Any questions about whether a frightening 2019 car crash would affect Errol Spence Jr.’s return to the ring were answered emphatically Saturday night. The champion retained his IBF and WBC titles by thoroughly dominating former champion Danny Garcia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“The moment is surreal,” said Spence after successfully defending his titles. “Coming back from the accident, I feel like I looked pretty good tonight. All training camp I felt good. I told people I didn’t want a tune-up fight. I proved to everyone that I’m the best 147-pound fighter in the world.”
Although the judges’ scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112, they could have been wider considering just how sharp Spence looked. He worked behind a powerful jab to keep Garcia on his back foot and unable to land the counterpunches he sought. There were no signs of ring rust even though Spence hadn’t competed since a hard-fought decision over Shawn Porter in September 2019. Instead, he looked incredible as he pressured Garcia from the opening bell and never allowed the Philly fighter to get into a rhythm.
From the outset, Spence worked the jab to the head and body while Garcia’s lack of punch output was evident. Although they landed the same amount of power punches at 103, it was the 30-year-old landing a whopping 84 jabs to Garcia’s 14 that ended up being the true difference-maker in the 12-round championship affair.
With an attack that was devoid of using the jab, Garcia (36-3) tried instead to set traps and wait for Spence to make a mistake. Unfortunately for Garcia, the Texas product did no such thing, and Spence made it look easy against one of the best welterweights in the world.
Spence improves to 27-0 with the win, and the conversation now turns to which opponent will be next for the champ. Obviously, the boxing world has demanded a unification fight with Terence Crawford, but with Crawford still a Top Rank fighter, there are potential hurdles to that bout taking place next. Spence is still interested in WBA champion Manny Pacquiao, but nobody is quite sure what the living legend will do next. And then there is Shawn Porter, who lost a narrow decision to Spence and could be in line for a rematch.
Here’s how it all went down.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia updates, results
Decision: Errol Spence Jr. def. Danny Garcia via unanimous decision. Scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. SN scored the fight 119-109 for Spence.
Round 12 (12:33 a.m.): Spence rolls right in and smacks him with a right hook. Spence continues to walk him down. Combinations landing behind the jab. Garcia with no answers. Spence may be in the lead but he’s not going to take the round off. Still energized and putting together an incredible performance. The champ will retain. 10-9, Spence (119-109, Spence)
Round 11 (12:29 a.m.): Spence goes back to applying pressure to start the round and lands a left hand on the inside. Garcia lands to the body with a right hand. Spence bounces back with a combination. Spence never puts himself out of position when he throws. He’s defensively responsible and uses that jab like a pole. Garcia is just being outboxed. 10-9, Spence (109-100, Spence)
Round 10 (12:25 a.m.): Garcia lands a few body shots to open the 10th. Spence might be taking a round off. Hard right hand by Garcia lands. He should have done this earlier in the fight. Spence steps in and lands a combination but there’s FINALLY a round that Danny Garcia has earned. 10-9, Garcia (99-91, Spence)
Round 9 (12:21 a.m.): The Spence jab is a great disruptor. Whenever Garcia thinks about doing something, he eats a jab and causes him to stall. It’s impressive. This kind of domination is noteworthy. Danny Garcia is far from a bum but he has done absolutely nothing against Spence. 10-9 Spence (90-81, Spence)
Round 8 (12:17 a.m.): Spence pins Garcia’s back against the ropes and pounds away to the head and body. Garcia looking for the home run and he can’t find it. Spence is breaking Garcia down with pressure now. Garcia has done nothing to make Spence reconsider his approach. This is domination. 10-9, Spence (80-72, Spence)
Round 7 (12:13 a.m.): The 7th starts with both chucking leather on the inside. Garcia seems to have a sense of urgency. But whatever Garcia does, Errol doubles up on. Working him over in the corner. A clash of heads in the 7th. Immediate swelling on Spence’s head. Garcia opens up late but nothing of substance. 10-9 Spence (70-63 Spence)
Round 6 (12:08 a.m.): Garcia opens the sixth with a hard body shot. Spence loading up on the inside and cracks Garcia’s ribs. It has to be said that Garcia has been very good defensively. He’s just not busy enough. The jabs are having their effect on Garcia’s left eye. Spence nails him to the body. Spence lands a counter left. All Spence after six. 10-9, Spence (60-54, Spence)
Round 5 (12:04 a.m.): Hard left hand by Spence lands. Garcia lands a left to the body, Spence responds with a combination. A pair of body shots follow. Garcia is having a good round. Spence cracks Garcia with a left hand. Garcia picked up the pace but Spence was just too busy to give up the round. 10-9, Spence (50-45, Spence)
Round 4 (12:01 a.m.): Spence continues to pressure Garcia with the jab and Garcia is just too comfortable allowing Spence to move in on him.Spence whacks Garcia with a pair of jabs. Garcia doesn’t do much to respond. He’s just getting outworked. 10-9, Spence (40-36, Spence)
Round 3 (11:57 p.m.): Garcia fires a combination to start the round. Catches gloves but might be a sign of him opening up. Hard left hook by Spence lands and moves Garcia. Spence is continuing to work the body. Beginning to open up with more combinations. Left hand by Spence lands. 10-9, Spence (30-27, Spence)
Round 2 (11:54 p.m.): Spence continuing to jab his way in while Garcia is trying to figure it out. Hard left hand by Spence. Garcia needs to wake up. Spence lands a hard right hand but Garcia counters with a right that catches him off balance. But Spence’s activity earns him another round. 10-9, Spence (20-18, Spence)
Round 1 (11:49 p.m.): Spence attacking early. Jabbing to the head and body. Spence is the more active of the two while Garcia is picking his spots. Spence working the body well. Spence just far too active for Garcia. Garcia is trying to time him but it’s not working yet. 10-9, Spence
11:40 p.m.: Danny Garcia heads to the ring to Jay-Z’s “Public Service Announcement” while Spence enters with Tee Grizzley’s “Mr. Officer” backing him.
