Errol Spence Jr quieted the concerns about his boxing form tonight, out-pointing Danny Garcia over 12 rounds to retain the WBC and IBF welterweight titles at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Fighting near home, Spence (27-0, 21 KO) was the crowd favorite for the 16,000 or so who were in socially distanced attendance at the enormous football stadium. He was consistently just a bit better than Garcia (36-3, 21 KO), which has sort of been the story with the Philadelphia native in his biggest fights at welterweight, though he did win a title at 147.
Scores from the judges were 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 for Spence. Bad Left Hook had the fight 116-112 and 117-111 on separate score cards, both for Spence.
Spence, 30, hadn’t fought since a Sept. 2019 win over Shawn Porter, which was a hard-fought battle, and was involved in a terrifying car accident shortly after that, where he was lucky to escape with his life, let alone his boxing career. Because of that, there was obviously some worry about how he’d come back, both physically and mentally, but while he admitted some ring rust and some “cobwebs” that had to be shaken tonight, he mostly looked like the same Errol Spence, one of the best boxers on the planet.
That’s not to discredit Garcia, 32, either, as he once again put in a good effort, stayed competitive and trying to win, but just came up short in a top-tier fight at 147.
“I think I looked pretty good. There was a little ring rust, I got a little tired, but I shook off the cobwebs and I’ll be ready to fight again in the summertime,” Spence said. “I didn’t want no tune-up fight, I wanted to fight a great champion like Danny Garcia, someone whose name is known and would give me a fight. And he definitely gave me a fight. I wanted to prove I’m the best 147-pound fighter in the world.”
“Danny Garcia pushed me to the limit,” Spence added. “I’ve been watching him fight since I was an amateur. I knew he was a great champion. This was a comeback fight for me, but I’ll definitely be 120 percent for my next fight.”
Spence did admit that he wasn’t at his absolute best here, saying, “I made a couple mistakes, I played around a little bit and put my hands down, and I was lazy sometimes on my jab. My coach told me, ‘Yo, Danny Garcia is known for knocking people out when they get lazy, pick your hands back up,’ so that’s what I did.”
Given a chance to clearly call out WBO titleholder Terence “Bud” Crawford — who was in attendance and was shown on the screen a couple of times — Spence didn’t call out Crawford or anyone else.
“I’m just gonna chill on my ranch,” Spence said. “I’ve got to decide when I’m gonna come back, but right now I’m just gonna enjoy my family time. I need to rest a little bit.”
“He was just a better man tonight,” Garcia said. “No excuses. I fought a hard, tough fight. He had a pretty good jab, and I think that was the key to the fight, his jab. He was a little bit busier than me. He off-set me with his jab a little bit.”
Asked about his 0-3 record against Spence, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter at welterweight, Garcia said he’d go back to the drawing board.
“I’ve just got to sit back and re-build, see what I can do next. All three (losses) were good fights, and I’m proud,” he said.