The big ones walk through piles of questions into the ring. By the time they walk away, they have all expelled.
Only one of those questions remained for Errol Spence on Saturday night.
Which horse will he choose for his first ride on Sunday at his ranch in DeSoto, Texas? The one he named Ferrari, after the car he demolished on October 10 last year?
“I don’t know, it’s been a long camp,” said Spence after his unanimous decision over Danny Garcia at AT&T Stadium. “It’s been 10 to 12 weeks and I’ve spent it 24/7 in the gym. So that’s all I’m going to think about. ”
Well, there is another question.
When will Spence settle all welterweight bills and fight Terence Crawford, the WBO champion from the other side of the promotional divide?
Spence, who retained his IBF and WBC titles, represents Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon. Crawford is the pride of Top Rank and Bob Arum. Spence’s victory creates that gigantic battle, provided the virus disappears and people can sit elbow to elbow again. In fact, Crawford appeared in Arlington and was booed by most of the 16,000 fans when his face was on the video card.
“Terence must keep his word,” said Spence. He says he’s not worried about me. I don’t know why he was here. I’m not going to his fights. ”
Again, it’s an unnatural question to ask a guy who’s just toiled for 12 rounds and isn’t in charge of the star maker machine anyway. But there wasn’t much else to analyze in Spence’s win, where he took eight of the 12 rounds with two of the jury cards and nine of the twelve on the other.
The biggest problem was how much of the real Spence survived that terrifying crash in downtown Dallas. He hadn’t been in the ring since bypassing Shawn Porter in September 2019. That all floated away in the first round, when Spence found a home for his right prick and determined the size and benefits it brought.
He landed 84 jabs.
“I’ve always thought this was the easiest punch to learn and the hardest punch to block,” said Derrick James, Spence’s trainer. “It was beautiful tonight because it was so consistent.”
It was the third loss of his career for Garcia. The other two were 147 pound title odds against Porter and Keith Thurman. All three were to some extent caused by Garcia, a smart opponent, who could not or would not pressure opponents. His dad and trainer Angel wasn’t the only person perplexed by the last 15 seconds of the fight, when Danny finally started throwing hard rights at Spence. The horse had long since left the barn.
“If he had, he could have won the whole fight,” Angel said, “he’d have to let go of his hands. Spence was stealing rounds and did a lot in the last minute of rounds. Danny slipped and didn’t bump. These judges will not give you points for slipping and dipping. They give you points when the punches land. ”
Garcia said Spence was tougher than Thurman or Porter “because he’s stronger than the other two, and he’s got a better jab. He’s got great timing with it. He knows when to use it. I couldn’t ignore it. was the better man tonight. ”
Spence-Garcia’s pay-per-view figures are unlikely to come close to the 1.5 million that Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. last Saturday for the AARP band at Staples Center. But Spence’s relative sharpness, which earned him a “B” on the self-rating system, is excellent news for boxing fans.
Now that he’s recovered, there’s a fight with Crawford, and so are Thurman and Manny Pacquiao and maybe even the winner of Josh Taylor-Jose Ramirez, who has moved up from super lightweight.
Spence has been a recluse since the accident, returned to his Dallas gym in March and stayed there. It was just like the old days, he said, keeping you in shape in case an argument broke out.
“I could train for strategy instead of training to lose 30-40 pounds,” said Spence, and indeed he was the much fresher guy going into the late rounds. If he hadn’t started off by preventing fouls, he would have made the scores seem just as decisive as the fight was.
When it came time for the ringwalk, he smiled broadly. “I was just super excited to have another chance to become a household name in Dallas again,” he said.
It is far from a statistic.