Errol Spence Jr. is extremely thankful that injuries he sustained during an October car accident didn’t ruin his boxing career.
Now that he has had six months to reflect on what happened that frightening night in downtown Dallas, Spence has taken what happened to him as a sign to change his behavior outside of the ring. The unbeaten IBF/WBC welterweight champion says he has re-dedicated himself to training the way he prepared prior to knocking out Kell Brook to win the IBF 147-pound title in May 2017.
The 30-year-old Spence discussed his comeback with Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores as part of a lengthy, wide-ranging Instagram Live interview Monday.
“I feel like my car accident was the wake-up call from God, telling me to really focus and, you know, bite down and re-focus on what’s going on,” Spence said. “And I feel like I wasn’t as focused as I am now. It’s kind of like from the Kell Brook fight or before that, like how focused I am now. I feel like I’m really trying to put my all into it because I’ve got a lot of stuff to prove people wrong.
“You know, it’s a lot of things that people been saying on YouTube. Or, ‘Is he still gonna be the same? Can he fight the same? You know, is his reflexes still gonna be the same?’ So, I’ve still got a lot to prove in the ring, and to prove to other people that, you know, I’m still the same Errol Spence.”
Spence suffered cuts to his face and damage to his teeth when his Ferrari flipped over multiple times in a one-car accident that occurred in the early-morning hours of October 10. Dallas police charged the DeSoto, Texas, native with driving while intoxicated as a result of his accident.
Spence, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from his car.
The 2012 U.S. Olympian’s accident happened a week and a half after Spence edged Shawn Porter by split decision in their 12-round welterweight title unification fight September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Spence revealed to Flores that his lack of discipline between bouts contributed to him reaching roughly 190 pounds, 43 above the welterweight limit, before he began training for the Porter fight.
“Even [before] the Shawn Porter fight,” Spence said, “I was blowing up to like – Shawn Porter and the Mikey Garcia fight. Matter of fact, the Mikey Garcia fight, the day of the weigh-ins I had to sit in a sauna for like two hours. I didn’t sweat, and I had a sauna bag on and everything, and I didn’t sweat until like probably an hour [after] being in the sauna. And I didn’t sweat at all. Even [before] the Shawn Porter fight, I had blown up to like 190 or something like that. And then, you know, had to lose it all and then killing myself to make weight.”
Success spoiled Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), who hasn’t lost since the welterweight quarterfinals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“Just getting too comfortable,” Spence said. “Getting too comfortable. Getting way too comfortable. Eating a lot. I think Marvin Hagler was the one that said it’s hard to get up, you know, when you’re sleeping in silk sheets.”
Spence isn’t sure when he’ll return to the ring. He didn’t have a fight scheduled when the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly brough all boxing business to a halt.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.