Errol Spence Jr., Trainer Derrick James Discuss Champion’s First Time Sparring Since Car Accident

One question surrounding Errol Spence Jr. heading into his first defense as a unified welterweight champion was how he felt in the gym and in sparring.

Back in October 2019, Spence was involved in a horrific car accident that left him hospitalized and recovering for months. It was until just several weeks ago in which he finally got into the gym and actually had a sparring session to prepare for his fight against Danny Garcia on December 5.

When I asked Spence during a Zoom press conference about that first time in the gym and in sparring since that crash, he even admitted that it felt a bit strange. It even took a few more sparring sessions for him to get back into the rhythm things.

“First time I sparred, it felt kind of weird. Not gonna lie, it felt real weird. After about the third or fourth sparring session, everything was just clicking. Now, I’m sharp as a tack. Everything is back to normal. I feel like I won’t have any ring rust at all on December 5,” Spence said.

Shortly before the accident, Spence was on top of the always-exciting welterweight division, coming off a win over Shawn Porter in September of that year in a “Fight Of The Year” candidate. Spence was originally set to fight Garcia earlier this year, prior to the accident that left him hospitalized for several days.

His first fight back as the unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion is no easy one. A multi-time champion in his own right, Garcia has faced a who’s who of opponents from Keith Thurman to Porter to Amir Khan to Zab Judah to Lucas Matthysse to Erik Morales among others.

Even in a situation where Spence would be fighting Garcia without a major car accident the year before, Garcia presents one of Spence’s toughest challenges of his career.
Spence’s trainer Derrick James also chimed in on the discussion surrounding the unbeaten champion’s training now that he’s back in the fold.

“When he was getting back into the rhythm and finding himself in the ring, we still were looking good. I think it was the level of comfort heading in that made the difference. He still looked good from the first day of sparring to each day after that. But when he got more comfortable with just being back in the ring and being back home, you could see the difference. He looked amazing, he looked good. You’ll see on December 5 who he really is,” James said.

Spence is now less than one month away to prove how much did that accident take out of him and if he can be the same fighter that he once was.

Spence vs. Garcia takes place on December 5 at AT&T Stadium and will be broadcast on PBC on FOX PPV.

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