Errol Spence Jr: Will 'The Truth' become a more 'Pacquiao' like fighter after accident?
In October, undefeated welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. was involved in a horrific accident that very easily could have and probably should have taken the 29-year-old fighter's life. The crash happened after leaving a sports bar in the Dallas, Texas area while driving his Ferarri over 80 mph under the influence.
Miraculously "The Truth" didn't suffer any kind of life-altering injury and has reportedly been cleared to return to the ring in 2020, despite many contradicting and alleged rumors.
During FOX's coverage of "Harrison vs. Charlo 2", the humbled title holder cleared the air of any malicious or false stories regarding his current status.
"No restriction at all, I've been cleared (to fight), claimed Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday night while speaking to Brian Kenny of FOX Sports.
"I had all types of scans on me and stuff...they think it's a miracle. I can't explain it. All I have to do is thank God that I'm here, and I'm able to touch my kids and kiss them, and I'm here with my mother and my father and I can give the fans what they've been wanting...the second time around, I'm not going to take anything for granted."
"My ribs were just sore," the current IBF/WBC Welterweight champion stated. "My whole body was just sore. I guess it was just a miracle from God. He really protected me from that accident, because anybody else would have been killed. It's just a blessing from God that I was safe and I'm able to make a return to boxing next year."
"I'll be back around May or June."
While no one doubts the sincerity of the always classy 147-pound titlist, it remains to be seen whether or not Errol will indeed be the same menacing fighter he was before the tragic accident. Will the relentless puncher still possess the tenacious mentality that made him arguably the most dangerous fighter in the talent enriched Welterweight division?
It wouldn't be the first time a popular knock-out artist had an emotionally transformative experience that seemed to temper his killer-instinct in the ring.
Eight-division titlist and current WBA Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao had a series of life-changing episodes, claiming to have "heard the voice of God" which consequently changed his ways both in and out of the ring.
"I changed when I heard the voice of God and I can now testify that there is a living God," stated Manny Pacquiao to The Guardian.com in 2014. "I saw two angels, white, long, big wings. I saw Paradise. God showed me about the end of time. This all happened within the last three years. That’s how I changed my life.”
Before the born-again Christian experienced these life-changing "visions", Pacquiao was on a four fight knock-out streak and was seemingly brutalizing the much physically larger Welterweight division; with huge KO wins over Oscar De la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in succession. The spiritual experience emotionally metamorphosized the once marauding fighter, transforming him into a considerably less ferocious competitor in the ring.
The Filipino Congressman admittedly became a different man. The drinking and womanizing came to a screeching halt, and his once career-defining "seek and destroy" mentality in the squared circle seemed to as well. The Pacman ostensibly became a much more merciful combatant.
After experiencing his own life-altering moment, will fight fans see a similar change in Errol Spence Jr.'s mentality when he returns to the ring in 2020? Will Spence appear to be a more compassionate fighter like Manny Pacquiao?
The blessed PBC fighter will need those same star-making, relentless qualities if he hopes to find success against the best fighters of the packed 147-pound division once again.
According to Spence, he wants to jump right back into facing the best of the competitive weight class.
"I don't want a tune-up fight. I want to fight Pacquiao or if Garcia wins his fight, I want to fight Danny Garcia," stated Errol Spence Jr. "I was supposed to fight him in January, but I had my accident, so that's the guy I'm looking to fight"
"I am the top dog in the division, I am the king of the Welterweight division. I know a lot of them guys wish I wasn't back so fast, but I am back, and I want to fight the top names in the division. Whether it's Manny Pacquiao, whether it's Terence Crawford or whether it's Danny Garcia, I do want the top names, and I do want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world."
We'll see if Spence is being optimistic or realistic when he returns to the ring in 2020.