Errol Spence Aims to Put Dallas Boxing Back on Map

By Ryan Maquiñana

Errol Spence Jr. had the longest Olympic run out of the entire 2012 U.S. men’s boxing team this summer in London.  Unfortunately, the welterweight’s quarterfinal finish would not be sufficient to make the podium, as the team failed to medal for the first time in history.

“It was disappointing, but I’ve put it behind me, so I’m over it now,” Spence said before his pro debut Friday night.  “I have my sights set on new goals like the world title, and I’m getting to do what I love to do, so I can’t complain.”

That first step of his professional journey begins at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif., against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Garcia (3-3, 1 KO) at a contracted weight of 150 pounds.  Spence, a talented southpaw out of DeSoto, Tex., a suburb of Dallas, has spent his first training camp at home in the Maple Avenue Boxing Gym with longtime trainer Derrick James.

“I’ve trained eight weeks for this, I’m in shape, and I’m ready to go,” Spence said.  “Naturally, I’m going to be a little more conscious about my opponents’ power, but I’ll continue to use my jab, and stay in control early on.”

Spence first made waves on a worldwide stage during this summer’s Olympic Games.  After a decisive 16-10 victory in his 152-pound opener over Brazil’s Myke Ribeiro de Carvalho, Spence seemed to have replicated the feat against India’s Krishan Vikas in the round of 16.  In fact, the referee began to raise Spence’s hand in triumph.

However, Vikas was announced a 13-11 winner, leaving the referee a bit embarrassed, the majority of boxing fans livid, and Spence emotionally devastated to the point where he shed tears with his closest supporters, namely his father, Errol Sr.

Ultimately, amid global criticism of AIBA, amateur boxing’s governing body, the decision was overturned and Spence would advance to the quarterfinals, where he would fall to Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy 16-11.

“Having the whole controversy kind of knocked me off my groove a little bit when I got back to fighting [after the reinstatement],” Spence said.  “I had beaten [Zamkovoy] before the Olympics, so I felt like I could have won, but it happens.”

After leaving the amateurs, he (as well as five of his Olympic teammates) signed with advisor Al Haymon and promoter Golden Boy.  Five out of the six fighters will make their pro debuts on Friday night's card.

“It’s great to be able to fight on Showtime in my debut in front of my family and friends,” Spence said.  “I can’t wait to see them there, especially my dad who has been there since day one.  I’m just really fortunate to be in this position right now.”

Not since former world champion Curtis Cokes has Dallas had a welterweight as highly touted as the 22-year-old Spence, a three-time national amateur champion who hopes to bring boxing prominence back to Big D.

“Al knows how to move fighters so I trust him,” Spence said.  “When my career is over, I want to be known as one of the greatest who ever boxed, and I’m going to make the most of it.”

Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for  He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.

Tags: Errol Spence image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Catch~Fade on 11-09-2012

he should be a solid prospect

Comment by ztrac79 on 11-09-2012

I'm excited about him turning pro. Ready for tonight.

Comment by Russian Crushin on 11-09-2012

Great fighter, looking for good things from him

Comment by rey guey on 11-09-2012

I think Spence could be good and Al Haymon will be good for him, he'll be getting paid. however everybody knows 90% of Haymon fighters always always surrounded by cherry picking, BS decisons and the like.

Comment by Medved on 11-09-2012

Texas is already on the map. Their Boxing commission is exactly like their politicians, absolutely useless and corrupt.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Jean Pascal Not Yet Ready For Ring Return, Says Trainer Photo: Victor Terrazas, Eduardo Hernandez on Weight For War Vargas: It's My Time, After I Beat Pacquiao - A Star Will Be Born! Erislandy Lara Still Has a Target on The Back of Gennady Golovkin Photos: Luis Nery, Richie Mepranum Set For War in Tijuana Joselito Velasquez, Mexican Olympian, To Be Trained By Robles Wladimir Klitschko, Lucas Browne Far Apart On Money For 12/10 Photos: Canelo is Officially Belted in Puerto Rico By The WBO Cotto Says Canelo Rematch is a Subject For Discussion Danny Williams Returns, Faces Ali Eren Demirezen in Hamburg Edis Tatli Takes on Manuel Lancia on December 17 Canelo vs. Saunders Showdown Fully Backed By WBO Prez Weights: David Lemieux, Cristian Fabian Rios Ready To Fight Eggington Predicts Damage: I'm Going To Do a Job on Gavin Jeff Horn Ready For IBF Strap: 100%, Bring on Errol Spence! Hooker Plans on Testing Perez's Chin Early on Kovalev vs. Ward Marin, Pintor Make Weight For Boxeo Telemundo Season Finale Photo: Micki Nielsen, Kevin Lerena Ready For Battle Abel Sanchez Very Confident That Andy Ruiz Beats Joseph Parker Frampton: I'll Make it Two-Nil, Santa Cruz Only Fights One Way! Golovkin's Coach: I Doubt Canelo Will Last Eight or Nine Rounds Jeff Horn Crushes Rico Mueller As Title Shot Nears David Haye: Fans Want Me To Smash Tony Bellew, Shut Him Up Joshua Taylor Tabbed To Become World Champion By McGuigan Tim Bradley: I Need To Retire A Winner, Capture One More Title Eric Molina: I'll Fight Anthony Joshua or David Price on Dec. 10 Canelo: It Would Be an Honor To Rematch Miguel Cotto Kevin Lerena Confident of Knocking Micki Nielsen Out Dejan Zlaticanin: I'm Fighting Mikey Garcia on January 28 Custio Clayton Stops Ramses Agaton in Eight Rounds in Montreal WBO Prez To Canelo Critics: Why Did Golovkin Reject Andre Ward! Terence Crawford Seeks Foe For 12/10, Antonio Orozco Next? Chavez Sr. Expects His Son To Return Stronger, Better Than Ever Jessie Magdaleno, Oscar Valdez Discuss Their PPV Fights Golovkin, Sanchez Frown at Golden Boy's Offer To Face Canelo Charlo-Williams, Cuellar-Mares, Promoted By Schaefer, on Dec. 10 Photos: LaRon Mitchell, Scott Alexander Ready For Battle Photos: Valdez, Magdaleno Putting in Work For PPV Fights Golovkin's Promoter Willing To Make Concessions To Get Canelo David Price: If I Land Joshua, I'm Going in There To Do Damage

Latest Active Forum Threads