Errol Spence (28-0-0, 22 KOs) has been through a lot, beyond sports. The WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight champion survived a car accident for which he was hospitalized in the ICU for several days with serious injuries and emergency surgery on his left eye. Early Saturday through Sunday, he will unify the division crowns with Terence Crawford (39-0-0, 30 KOs) in an undefeated war at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In 2019, Spence had a near-death experience. He suffered a serious accident when he was driving his Ferrari at high speed. He lost control and was thrown from the vehicle (he was not wearing a seat belt)which was destroyed after going around a roundabout several times. He spent several days in the Intensive Care Unit of the Dallas hospital with serious injuries. “You see life a little differently. You find out you’re not invincible, so you care a lot more about things, making sure you spend time with your loved ones and things like that. You never know when you’re going to leave. So, for me, the important thing is to spend time with them,” the American told TMZ, once he had recovered from his injuries.
Spence, who had the WBC and IBF welterweight belts in his possession, he was unable to return to training until March of the following year, and did not spar until a year after the accident. In December 2020, he returned to the ring to defend his title against Danny Garcia (37-3-0, 21 KO) by unanimous decision. He returned with victory and recovered sensations after the great scare he experienced.
More trouble soon followed. In August 2021, he was scheduled to face Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs), but suffered a detached retina in his left eye in the weeks of training leading up to the fight. He stopped one of the sessions saying: “My eye, my eye,” ESPN shared. Despite the fact that something was not right in the American’s eye, he wanted to face the Filipino and did not stop training. But during a scheduled physical, the specialists told him that he could not spar until he was examined by an ophthalmologist if he did not want to lose his eye.
The ophthalmologist didn’t think Spence could fight. The WBC and IBF welterweight champion sought second opinions, but, finally, the fight was canceled and he was replaced by Cuban Yordenis Ugás (27-5-0, 12 KOs), who was notified only 11 days before the clash. The American underwent emergency surgery on his left eye and had to have an air bubble during his recovery. The traffic accident he suffered in 2019 could have led to a break in Spence’s retina, who after that went into the ring twice to defend his titles.
At dawn from Saturday to Sunday, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he will be the protagonist of one of the most important and anticipated fights in recent years. Spence will put his WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight belts at stake, against Terence Crawford, who will put the WBO belt. They will thus unify the welterweight division in a clash that has been in negotiations for more than a year. A lawsuit that will not leave anyone indifferent.