Boxing

Four Things To Learn From Errol Spence Jr.’s Media Workout

Today marked the media day for Errol Spence Jr., essentially two weeks out from fight day, for Spence Jr. versus Danny Garcia, on FOX PPV, Saturday, December 5th, as in a desolate gym with his trainer Derrick James, his father, Errol Spence Sr., and a few vital crew members, and family, Spence looked to prove any shadow of a doubt that he is still one of the five best fighters in the world.

The 2012 U.S. Olympian, who now holds the IBF and WBC welterweight world title, has seen his misjudgement in an instance be the leading conversation over the past year, as a car accident, that nearly took his life, has left many to question how he will look against one of the best welterweights in the world in Danny Garcia.

Here are my observations.

One – Spence is still really good at boxing

As Spence shadowboxed, you saw the trademark southpaw Spence-style that historians will probably remark, and write about as well as use as a baseline for young, and emerging fighters, as his tactical high-guard walk-you-down style was on full display, with no obvious ill-effects I could see.

The big thing that stood out to me was his legs looked fine. Obviously, you’re not going to show anything for the fight, or go to full capacity, but when a fighter is in the danger-zone of their career, the legs are not the same, and one notable thing was, Spence’s legs are fine, even in a controlled setting.

The biggest takeaway from Spence’s media workout is how much it would suck to get hit by him. Spence on the heavy bag throws with bad intentions, and that power shows that why for a decade in both the amateurs and professionals, he has been at the top of the sport. Power is something, that when nurtured is one tough thing to overcome, and Spence’s power comes with thinking and a southpaw stance. – Which for most equals big trouble.

Two – Media workouts have forever changed

Gone are the days of whoever didn’t have a job, and was willing to film something and put it on YouTube for publicity to see an event, would enter a boxing gym on a weekday for a media day. Though media days are different, because of COVID-19, it is hard to see us ever going back to the sheer anarchy and chaos that once was, a free-for-all of questions, filming, and essentially an event, to honor a fighter’s achievements.

The modern remix of a media day in a pandemic feels much more intense. It feels like after Batman got beat up by Bane, in that one awful new Batman movie, and sat in the cave, plotting his revenge, it feels more calculated, and methodical.

Media workouts now are intimate with five-figure video cameras and expensive microphones picking up everything while the fighter just trains. Ray Flores interviewed members of Spence’s team, to break-up the intensity of hearing bone-rattling shots that could break any man’s rib, if they landed right, but it was hard to get away from me drum-like pattern of morbidity that is a random of this sport.

What the modern media workout is now, shows how brutal boxing truly can be, and the media workouts of the past, were more of an event with entertainment, to subdue the violence, we pay to see, as well as a stage for fighters to call out one and another, and basically a “Q&A” on all-things boxing.

The modern media workout, which still offers very little perspective into things like a game plan, and so-forth-and-so-on, does provide a deeper lens into who the fighter is as a person, with fewer people around.

Three – The family atmosphere of Spence’s camp, overshadows the boxing at times

Spence seems to have spent this camp with those who are closest to him. No celebrity appeared in the media workout, his father and his coach, Derrick James, were the main voices the broadcast either interviewed or picked up.

In short, after such a traumatic, and public ordeal, it appears Spence is going back to basics, with the people who are with him right or wrong. It feels as though Spence isn’t just fighting for himself, but he is fighting for those who believe in him, as well.

Boxing has no shortcuts, and the small, family atmosphere of Spence’s gym, gave heed to showing that Spence might not have done reflecting publicly, but his actions are showing those of redemption.

Four – Spence has a point to prove

Spence was cordial at first, but nothing about this media day was entertaining besides watching the punches thrown. Even the answers to questions at the end, which is the media’s rare chance to ask questions to a star, was tame.

It is clear with Terence Crawford, being so front-and-center in the division, along with Errol Spence, despite facing Danny Garcia on December 5th, every word Spence says will be looked at, as people wonder if it holds some hidden meaning.

“I am not Adrian Granados or Amir Khan,” said Errol Spence, as one of the more notable quotes, in reference to two of Danny Garcia’s more highlight-reel KO performances.

One thing is clear – Spence feels the need to end the year with a statement on PPV, and is looking to cement himself as the best fighter in the welterweight division. This workout showed one thing – Spence is in competition with himself for this fight, and that is scary.

Errol Spence Jr., faces Danny Garcia on Saturday, December 5th, on Fox PPV, for more information visit https://www.premierboxingchampions.com/

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle