Perspective is something that, sadly, not a lot of elite boxers possess. They make money by the boatloads, sometimes enough in a couple of fights to match the GDP of a few small countries.
There’s always a but, though, and yes, sadly, there is a but with Errol Spence Jr. He’s held a version of the welterweight title for five years now and since his days as a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team was tagged as a potential superstar.
But the bigger the purses and the greater his success, the more Spence’s head grew and the more he was blinded to reality by the good life that came with all of that money.
He bought a Ferrari that he drove like he was trying to win the Indianapolis 500 rather than a man who was trying to get home to spend time with his young children after work.
It caught up to him when a horrifying video of his car tumbling end-over-end down a Dallas street surfaced after he was in an accident.
On top of that, Spence suffered a detached retina before an August fight with Manny Pacquiao that forced him to withdraw and put his career into jeopardy.
Finally, the perspective that Spence had needed had arrived.
On Saturday, he’ll fight WBA champion Yordenis Ugas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for three-quarters of the welterweight titles. Only Bud Crawford’s WBO belt won’t be at stake.
There was a time when it didn’t seem like Spence would make it to this point. He appeared on “The Pivot Podcast,” with former NFL players Ryan Clark, Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder and told the harrowing story of his accident and how he grew from it.
“Everybody gets led astray a little bit,” Spence said on the podcast. “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.”
He’d often been compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr.. but he was making mistakes that Mayweather never made. Mayweather would never drive drunk, or take drugs, or abuse his body. When he went to clubs, he’d be driven there …….