Unbeaten Spence returns from crash to face Garcia for title

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Undefeated Errol Spence Jr returns from a serious car crash by defending two world welterweight boxing crowns today against former world champion Danny Garcia in an all-American clash.

The showdown at the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys is a hometown fight for Spence, who was involved in a serious accident in October 2019. He was put on probation for drink driving after being hospitalised in intensive care.

“To have my comeback fight at home means the world to me,” Spence said. “I won’t let this moment go to waste.”

Spence, a 30-year-old southpaw, is 26-0 with 21 knockouts after adding the World Boxing Council (WBC) crown to his International Boxing Federation (IBF) title just weeks before the crash with a split-decision win over Shawn Porter.

Garcia, 32, is 36-2 with 21 knockouts and last fought in January, taking a unanimous decision over Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach. His only two losses came in a 2017 split decision WBC title defence against compatriot Keith Thurman and a 2018 unanimous decision to Porter for the vacant WBC crown.

“I’m here for the fight of my life,” Garcia said. “I will be victorious.”

Spence returned to the gym in February with plans to fight Garcia earlier before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work and showed the discipline I had to in order to get back to this position,” Spence said. “I’m ready. Everything is on point and back to where it was.

“I have a renewed focus. We’re grinding hard every day. That’s what got me to being unified champion in the first place.”

Spence said he is “sharper than I’ve ever been” but knows there are questions about his ability that must be answered in the ring.

“I’m going to prove that I’m still the same Errol Spence Jr,” he said. “I know that people have a lot of questions. Those questions need to be answered. I don’t think I would have answered them against lighter competition.”

Errol Spence Jr and Danny Garcia pose after weigh-ins for their title match in Dallas. PHOTO: AP