11:24 p.m.: It’s been a breeze tonight with not a single fight on the PPV going the distance. Main event is up next. Will Spence-Garcia make it to the final bell?
11:09 p.m.: Well, that was quick. Fundora rocked Ahmed in the first and it was only a matter of time before the fight would end. A totally dominant performance that saw Fundora clobber Ahmed with a bevy of punches in the second round to cause the stoppage. Fundora is going to be a problem in this division.
11:00 p.m.: The co-main event is up next. Unbeaten, 6-6 Sebastian Fundora faces Habib Ahmed next in junior middleweight action. Yes, he’s 6-6 and fights at 154 pounds. That’s insanity. Let’s see how he looks.
10:40 p.m.: Another knockdown by Lopez and it’s clear that Santana is done. But, for whatever reason, his corner decides to send him out for the final round. This is how fighters get permanent damage. Either the referee or the corner needs to step in because Santana isn’t going to quit. Another knockdown in the tenth round and Santana gets back up. Why isn’t the referee or the corner stopping this? A trio of right hooks land on Santana’s head and it’s mercifully halted. That was too much.
10:30 p.m.: Well, the fight is still going but it’s one-way traffic. Lopez has been pressuring Santana with heavy body shots and simply outworking his opponent. Although Santana is still in the fight, he’s been getting worked over for seven rounds. Can he do something to change the fight? Probably not.
10:07 p.m.: As expected, Lopez and Santana go to war. Lopez drew first blood by dropping Santana in the opening frame and appeared to have his opponent dead to rights. But Santana wobbled Lopez late to pull himself back into the fight. This will be fun.
10:01 p.m.: Next up is a 10 round welterweight showdown between Josesito Lopez and Francisco Santana. There’s never been a fight that Lopez didn’t like so this should be fun. Whether or not it goes the distance is another question entirely. We’re going to say that it won’t.
9:41 p.m.: We’re kicking off the Spence-Garcia PPV with a Miguel Flores vs. Eduardo Ramirez in a WBA World Featherweight title eliminator. Some expect this to be the best fight of the night but it’s been all Ramirez. And just as that is said, Ramirez flattens Flores in the fifth round with a right hook counter. Flores gets to his feet but he is finished and the referee rescues him from further damage. Exceptional performance from Ramirez.
Spence vs. Garcia undercard
The undercard began at 7 p.m. ET and was televised on Fox Sports 2. The prelim fights included the following matchups: Burley Brooks vs. Marco Delgado, Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Steven Pulluaim and Isaac Avelar vs. Sakaria Lukas.
Spence vs. Garcia start time
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 5
- Main card start time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: AT&T Stadium
Errol Spence Jr.’s return to the ring was scheduled for Saturday night at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. He was to meet Danny Garcia sometime around midnight ET, depending on the pace of earlier fights on the card.
Spence has not competed in more than a year because of a 2019 car crash that caused broken bones. Garcia last fought in January, when he defeated Ivan Redkach by unanimous decision.
Spence’s last appearance was a win against Shawn Porter; Garcia’s last loss came at the hands of Porter.
How to watch Spence vs. Garcia
- TV channel: Fox Sports PBC
- Live stream: Fox Sports app
- PPV price: $74.99
Fox has full control of broadcasting rights for Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia in the U.S. The network is making the main card available for purchase on TV and via online streaming.
Most TV cable packages will have the Fox Sports PBC pay-per-view channel, while most smart devices will carry the Fox Sports app for streaming purposes.
Spence vs. Garcia fight card
- Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia, 12 rounds for Spence’s IBF and WBC welterweight titles
- Sebastian Fundora vs. Jorge Cota, 12 rounds; junior middleweights
- Julio Ceja vs. Eduardo Ramirez, 12 rounds; featherweights
- Josesito Lopez vs. Francisco Santana, 10 rounds; welterweights
- Miguel Flores vs. Isaac Avelar, 10 rounds; junior lightweights
- Fernando Garcia vs. Juan Tapia, eight rounds; featherweights
- Frank Martin vs. Tyrone Luckey, eight rounds; lightweights
- Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Steven Pulluaim, six rounds; welterweights
- Burley Brooks vs. Marco Delgado, six rounds; super middleweights
Dan Bernstein contributed to this report.