DALLAS, TX – Boxing superstar Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. joined former NFL stars and “The Pivot Podcast” co-hosts Ryan Clark, Channing Crowder, and Fred Taylor for an extensive conversation about his life and career ahead of his upcoming SHOWTIME PPV matchup against Yordenis Ugas this Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
In the new episode that debuts today at 12 p.m. ET on the show’s YouTube Channel, Spence goes in-depth about his October 2019 car accident that left him hospitalized and his burgeoning career in jeopardy. For Spence, who has since made a victorious return to the ring in December 2020, the accident served as a wake-up call that helped him get his career back on track.
“Everybody gets led astray a little bit,” explained Spence, a 2012 U.S. Olympian who owns the WBC and IBF Welterweight World titles. “It got to the point where I was kind of wandering. When you get to a certain age and you’re making money and you’re the man, you think you know everything…What a lot of people don’t realize is that you have to be disciplined, even when you’re not in training camp. I wasn’t in that type of shape. I was getting up to 180, 185, and I was fighting at 147 pounds.”
When Clark asks what led him “astray”, Crowder quickly jumps in stating that it’s always the money, amusingly relaying his story of depositing his first NFL paycheck. Taylor jumps in and asks Spence how the car accident eventually changed his trajectory.
“It was a wakeup call, and most importantly it gave me perspective,” said Spence. “I had to really sit down. I realized that all that outside stuff is just a distraction. What’s important are the people close to you. Because when it’s over, that’s all you’ve got. I realized that I was playing on borrowed time.
“If the concrete couldn’t break anything in my body, then how could a man hurt me?” continued Spence, explaining how he decided to return to fighting after the accident. “That’s why I came straight out of the gate and fought a strong ex-champion in Danny Garcia.”
Always on top of the latest and most interesting development in the lives of the show’s guests, Taylor asks Spence about his newfound love of animals and farm life. Spence has recently begun raising horses, including a white horse named Ferrari, after the car he was driving during his accident.
“I’m always going to be reminded of the crash and I wanted to be reminded of the crash,” said Spence. “It definitely was a lesson, for me and for my kids. It’s molded me into the man I am today. It made me be with my family more and realize that a lot of things that I thought were important, or just things that I was indulging in, were not as important as the strength of being with my family.”
As the conversation continued, the hosts asked Spence about his experience sparring with boxing Hall of Famer and recent Pivot Podcast guest Floyd Mayweather. Although Spence was only a couple of fights into his pro career, he tells a story of how he gained Mayweather’s respect by the end of their sparring session.
“I was just there watching him and I was like a sponge,” said Spence. “I was ready to take things from him and implement them into my game. He was training like he was dead broke. Like he needed a pair of drawers. He was training hard. That’s the biggest thing I got out of it. It didn’t matter what was going on, he was going to get his work in regardless.
“We went on sparring for like five to seven minutes in a row. And we got out of the ring, and he said to me, ‘you alright for a bitch.’ So I didn’t hear him at first, and then he said it again. So I was like okay, let’s put our shit back on. I said turn off the clock, we can go until somebody drops. We went in there and sparred for eight or nine more minutes in a row. I think I earned his respect at that time. He saw that I’m not a pushover.”
The crew talks to Spence with just days to go before his welterweight championship unification showdown against Yordenis Ugas, taking place this Saturday, April 16 on SHOWTIME PPV. The Cuban Ugas survived multiple defection attempts from his home country, and numerous setbacks once stateside, before eventually becoming world champion. Adding intrigue to this Saturday’s matchup, Ugas stepped in for an injured Spence to defeat boxing legend Manny Pacquiao last year, setting up this fight. For Spence, his recent list of life obstacles gives him the motivational edge heading into the highly awaited bout.
“What happened to Ugas was a long time ago,” said Spence. “Now he’s out there showing off his watches and living his ‘American Dream.’ Is he still as hungry as he used to be? I’m fresh off of my injuries. There’s a lot more grit and hunger coming from me. I got the Pacquiao fight taken away from me. For me, it’s about catching back up. I’m in a rush. I’m totally focused and hungry.”
Adding to Spence’s motivation is the fact that Spence will be fighting Saturday night at AT&T Stadium, the home of Spence’s beloved Dallas Cowboys. Although he acknowledges the difficulties with fighting in front of your hometown, it’s a challenge that he embraces.
“A lot of boxers lose at home because it’s too much pressure,” said Spence. “For me, it’s about motivation. When I make that ring entrance and see everybody there just to watch me fight, wearing their Saturday best, that’s motivating to me. I can’t let these people down and I have to give them their money’s worth.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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