Derrick James: “Spence Will Be Back Sparring Soon”

Errol Spence Jr to Stage First Sparring Session Since Accident

Derrick James (right) training Errol Spence Jr.
Derrick James (right) training Errol Spence Jr.

Errol Spence Jr to Stage First Sparring Session Since Accident

In two months almost to the day, WBC and IBF world welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KO’s) will return to action. The highly anticipated prizefight will be the first since his potentially fatal car crash back in October of 2019. Seeking to jump right back in the fire, the Truth has elected to pass on taking on any form of tune-up bout. Instead, Spence will face former two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KO’s).

When the Truth slides through the ropes on their November 21 fight date, many in the boxing world will have their eyes peeled. It is a well-known fact that when some fighters remain out of the ring for an extended period of time, ring rust can become a factor. By the time that Spence and Garcia lock horns, the champ will have been out of action for fourteen months. This extended lay-off, combined with the accident, has left many in the boxing community with many unanswered questions.


Clearly, Spence Jr and his team have extreme faith in his overall health and ability to return to elite action. Coming back against such a hard-hitting, high caliber opponent as Garcia only reinforces that notion. It may come as another shock to fight fans to hear that Spence has yet to spar since his accident. While conducting a quick Q&A with Fight Hype, the Truth’s chief second, Derrick James, unveiled the rather surprising revelation.

[when asked if Spence had sparred] “No, not yet. Monday, when I get back Monday we’ll be back at it…I have no expectations. I think that we go in there and you see what you see. We’ve been working, we’ve been building, we’ve been planning and preparing. So I’ll go in there with no expectations, with no thoughts…he is good, that’s what I can say, he’s great. I’ve seen him move, I’ve seen him, he’s good.”


While his confidence in Spence is admirable, this remains a potentially very sticky situation. However, James is adamant that he is not fretting or losing sleep over the upcoming training camp or the title fight itself. Let him tell it, their level of sparring is essentially equivalent to having a real fight anyhow. So in his opinion, any and all lingering wrinkles will be ironed out in the upcoming camp.

“Our sparring is real sparring! So it’s like fight simulator, it’s not pitty-pat, its real…you got to be motivated to fight guys. Most guys look bad or get beat because they’re not inspired or motivated. I think that when you want to be great and you bring in the right sparring partners, the right guys, guys that are going to get you motivated and get that out of you…so we are bringing in guys that will make him get on his game. Stay 100% on who he is.”

“And you get tested in the gym, so that the fight. It’s a test too, but you’ve already known the answers to all the questions that’s on the test. So you get tested in the gym, you get tested every day and you bring out those guys who are not sparring partners but fighters, that’s the difference. Guys who are fighters are not sparring partners, I think that will be the key element.”

For fight fans, and supporters of the Truth, this all sounds very positive and encouraging. Yet, at the end of the day, we will not get the acid test that we’re looking for until Spence absorbs a few heavy punches from Garcia. Let’s just hope that the champ has returned to the form that Derrick James and crew believe that he has.

By: Bakari Simpson

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