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After nearly dying, Errol Spence Jr. eager to make most of second chance

Errol Spence Jr. fights against Shawn Porter during the WBC & IBF World Welterweight Championship.
Errol Spence Jr., right, fights against Shawn Porter during their WBC and IBF welterweight title fight in September 2019.
(H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

Errol Spence Jr. escaped death when he flipped his convertible Ferrari several times in the wee hours of the morning last October on a Dallas road near his home.

Video footage of the crash showed the unified welterweight champion being ejected from his car at high speeds.

Spence, the WBC and IBF’s 147-pound champion, suffered facial lacerations, lost teeth and underwent oral surgery. He was later charged with driving while intoxicated.

Once Spence’s extended hospital stay was complete, many wondered if one of the sport’s elite fighters would ever make his way back into a boxing ring.

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Spence’s miraculous comeback to the sport will be finalized Saturday when Spence fights former two-division world champion Danny Garcia in a Fox pay-per-view event.

“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. “Seeing my kids every day, it motivated me to give back to them and train hard in the gym. I made sure there were no outside distractions stopping me.

“Nobody forced me to fight Danny Garcia. But I wanted to face someone dangerous who would keep me focused and in the gym training hard. Fighting someone who’s a great fighter like Danny pushes me to another level. That’s the level I’m supposed to be at.”

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The last time Spence was in the ring, he finished Shawn Porter in a spirited split decision win and a fight of the year candidate at the Staples Center in September 2019. In a made for TV move, Garcia walked up to Spence during his post-fight interview and challenged him to a fight. They agreed to the bout for January, but 12 days later, the accident occurred.

Spence bypassed a tune-up fight and he’s jumping straight into the fire for his shot at redemption against Garcia, a potential future Hall of Famer.

“Boxing is a sport of timing and the time is now. I feel great and had a tremendous camp. I did everything I was supposed to do,” Garcia said.

“I’m not worried about being the underdog. I know that I’m a great champion and a great fighter. That’s why I’m here today. I’m going to prove it again on Saturday night.”

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A look at Errol Spencer Jr.'s comeback ahead of Saturday’s fight.

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Tale of the tape

Errol Spence Jr.

Age: 30

Hometown: Dallas

Record: 26-0, 21 KOs

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Weight: 146 ½

Total rounds: 120

Height: 5 foot 9 inches

Reach: 72 inches

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Stance: Left-handed

Trainer: Derrick James

Record in world championship fights: 5-0, 3 KOs

Notable victories: Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Chris Algieri

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A look at some of the greatest knockouts of Errol Spence Jr.'s career.

Danny Garcia

Age: 32

Hometown: Philadelphia

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Record: 36-2, 21 KOs

Weight: 146 ¾ pounds

Total rounds: 258

Height: 5 foot 8 ½ inches

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Reach: 68 ½ inches

Stance: Right-handed

Trainer: Angel Garcia

Record in world championship fights: 7-2, 2 KOs

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Notable victories: Erik Morales (2x), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Matthysse, Paulie Malignaggi, Lamont Peterson, Robert Guerrero, Brandon Rios, Kendall Holt, Adrian Granados

Losses: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter


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