According to a recent report from The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, a Welterweight title fight between unified titleholder Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) and former two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) is expected to take place sometime this fall on FOX PPV.
In terms of the matchup itself, it’s not exactly surprising that Spence and Garcia are going to share the ring together, given that there was an agreement in place for the two to square off on January 25 earlier this year. It is, however, a bit surprising that the fight is expected to take place in the fall given Spence’s current situation.
Last September, the 30-year-old Spence fought Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification bout. In what was undoubtedly the toughest fight of Spence’s career, he and Porter went back and forth for 12 rounds in a highly-entertaining bout that ultimately ended with Spence earning a closely fought split-decision victory.
Following the bout, Spence, who added the WBC Welterweight title to his collection with the victory, was met inside of the ring by Garcia and it was expected that the two would meet in early 2020. Then, however, Spence’s life and career were thrown upside down. Both figuratively and literally.
In the early morning hours of October 10, Spence was involved in a single-car crash in Dallas, Texas. According to reports, Spence was driving his Ferrari “at a high rate of speed,” which caused him to veer over the center median and the vehicle to flip multiple times. Spence, who wasn’t wearing his seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle.
Ultimately, the champion was charged with DWI, but as far as the physical damage to his body goes, he seemingly lucked out, as he did not suffer any broken or fractured bones, although he did suffer injuries to his teeth and various lacerations.
Obviously, the situation could have played out much worse and according to Spence, the fact that he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt likely saved his life.
“Really I was just sore, my whole body was just sore, it was a miracle from God,” said Spence in his first interview with PBC on FOX late last year via The Dallas Morning News. “It really protected me during the accident because anybody else probably would have been killed. It was just a blessing from God that I was able to make it safe and that I was able to return back to boxing next year.”
Although he avoided any type of long-lasting or permanent damage, it initially seemed as if Spence’s boxing career would be put on the back burner for a bit, and understandably so, given how banged up he was from the crash.
Once he began to speak on the accident and his future, however, it became clear quickly that The Truth expected to fight in 2020, even going as far as to say that he would return in May or June. With the COVID-19 outbreak, that timeline won’t work, but that may be a blessing in disguise for Spence as well, as it gives him more time to heal and return to form.
Aside from a time frame, another popular question regarding Spence’s return had involved the caliber of opponent he’d take on. Although he claimed that his next fight would be a major fight, many suspected that a tune-up fight could be in order given the damage taken in the Porter fight, the damage sustained from the accident, and the long layoff he would have had by the time he returns to the ring.
And to be fair, many would’ve understood if he went down this route, but by going straight into a fight against Garcia, Spence is making it clear that he’s not interested in any sort of tune-up bout.
Although he gets overlooked at times, the 32-year-old Garcia is an experienced veteran who has proven that he can compete with the division’s elite. In addition, he’s a skilled fighter who quite possibly possesses one of the best left hooks in the sport.
Simply put, he’ll represent no easy task for Spence, but it’s that fact that makes what The Truth is doing special.
By accepting this matchup for his return bout, Spence is proving his championship mettle. And should he come out on top when the two meet, he’ll have completed one of the best comebacks boxing has seen in recent memory.