The undefeated, Unified WBC, WBA & IBF World Welterweight Champion has always embraced his rich cultural roots, passed down from his father, and the latter remains in his corner as Spence prepares to face Terence Crawford in a historic showdown, Saturday night on SHOWTIME PPV.
When undefeated, unified WBC, WBA and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol Spence Jr. climbs through the ropes to face undefeated WBO Welterweight World Champion Terence Crawford this Saturday, July 29, he’ll be bringing with him a pride and culture that helped make him the world champion and boxing superstar that he is today.
Spence vs. Crawford is perhaps the most intriguing, scintillating welterweight title unification since Mayweather vs. Pacquiao—perhaps since Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya fought in 1999. Only this time, the undisputed 147-pound world championship is on the line. Spence-Crawford, boxing’s biggest and best matchup, headlines a Premier Boxing Champions event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, live on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
The magnitude of this moment, and what it took to get to this point, isn’t lost on Spence. Yet his inner circle hasn’t changed since his father introduced him to the sport when he was 14. Errol Sr. was and remains one of the biggest motivators in his son’s boxing career.
“My dad is basically my hero.” Spence Jr. said of his father, who worked countless hours as a truck driver during the graveyard shifts. “He’d come home, sleep a couple of hours, take me to the gym, come home and eat, and then go back to work.”
It wasn’t until Spence became a father himself that he realized how much his own sacrificed for him to become a great fighter. Errol Sr. has always been in his son’s corner—literally. His is a familiar face in the corner of all of Errol Jr’s fights, and he’s with him every day of training camp.
“Just for him to support me and stay with me, that means a lot,” said Spence Jr.
Errol Sr. grew up in Jamaica, moving to the United States when he was only 15. He never forgot where he came from, passing along those cultural values to his son.
“We go to Jamaica a lot. We actually have a house in Jamaica and we have family reunions out there,” said Spence Jr. “My people are from Hanover, Jamaica. They call it ‘The Bush’ because the roads are super bad. It’s deep in the mountains and it’s just super country.
“The people of Jamaica are very energetic and lively. They embrace music and love to have fun. But they’re not afraid to speak their truth. They’re very strong and like-minded people. Being from there means a lot. People like Bob Marley, them being revolutionaries and them always telling the truth and speaking their truth.”
No surprise since Spence’s moniker is “The Truth.”
“ My dad is basically my hero. ” Undefeated, Unified WBC, WBA & IBF Welterweight World Champion - Errol Spence Jr
Spence’s frequent travels to Jamaica have humbled him. The vast majority of citizens there work multiple jobs to put food on the table; hard work and dedication is part and parcel of the culture.
“My uncle who’s 72 years old, still wakes up at 5 a.m. to go check on the cows and work on the field,” said Spence. “My family isn’t just strong physically but strong mentally too.”
So is he. In the early morning October 2019, Spence was involved in a car accident that nearly cost him his life and career. Fourteen months later, Spence miraculously returned the ring to outpoint two-division world champion Danny Garcia in December 2020. Following an eye injury that sidelined him until April 2022, Spence stopped Yordenis Ugas to pick up his third welterweight world title.
“I’ve never broke a bone in my body,” said Spence. “I mean despite of what happened to me, and boxing, and how it affected my sister, my family…for us to be at this point just shows how strong we are.”
Spence will bring all that experience, work ethic and strength into the ring Saturday night when he and Crawford face off in a historic showdown of epic proportions, an example of what is possible when you possess all three attributes.
“Even when it may look hard in the beginning, when starting out to do something you have to stay to it and stay focused, and then you can get to it,” said Spence.
“You just have to be resilient and focused.”
For a closer look at Errol Spence Jr, check out his fighter page.