Getting involved in road accidents or training mishaps often leave fighters with injuries that can be either minor to even life-threatening and some cases, can hamper their skillsets or even end their careers. But can a fighter benefit from them? Such is the case of Errol Spence Jr, the reigning WBC, and IBF welterweight champion claims that the car crash and eye injury he sustained have improved his focus.
Errol Spence Jr feels “a new sense of hunger” following car crash and eye injury recovery
Errol Spence Jr, who is set to take on WBA (Super) titleholder Yordenis Ugas in a much-anticipated title unification fight on 16th April at the AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, has undergone two serious accidents in his career.
The first one dates back to October 2019, when Spence was involved in a horrific crash of his Ferrari 488 Spider which almost took his life, and suffered severe facial lacerations, as well as losing the following three weeks of memories which he regained later.
After his recovery, Spence returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory against Danny Garcia in 2020 December and was gearing up for a superfight against the former eight division world champion boxer, the legendary Manny Pacquiao. Unforunately, Spence pulled out of that fight after suffering from a torn retina and was replaced by Ugas, who defeated Pacquiao and retained his WBA belt.
Coming off of two major setbacks and just days ahead of his biggest boxing event yet, Spence reflected on the car crash and eye injury, and revealed to Boxing Junkie that surviving both has improved his focus, and re-igniting the hunger that he felt before he was a world champion.
“I feel my focus is a lot better than before the crash and the eye injury. I feel like that gave me a new sense of hunger. I just feel like before I won the world title, keeping that focus, that drive, being in the gym, working hard,” said Spence, “Everything has been basically focused on boxing and my family. I feel 100%, especially mentally … I’m a firm believer that stuff happens for a reason. It’s how you react to it. There are cons to everything. There are pros, too. It just depends on how you take it. It was more rest for me. It got me back in the gym, focused, training hard.”
“… Some people might be furious, angry. If you’re furious or angry, you still got the problem. You might as well change your perspective so it can be to your benefit,” the 32-year-old added.
Spence was disappointed for missing the Pacquiao fight
As he recalled the missed opportunity to spar against Pacquiao, Spence said it was disappointing, but now looks forward to facing Ugas, who was the one that defeated “PacMan” in his final match.
“Yeah, I was disappointed,” “The Truth” went on, “I feel like basically that [Pacquiao] was aligned for me and I missed the opportunity. I couldn’t dwell on it, though. It happened for a reason. [Ugas] won the fight and now I’m fighting the guy who beat Pacquiao.”
“It’ll still come full circle for me. I’ll just to have to win in impressive fashion so that people will say, ‘If he would’ve fought Pacquiao, he would’ve destroyed him.’ Some fighters – some people – don’t appreciate what they have until they almost lose it. I definitely appreciate it more knowing that it can be taken away from you at any moment,” added Spence. [H/T Boxingscene.com]