By Ron Harris
On October 10, 2019, Errol Spence, Jr was thrown out of his car in a high speed, one car crash. He landed, face first, on the concrete surface. This accident kept him out of the ring for 434 days. His longest time away from the sport.
Boxing would be on edge to see how Spence Jr. would do in his come back fight. He chose Danny Garcia, a world class, former two division champion as his opponent. Many experts expected Spence, Jr to fight a tune up fight before jumping to the top welterweights. He obviously thought different. “I wanted to fight a great fighter like Danny Garcia. Who I know would give me a fight. That is what made me work in training camp.”
Spence, Jr. (27-0) dominated Garcia (32-3) and won a unanimous decision to retain his World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation welterweight belts in Arlington, Texas at A T & T stadium.
The judges scored the fight, 116-112, twice and 117-111 all for Spence, Jr. In rounds, that is 9 to 3 on two cards and 8 to 4 on one judge’s card.
Spence, Jr, 30, wasted no time in getting in Garcia’s face. He pressured his opponent with a relentless jab. “He was the better man tonight, no excuses”, said a bruised Garcia. “I fought a hard tough fight. He had a great jab. His jab was rangy and threw my timing off a bit. It’s the only thing I had trouble adjusting to.” Spence, Jr is a compact fighter who stays in the face of his opponents and cuts off the ring and he was vintage Spence in this fight. No wild, off balance punches. Everything was coordinated and clean with his punches. Pressure is Spence’s game. The rounds he lost is when he took the round off to rest after his long layoff.
Spence, Jr says, “It’s surreal. After my accident and the year and a half layoff, I did pretty good. I had some ring rust, and I got a little tired, but I shook off some cobwebs and I think I will be ready to fight in the summertime.”
The later rounds saw Spence, Jr bounce around the ring trying to get his wind. He knew he was way ahead on the score cards. Garcia, 32, had a cut around his left eye, but it did not affect his vision and he fought hard. Garcia’s style is to counter punch, but it is hard to come back with counter punches when he was so far behind in the fight.
The welterweight division is the glamour division in all of boxing. Spence, Jr and Bud Crawford are considered the best and fans always want to see the best fight the best. Crawford holds the World Boxing Organization belt, and the legendary Manny Pacquiao holds the World Boxing Association belt.
Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta