Spence says ‘miracle’ saved him, eyes ’20 return

Unified welterweight world titleholder Errol Spence Jr., who was involved in a horrific one-car accident in October, said Saturday night that he is healthy, has begun training again and that he’ll be back in the ring in May or June.

In his first interview since the crash, Spence spoke to broadcaster Brian Kenny during the Premier Boxing Champions on Fox telecast at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, where he was rooting on his friend Jermell Charlo, who stopped Tony Harrison to reclaim his junior middleweight world title in the main event.

“Everybody knows I’ve been in a horrible car accident, but I’m feeling good,” Spence said. “I spent a lot of time with my family, my friends and my little girl and just enjoying the time with them while I’ve been off from boxing.”

Spence crashed his Ferrari at a high speed in Dallas at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 10. Spence, 29, of the Dallas suburb DeSoto, Texas, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car, which eventually flipped over several times.

Spence, who was transported to the hospital and initially in intensive care, was charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

“I don’t remember too much, but I can’t really talk about the case,” Spence said. “I’ve been advised by my lawyer because there’s still a pending case going on, so out of respect I choose not to talk about it.”

Spence did not suffer any broken bones or fractures but did suffer facial lacerations and broken teeth.

“My whole body was sore,” he said. “I guess a miracle from God, and he really protected me during that accident because I mean anybody else probably would have been killed. So it was just a blessing from God that I was able make it out safe and be able to return to boxing next year.”

When the accident happened, Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) was just 2½ weeks removed from scoring the biggest win of his career on Sept. 28, when he won a split decision against Shawn Porter to unify two 147-pound world titles in a pay-per-view headliner at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The fight was an action-packed contender for fight of the year.

Despite the rumor mill swirling that Spence would be out for all of 2020, if he could ever return to the ring at all, he said those comments were untrue.

“I’m fighting around May, June, so I’ll be back real soon,” Spence said. “I already started training last week and I’m feeling good. I hit the mitts and everything and ran, too. I’m feeling good so I can continue training.

“I’ve been working with my coach [Derrick James], running and training. I was back last week. I wasn’t sore or anything. I just felt like I took a long time to rest, so I feel real good. It’s been a miracle and blessing from God that I haven’t had anything seriously wrong that would keep me out for a year or two or ended my career. I’m just glad to be here for my kids, my family, my fans and everybody who supported me and the media, and stuff like that. It’s a blessing just to be here.”

Spence added that he has no medical issues that would keep him from training all out or fighting in the next few months.

“My body actually feels good,” Spence said. “Now I think I’m rejuvenated and I’m ready to get back in the gym and train hard and hopefully fight one of the top fighters. I don’t want a tune-up fight. I want to fight [titleholder Manny] Pacquiao or [former titlist Danny] Garcia if he wins his fight [against Ivan Redkach on Jan. 25]. I want to fight Danny Garcia. I was supposed to fight him in January, but I had my accident. That’s the guys I’m looking to fight.

“No restrictions at all. I’ve been cleared. They did all types of scans on me. They think it’s a miracle. I can’t explain it. All I got to do is thank God that I’m here. I’m healthy, I can touch my kids and kiss them and I’m here with my mother and my father and I can give the fans what they’ve been wanting. They’ve been wanting me to come back and I’ll definitely put on a great show when I do come back. The second time around I’m not gonna take anything for granted.”

After Spence defeated Porter, Garcia got in the ring and he and Spence began to talk up a fight that was being planned as a pay-per-view headliner on Jan. 25.

Spence said he plans to pick up where he left off following the win against Porter.

“I’m the top dog of the division,” Spence said. “I am the king of the welterweight division. Those guys wish I wasn’t back so fast but I am back and I want to fight the top names in the division – whether it’s Manny Pacquiao, [titleholder] Terence Crawford or Danny Garcia, I do want the top names and I do want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world.”