking was bold because Garcia is one tough dude.
He is a rare breed of fighter who blends two of boxing’s most enduring communities in Philadelphia and Puerto Rico.
He is a 13-year pro boxing veteran of 39 fights, a former two-weight champion, and a welterweight mainstay for half a decade.
And he is also revered for his durability, his left hook power punch, and can pose a stern test for those in and around his division.
But Spence and his long-time trainer Derrick James knew what they were getting themselves into.
Spence conceded a few weeks ago that it took four sparring sessions to feel like he was getting his groove back, while James told Insider he was constantly testing his fighter to ensure his reflex action remained the same.
They were always confident Spence could not only compete but win.
Spence bested Garcia on Saturday
Spence liked the distance closed during the contest, where he’d fire one-two punch combinations, looping lefts, and body shots from his southpaw stance.
If Garcia’s guard blocked a right-handed jab, and maybe even a follow-up, too, Spence would clatter a wide left around his opponent’s gloves to whack him on the jaw.
Garcia threw shots of his own, but Spence had defensive manoeuvring that evaded the heavier blows.
If he weren’t going to move out of the way, he’d shift his guard to block. When Garcia tried to thump him in the body, Spence would bring his elbows together to block the shot with the bottom of his forearms. And when the follow-up came, as Garcia looked to expose a gap around his chin, he’d thwart that shot, too.
One of the best things about Spence’s seemingly non-stop attack was how varied it was. He’d mercilessly punish Garcia’s body but knew his head-shots were affecting as his opponent’s face began swelling in multiple places.
Perhaps Garcia’s best moment of the night came at the end of the 11th round as he seemingly smacked Spence’s mouthpiece out of his jaw. However, he couldn’t capitalise as Spence avoided the next shot before the bell sounded for the end of the round.
By the end of the fight, Spence landed 187 of his 707 total punches (26.4% accuracy), with 76 of those shots send to the body, according to Compubox data sent to Insider.
Garcia, meanwhile, landed 117 of his 700 punches for a 16.7% accuracy. As the punch stats operator stressed in its notes, it was “Spence’s jab that was the difference in the fight as he landed 84 of 419 jabs (20%).”
— CompuBox (@CompuBox) December 6, 2020
Though the fight was not spectacular, the night was a spectacle.
Spence confirmed his comeback. There were fans inside the stadium. His main welterweight rival Terence Crawford was in attendance and roundly booed when he was seen on a 25,000 square feet video display â€” the Dallasâ€”Fort Worthâ€”Arlington metroplex is fierce Spence territory, after all.
“His jab was rangy and threw my timing off a bit,” said Garcia after his unanimous decision loss. “That was the key to the fight. The jab was the only thing that was better than expected.”
Spence retained his IBF and WBC welterweight world championships with the 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 scores, and said post-fight that he “had a little bit of ring rust.”
He added: “But I was in such great shape and took everything seriously in training so that I would not be discouraged by that [rust].
“I worked my jab and used my angles because that was my best move. It’s been a long year and a half, so I’m going to wind down for a week or two, then get back on it. I proved that I’m back and I’m here to stay.”
Victory advanced Spence’s pro boxing record to 27 wins (21 knockouts).
The former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, commentating on the Premier Boxing Champions event broadcast on Fox Sports pay-per-view, said: “Everybody was wondering what he was going to do, he was going to do the same thing he always did. And that’s come forward, throw that jab, and throw punches in bunches.
“He’s back,” Lewis said.
Yes, he is.