Lots of questions swirling around Errol Spence Jr.
By Vikram Birring
After a grueling victory against Shawn Porter, Errol Spence was told by the interviewer that his next fight would be against Danny Garcia in January this year. Then, Spence nearly died in a calamitous automobile accident.
And after that, the world was hit by a pandemic it never saw coming.
Now that reopening is on the horizon, the fight is being bandied about once again. Garcia looked spectacular in his last outing in knocking out rugged Adrian Granados, and is licking his chops at another chance to claim a welterweight crown. Spence, meanwhile, has been licking his wounds. Word is the seriousness of his dental work hasn’t allowed him to spar just yet.
For Garcia, this may be his best and last chance to be the top dog at welterweight, as he came up short in his last two tries against Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. A counterpuncher with a wicked left hook, Garcia is one of the only contemporary boxers who is willing to stand in the pocket against his opponent and throw punches at the same time of his opponent.
This strategy gave left Amir Khan sprawling on the canvas, who had been dominating him to that point. Besides the two rounds in the Khan fight, he has never really taken much punishment in a boxing match. He has been outboxed, but never outfought or outwilled. Plus, he’s still a young man in prime condition.
Spence was pound for pound one of the best boxers on the planet. He held off a spirited challenge from Shawn Porter, but too much celebration turned his life upside down. This is the kind of experience that can destroy or transform a person, and Spence claims it was a wakeup call. Despite the mental positivity, one wonders what his body can give him after being thwarted like a rag doll in the Dallas night.
The confidence of Spence to go straight against an elite boxer instead of taking a tuneup fight is commendable. Before his accident, he was heavily favored, but now it is a tossup, as nobody really knows what Spence will show.
The story of fellow Texan Cleveland Williams comes to mind. He was an athletic juggernaut of a heavyweight, but after being shot was never the same. One only hopes Spence doesn’t suffer the same fate.