DESPITE the coronavirus pandemic a (socially distanced) crowd was allowed into the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas to watch Errol Spence’s WBC and IBF welterweight title defence against Danny Garcia.

Fourteen months after surviving a serious car crash, Spence was fighting and taking a clear unanimous decision after 12 rounds.

Garcia clipped him at times with his heavy right hook, picking up occasional rounds. But Spence shielded himself well behind his high guard, pumping out southpaw jabs to force Garcia on to the backfoot. He swung left hooks through with firm power and despite Garcia’s aggressive finish in the last round made sure of the verdict, 117-111 and 116-112 twice.

“I give my performance a B. I think I had a little bit of ring rust. But I was in such great shape and took everything seriously in training so that I would not be discouraged by that. I worked my jab and used my angles because that was my best move,” Spence said. “I’m just thinking about seeing my kids tomorrow and hanging out on my ranch. I’m going to eat some good food and we’ll see what the future holds. It’s been a long year and a half, so I’m going to wind down for a week or two, then get back on it. 

“I proved that I’m back and here to stay. I’m the unified champion of the world for a reason.”

“He was the better man tonight. No excuses,” Garcia said. “I fought a hard and tough fight. He had a good jab and that was the key to the fight. He was also a bit busier than me.

“I just have to rebuild and see what we do next. I fought hard and I’m proud. All my losses were hard fights that I fought till the end, so I’m proud of my effort.”