Errol Spence Jr doesn’t need a tune-up says trainer Derrick James
By Matt Lieberman: Errol Spence Jr will be ready to go without the need for a tune-up, according to his trainer Derrick James. He’s seen enough evidence from watching Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) train that he doesn’t need a warm-up fight to get ready for the more hardened fighters in the 147-pound division.
Spence has had work on his teeth done since the car crash, and he’ll need a good test to see if he can hold up. It’s not just the teeth that we don’t know about at this point. It’s whether Spence can still take a punch.
Is Spence still the same fighter?
IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence is coming off of a car crash that saw fly out of his automobile last October. The accident resulted in the 30-year-old Spence spending six days in the ICU in a hospital in Dallas, Texas.
He came out of the accident with question marks from fans about his ability to continue to fight at the same level that he once did. There will be a lot of eyes on Spence from the boxing world when he returns to the ring this year.
For one, Terence Crawford, Spence’s nemesis, will be closely watching his next fight, looking for signs of weakness from the car crash that he can take advantage of
Spence’s trainer Derrick James believes he’ll be the same guy, but only time will tell. Errol’s next opponent hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s believed that Danny Garcia will be the guy he faces in the late summer, possibly in September.
Garcia is a massive puncher with either hand, and if he lands one of his power shots on the chin of Spence, we’ll get a chance to see if he can still take it.
James is watching Spence carefully
“I’m grading him every day, looking at him, his reaction times, his technique, his skill set,” said James to Fighthub in talking about Spence.
“We’re gradually getting better, so I don’t think we need that tune-up fight,” said James of Spence.
“Everybody’s been off now, nobody’s been fighting. So he’ll get a fight, and whoever it is, I don’t think it matters. They’re all great fighters,” said James of Spence’s competition.
James won’t know for sure if Spence is the same guy as before the accident until he competes in his first fight back. Watching Spence spar isn’t the same is seeing him inside the ring against a world-class opponent.
Spence will need a good showing against Danny Garcia for him to move to the next level in facing the likes of Manny Pacquiao. That’s the guy that Spence wants. Crawford will be the last fighter on Spence’s last that he faces before he moves up to 154 to compete for the titles in that division.
Crawford needs to help build the Spence fight
It would be good for Crawford to take on a real threat at 147 before Spence meets up with him because the fight needs to be built up more between them. If Crawford can beat someone of quality like Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, or Keith Thurman before he fights Spence, it could make a huge difference.
It would be a good idea for Crawford to lean on his promoters at Top Rank to make sure they start matching him against good fighters from this point on.
They’ve had Crawford fighting a lot of C-level welterweights since he’s moved up, and that’s not helping him grow as a fighter. Crawford is fighting guys that most of the ten would defeat, and that’s not doing him any good.
Spence’s last fight against Shawn Porter was quickly the toughest of his career, and he’s responsible for making it hard. Spence decided to stand and slug with Porter instead of boxing him like he needed to do, and that messed things up.
Coming off of a war like that, it won’t be easy for Spence, and the same applies to Porter. Shawn is going to need to be careful who he faces next.
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