Typically, a matchup between two elite fighters in the prime of their careers in one of boxing’s most competitive and star-studded divisions would require no extra juice.
However, Saturday night’s title fight featuring IBF and WBC Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) taking on Former two-weight world champion, Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs), has behind the scenes intrigue as well.
On the forefront of this added intrigue is the storyline surrounding Errol Spence Jr.’s car crash that nearly resulted in his death, or at the very least, the end of his professional boxing career. Instead, Spence has allegedly recovered from all injuries he suffered, and is stepping back in the ring against elite opposition.
The reality is that we do not know for certain whether Errol Spence will be “The Truth” of old or if the crash has limited Spence in some way. We know that he is confident enough to have his comeback fight against a top level and dangerous fighter in Danny Garcia, which has been an indication for some that we can expect close to the Spence we have come to know.
In Wednesday’s final press conference, Spence made it clear that he’s ready to put those thoughts to rest.
“The only thing I’m going to prove is that I’m still the same,” said the unified champion.
A “comeback” fight’s storyline is typically just that, a fighter returning to the ring after a dramatic event or long layoff. The intrigue ends there as the focus is generally on the A-side fighter merely getting back in the ring with a generally outmatched opponent, which would be an accomplishment enough in Spence’s case.
Garcia is not a “comeback” type of opponent.
In taking this fight, a FOX Pay-Per-View fight in his hometown against an A-list fighter at one of the biggest venues in boxing, Spence is telling the public that he is not concerned with the added pressure and is ready to prove that he remains among the ranks of top pound-for-pound fighters.
Garcia, a widely popular fighter in his own right, has plenty to prove in the bout as well. In his last two fights, the Philly fighter has come away victorious against generally outmatched opponents, before then, in his most recent world title fight, Garcia was bested by Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC Welterweight title.
While “Swift” has been an excellent fighter the duration of his career, he has been known to fall just short in his biggest fights at welterweight, the aforementioned loss to Shawn Porter and the ultra competitive SD loss to Keith Thurman in 2017.
Garcia senses that his time is now. During the press conference he stated as much.
“Boxing is a sport of timing, and the time is now,” said Garcia.
Against Spence, Garcia will have a chance to break through, not only in popularity, but in legacy. Beating Spence, arguably the best Welterweight on the planet, catapults Garcia into a new level of stardom and cements him among the best in the world.
Regardless of these side stories, Saturday night will pit two action fighters against one another for a chance to captivate audiences in the crowd in Arlington and across the globe along with a chance at furthering their careers and legacy (oh, and a belt or two.)
Both fighters possess fight ending power and skill to match. A fight like this doesn’t need the added intrigue of side stories, but it just so happens to have them.
Spence Jr. and Garcia will meet in the ring this Saturday night, December, 5, in Arlington, TX live on FOX Pay-Per-View.