Everything you need to know about one of boxing's pound-for-pound greats, 'The Truth' Errol Spence Jr.
Errol Spence Jr
|Born:||March 3rd, 1990|
|Birthplace:||Long Island, New York, USA|
|Professional Record:||28-1 (22 KOs)|
Despite being involved in two car crashes and separately needing emergency surgery on a torn retina, Errol Spence Jr has proved to be an unstoppable force.
Those three life-changing moments could easily have seen a potential hall of fame career come undone.
While he has shown survival and recovery in spades his opponents have needed to do just the same when sharing a ring with him.
At the 2012 London Olympics Spence was knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Russian Andrey Zamkovoy. The American may not have even reached the last eight had IBA (International Boxing Association) not reinstated him following his last 16 defeat to India’s Krishan Vikas. The shock 13-11 result was overturned after IBA re-examined the bout.
Several months later Spence had ditched the vest and headguard to move into the professional code. His debut came alongside fellow members of the talented but unsuccessful 2012 USA Boxing team Dominic Breazeale, Marcus Browne, Rau’shee Warren and Terrell Gausha. All five broke their duck but none have hit the heights which Spence has.
After 21 fights, including wins over Samuel Vargas, Chris Van Heerden, Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu, it was a Brit who stood in the way of Spence becoming a world champion.
On May 27, 2017, a crowd of 27,000 packed into Sheffield United’s Brammall Lane to watch Brook send the young upstart back to America with nothing more than a career to rebuild.
Instead, they watched Spence break their man down round by round. It was a close contest, but Spence was always causing more damage and in round 10 a broken left eye socket forced the Brit to retire.
Eight months prior Gennadiy Golovkin’s thunderous punches shattered the right eye forcing Brook to need surgery. Spence has never possessed the freakish power of the Kazakh but carries hurtful hands that break opponent’s down physically and mentally. His win over Brook made him the fourth U.S Olympian to win a first world title overseas.
Spence followed up his mature and commanding performance in Sheffield with four title defences against Lamont Peterson, Carlos Ocampo, Mikey Garcia, and Shawn Porter. The fourth of the quartet was a thrilling fight which went down to the wire. Spence got the nod after 12 rounds on a split decision to become unified welterweight champion.
Nearly two weeks after the thriller against Porter a different type of fight presented itself to the champion. Early on a Thursday Spence was thrown from his white Ferrari after a single car high speed crash which saw the vehicle flip multiple times.
One look at the accident and the state of the supercar afterwards would have one presuming the worse for Spence. Doctors revealed they expected him to make a full recovery having emerged with non-life-threatening injuries. The fighter was charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated).
One year later Spence posted photos of himself in hospital shortly after the crash and the facial injuries he sustained. He wrote, "A Year today...I don’t know how or why I got saved but thank God the thought of leaving my lil girls & them growing up without me still f*** with me but I’m triple blessed & must be here for a reason..."
Over a year later, and having learned a valuable lesson thanks to his accident, Spence got back to being in the headlines for the right reason.
His win over Danny Garcia was done without the New York born Texan having to hit top gear. He was proving himself to be elite because the contenders below him couldn’t present a challenge to his throne.
The career of one of the most promising American fighters in the modern era was becoming stop-start. Having beat Danny Garcia, it would be another 16 months before fans would witness ‘The Truth’. A multi-million-dollar fight in August 2021 against Manny Pacquiao disappeared when Spence withdrew. A fascinating past vs present clash was shelved when the champ revealed he needed emergency surgery having suffered a fractured orbital bone in camp.
In his place Cuban Yordenis Ugas pulled off a huge upset by deservedly winning a unanimous decision in Las Vegas. Spence witnessed a night that should have belonged to him.
Spence and Ugas came together for a three-title collision at “Jerry World”. The AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – the home of NFL franchise the Dallas Cowboys – had become a second home for Spence. His wins against Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia had all taken place at the world-class venue owned by Jerry Jones.
On April 16, 2022, Spence turned up at his destructive best outclassing Ugas with his punch selection and front-foot pressure. Come round 10 Spence claimed a stoppage win after the ringside physician deemed that Ugas was in no position to continue because of an injured eye which was later revealed as a fractured right orbital.
Afterwards, Spence said: "Everybody knows who I want next. I want Terence Crawford next. That's the fight that I want, that's the fight everybody else wants. Terence, I'm coming for that belt."
On July 29 a super-fight several years in the making takes place at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas when Spence gets a chance to collect the fourth and final belt. That WBO title, the missing piece of the jigsaw, would make him the undisputed welterweight champion. All he must do is beat the toughest opponent of his career, Terence Crawford.
Maybe it was one too many fights at welterweight... and perhaps the effects of two car crashes have had a long-lasting effect on Errol Spence Jr - but he is not a man to make excuses.
After losing to Terence Crawford he graciously conceded he had been beaten by the better man.
Spence barely landed anything of note against Crawford. His tried and tested tactics, which had served him well against good fighters in the past, could not do the damage he hoped. Crawford was always one or two steps ahead and very quickly could predict what Spence was going to do.
To his credit Spence never stopped fighting. He never tucked up and tried to recharge his batteries. He kept going, kept ploughing forward hoping that something would make a dent or that Crawford may switch off or tire.
In fact, what played out was the opposite. Worryingly, the damage accrued turned Spence’s features into a home of lumps, bumps, and blood.
A rematch clause was in the contract and Spence hopes his friendly rival will join him for it at super-welterweight allowing the Texan a chance to level the playing field by being stronger and healthier.
One wonders, however, if Crawford took something more than just Spence’s three world titles from him.
As of July 2023, it is reported that Errol Spence Jr's net worth is $15 million.
Spence's purses for each of his fights has been growing in recent years, and it ballooned yet further with the American earning an eight-figure pay packet for his mammoth showdown with Terence Crawford.
Errol Spence Jr is a Showtime pay-per-view fighter in the United States.
Spence is trained by Derrick James at the World Class Boxing Gym in Dallas, Texas. James also trains Ryan Garcia, Frank Martin, Anthony Joshua and Jermell Charlo.
James is regarded as one of the best boxing coaches in the world and in 2017 was named The Ring magazine Trainer of the Year.
He was recently named the Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year for 2022.
An opponent for Errol Spence has yet to be announced, but he could face Terence Crawford in a mammoth rematch.