When Danny Garcia first learned about Errol Spence Jr.’s car accident, he figured the unbeaten IBF/WBC welterweight champion wouldn’t fight again. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
“I was just like, you know, ‘Wow!’ I didn’t know what to think,” Garcia told BoxingScene.com. “I just hoped that he was OK. You know, I really thought his career was over, to be honest.”
Spence himself wasn’t certain he’d return to the ring amid the immediate aftermath of his accident in October 2019. He suffered cuts to his face and body, as well as damage to his teeth, when he was ejected from a Ferrari that flipped multiple times because he lost control of it early one morning in downtown Dallas.
Spence spent a little less than a week at a Dallas hospital. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated.
The DeSoto, Texas, native returned to the gym just a few months later and surprisingly chose Garcia as his first foe since that scary, career-changing accident. They’ll meet Saturday night in a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs), who was supposed to face Spence late last January, expected Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) to pick another opponent for his comeback bout. The former WBA/WBC 140-pound champ and ex-WBC welterweight champion was pleasantly surprised when the stubborn Spence insisted on boxing an elite-level opponent in his first fight back.
“I didn’t think the fight was gonna happen, to be honest,” Garcia said. “I really didn’t. But, you know, now it’s on and he’s been focused for a while, mentally and physically.”
The 32-year-old Garcia has trained for the same Spence that beat Shawn Porter in his last bout before the accident. The 30-year-old Spence topped Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs), who had out-pointed Garcia to win the WBC belt a year earlier, by split decision in their 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight in September 2019 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I’m expecting the best Errol Spence,” Garcia said. “You know, he was cleared by the doctors, you know, so the doctor said he could fight, then he could fight. So, I’m definitely expecting the best, and you know, I’m bringing my best. So, I can’t wait.”
Spence-Garcia will headline a four-fight show scheduled to start at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST ($74.95 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.