By: Sean Crose
The truth is that Saturday’s big pay per view fight in Dallas wouldn’t be too noteworthy, aside from the big names involved, if it weren’t for the fact that WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence hadn’t survived a hellacious automobile accident last year. Video footage shows Spence’s sports car flipping over and sliding into the rubble of the Texas night. The media has been informed since that time that Spence ultimately emerged no worse for wear. If true, somebody up there truly likes Errol Spence. Questions about if and how the accident will impact Spence in the ring, however, have yet to be answered.
Hence, the big question heading into this weekend: will Spence, when he slips in between the ropes of Dallas’ AT&T stadium in front of a hometown crowd to face former titlist Danny Garcia, be the devastating fighter of old? The answer to that question may not be worth the exorbitant price of a standard boxing pay per view, but it’s one that boxing nuts are legitimately eager to learn. In an odd sense, the accident last year adds a layer of mystery to a fight most feel Spence should win handily.
What may be overlooked in all this, however, is the fact that Garcia, at 36-2, is a VERY good fighter. He may not be explosive or flashy, but the 32 year old Philidelphian has a strong skill set and a determined frame of mind that has led him to far more wins than losses. And about those losses – they were to top fighters Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, and they were both close fights. To write off Garcia here would be a huge mistake on anyone’s part.
Still, this fight is arguably all about Spence. Why? Because the 30 year old has a star quality about him. With a record of 26-0, Spence has stopped all but five of his opponents. What’s more, he’s bested the likes of Kell Brook, Shawn Porter, and Mikey Garcia. While it’s true his opponent this weekend has bested some top fighters himself, Garcia hasn’t always done so as thoroughly or convincingly as Jones has. Spence also has an ability to overwhelm opponents, tear their bodies to pieces with grueling body shots and to finish them off definitively.
With all that in mind, it’s worth noting that neither man has been in the ring for some time. Spence’s last fight was a competitive split decision win over Porter back in September of last year. As for Garcia, he was last seen besting Ivan Redkach this past January by unanimous decision. The ring return of both fighters will be aired live Saturday on Fox PBC Pay Per View starting at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time. Both of Spence’s titles, the WBC and the IBF, will be at stake.