It’s been over a year since Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) made the long walk from a dressing room to the center of a boxing ring.
In October of last year, a horrific car accident sidelined the unified champion, and miraculously only suffered lacerations to his face and surgery to repair the damage done to his teeth.
On Saturday, December 5, 2020, Spence hosted former champion and top Welterweight Danny Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) for his IBF and WBC titles.
Garcia had only tasted defeat twice in his career and by the slimmest of margins on both occasions to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, respectively. Tonight, the Philly fighter looked to prove that he still remains amongst the elite of the Welterweight division.
The initial round was a methodical chess match between the fighters, both sizing up the other with Spence the aggressor and Garcia relying on his counterpunching abilities. Spence pursued Garcia around the squared circle and remained faithful to his jab, which helped set up some big left hands that would score.
Garcia patiently waited for his shots and occasionally found a home for his sweeping hooks to the body and head. Spence continued to dictate the pace of the fight as the rounds progressed and landing the bigger shots.
At the midway point of the fight, Garcia’s father and trainer pleaded with his fighter, arguing in between rounds that he was making the fight too easy for the champion.
Garcia was effectively getting outboxed round by round with no answer for Spence in sight. Question marks surrounded Spence and his health, but most were put to rest as he continued to outland and outbox his opponent.
Garcia’s main success came when he attacked Spence’s body, but he lacked the output to swing close rounds his way.
Final scorecards read 116-112 twice and 117-111, respectively for the unified champion.
After the fight, Garcia was quick to give props to Spence and had no excuses.
“He was just the better man tonight,” said Garcia.” “He fought a good fight and had a great jab. The jab was probably the difference tonight.”
Spence walked out of the ring with a broad smile from ear to ear as the capacity COVOD-19 crowd, the majority of which were pro-Spence fans, rejoiced as their fighter silenced any doubters.
“I told people I didn’t want a tune-up fight, and I knew I had to be 100 percent tonight,” said Spence. “This was a good comeback fight for me, Danny is a tough fighter, and I had to be at my best. I had to shake some cobwebs, but next fight, I plan to be one hundred and twenty percent.”
Despite his presence in the crowd at AT&T Stadium, Terence Crawford did not make an appearance in the ring, nor was he mentioned directly after the fight. As it stands, Spence plans on taking rest to assess the field and will look to return to the ring in the early summer of 2021.