Errol Spence Jr., the undefeated welterweight boxing world champ who was seriously injured in a Ferrari crash in Dallas, Texas, attributes his interest in boxing to his dad. “I heard he liked to fight, so I got him into boxing,” Errol Spence Sr. once said.
The 29-year-old boxing phenom frequently posts photos on Instagram showing his young children, calling them his motivation. The boxing world and its fans are watching with great concern to learn more about the nature of Spence’s injuries. He was ejected from his Ferrari during a rollover crash in downtown Dallas, Texas on October 10, 2019. Spence is expected to survive, but how the crash will affect his career (if at all) is not yet known.
Asked that question, Premier Boxing Champions spokesman Tim Smith told Heavy: “His injuries are non-life-threatening. We don’t have any further information at this time. We’ll update everyone when we have more to share.” His last opponent, Shawn Porter, offered prayers for Spence on Twitter.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Spence’s Parents Were at His Side After the Crash
Spence’s parents rushed to the hospital to be at his side after the 3 a.m. crash, which put the boxer in the intensive care unit.
“Errol was in an accident, and his parents are with him at the hospital,” Smith told ESPN. “The doctors are monitoring his condition, but his injuries are not life-threatening. We will have further updates as the doctors update his condition. We’re all wishing the best for Errol.”
NBC Dallas reported that Spence was in the intensive care unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
Speed was believed to be a factor, and Spence was ejected, with the car flipping at least five times, according to TMZ. The vehicle appears to be lacking a roof in photos from the accident scene.
2. Spence Frequently Posts Photos of His Kids on Instagram, Writing That His ‘Babies Keep Me Hungry’
Spence is a father. He frequently posts pictures of his two small children on Instagram, writing, “my babies Keep me hungry & focused🦈.” One photo with the kids showed him sitting in front of a Range Rover. The girls are named Ivy and Violet.
In February 2019, he wrote of one of his daughters: “Never seen a 3yr old girl so ready go to the boxing gym my baby up ready for me to get to work.” In January 2017, he wrote on Instagram, “Thank God for blessing me with another healthy beautiful baby girl everybody say Hi to Violet Spence 😍👸🏽 #SpenceClan #MoreMotivation.”
He posted a photo of his grandmother holding his daughter Ivy. In 2015, he wrote, “Got a lot to be thankful for this year. Most of all my #babygirl Ivy Marie. Already changed my life in a lot of ways. #SpenceClan #Thankful.”
In 2016, he wrote, “Baby ivy flew in yesterday to catch her daddy put In Work 😎😊😊.. #ManDown #imready.” Whether the babies’ mother is Spence’s wife or girlfriend is unclear as his social media pages don’t make that clear. The name of the mother of his children is not clear, either, and he typically posts photos showing him alone with his girls.
He once told TMZ that he likes the food in strip clubs, saying, “Strip club food is the best.”
3. Spence Got His Start in Boxing Due to His Father, Who Used to Work for FedEx, But Called His Mom His Biggest Influence
Spence, who was also a U.S. Olympian before becoming the 147-pound world welterweight champ, attributes his boxing career to his father, Errol Spence Sr. The Spence family hails from DeSoto, Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News, Spence Sr. is a “now-retired FedEx contractor.” His father was integrally involved in Spence Jr.’s career from the start, carefully picking his coaches, the newspaper reported.
ESPN quoted Spence as saying of his dad, “It really wasn’t my choice. I came home from school and 20 minutes later we pulled up to a boxing gym. He didn’t tell me where we were going. What’s going on? We going to pick up something? And then we’re in a boxing gym and he’s asking the coach when can I start, and I started the next day.”
Spence told the Dallas Morning News that his father was influenced by Muhammad Ali, saying, “Muhammad Ali was an icon and he revolutionized [boxing]. Ali was a great fighter, an Olympic gold medalist, and someone that I look up to. He was the first fighter I knew because my dad used to talk about him and listen to him on the radio station all the way in Jamaica when he was a kid. He’s the greatest fighter of all time.”
In a bio posted by Team USA for the Olympics, Spence was asked why he got into boxing. He responded, “My dad and watching Oscar de la Hoya.” The 5-10 Texan started boxing in 2005 and revealed his biggest strength in the ring is “speed.” His career highlights at that time were listed as “2009, 2010, 2011 USA National Champion, 2009 and 2010 National Golden Gloves Champion.” He credited his mother with being his biggest influence, though, in that article. His mother is a postal worker, according to The Athletic.
4. Spence Indicated He Was of Jamaican Heritage & Wrote That He Keeps His Parents ‘Close’
On September 26, Spence shared a family photo on Instagram and wrote, “I Keep my mom & pops close all this could end today an I know their love won’t change God forbid anything would happen but I know my mother & father would wipe my ass & feed me if need be moral of the story keep the PEOPLE who really love you for you close an treat them right‼️ (don’t get caught up in the hype)🤞🏾💕 #tbt #jamamerican #jamaica.”
He posted a throwback photo showing him as a boy with a slingshot and wrote, “in Jamaica with my cousin shooting people chickens & goats.”
He wrote an ode to his mother on Mother’s Day: “Happy Mother’s Day to this beautiful woman who gave me life love an direction..#MyDayOne #UnconditionalLove #RetiringHerSoon.” Spence’s mother is named Debra Spence. She told NBC Dallas: “You get nothin’ for nothing.’ Whatever you want you have to work hard for it and put 100 percent in it.”
He’s indicated on Instagram that he also has a sister. She helped make him a birthday cake out of fruit because he doesn’t eat sugar. He told GQ that he learned how to cook from his parents. “My dad can cook, and my mom used to cook a lot, too, so I used to be in the kitchen watching them. Growing up, my dad would always say, ‘A good chef has good imagination,'” he told the magazine.
5. Spence Was Born in New York But Has Been in Texas Most of His Life
According to The Dallas Morning News, Spence was actually born on Long Island but moved to Texas with his family when he was 2 years old.
In Texas, Spence initially played football but switched to boxing his sophomore year of high school, according to Undefeated.com.
NBC Dallas wrote that Spence’s dad spent “countless hours” watching over his son and quoted him as saying, “It’s a dangerous sport, and if he’s gonna do it, I want to make sure he’s doing it the right way.”
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