What version of Spence will show-up this Saturday night?
By Vikram Birring
Fourteen months ago, Errol Spence was undoubtedly one of the best boxers in the world. He had just defeated Shawn Porter in a splendid bout, and was the king of the welterweight division.
Then, as it often does, life struck.
Spence’s speeding glamour car crashed and sent him flying in the air like a hapless projectile. How he is alive is a miracle, and the fact that he is able to return to his craft is all the more astonishing.
After months of surgeries to fix up his face and teeth, Spence returned to boxing training. 99% of boxers would take a tune-up to gauge their abilities after such a harrowing event, but Spence instead chose to take on a top dog in his division, former champion Danny Garcia.
The accident actually makes the bout more intriguing. Before the incident, Spence was an odds-on favorite to defeat Garcia, who has come up short against the elite in the division in his previous two attempts.
But now, nobody really knows what to expect from a man who shouldn’t be alive, much less in a boxing ring competing against world class opposition.
For Garcia, this is possibly a last chance at a takeover in the division. At 140 pounds, he was the king, proving doubters wrong by defeating favorites Lucas Matthysse and Amir Khan.
But at welterweight, he has come up just a couple of points short against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Perhaps a third time is the charm, as a defeat here will land Garcia in boxing purgatory or perhaps retirement.
As for Spence, taking on such a daring challenge so soon speaks to pride and financial intelligence on taking the biggest challenge while being handsomely rewarded at the same time. Besides his team, nobody really knows what to expect, and that just adds to the intrigue.
One note, holding a live event in the coronavirus hotspot of Texas is sheer ignorance. Events such as these only help to spread the virus and cost lives unnecessarily. What good is a mask mandate when people take their masks off to eat and drink?
A vaccine is soon on the way, can’t boxing promoters (and other sporting organizations) wait a few more months to hold events safely?