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Errol Spence Jr. (photo from Instagram)
Errol Spence Jr. (photo from Instagram)

In a matchup that will go down in boxing history as one of the most significant title fights of all time, unified WBC, WBA and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth’’ Spence Jr. will take on WBO 147-pound world champion Terence “Bud’’ Crawford for the Undisputed Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, July 29 in a highly anticipated SHOWTIME PPV clash from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The winner of this battle of undefeated superstars will become the first undisputed welterweight world champion in the four-belt era and likely emerge as the sport’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. But we also know Errol Spence Jr. as a horse lover! Let's look back....

In the early-morning hours of October 10, 2019, the life of Errol Spence Jr., one of the boxing’s brightest pay-per-view stars and undefeated boxing champion changed in a flash.

Driving his $300,000 Ferrari 488 Spider at frighteningly high speeds on the streets of downtown Dallas, Texas, where he resided – he'd been drinking and wasn't wearing his seatbelt -- Spence, then 29, lost control of his car when he hit a median and was ejected through the windshield as the Ferrari cartwheeled multiple times and was totally destroyed. The entire crash was caught on tape by a nearby security camera.

Miraculously, Spence, nicknamed “The Truth,” not only survived but suffered no broken bones and only some facial cuts and the loss of a couple teeth. Just a few weeks removed from successfully defending his welterweight titles, the boxer quickly realized he had cheated death and lived to talk about it.

“I don’t know how or why I got saved, but thank God,” he later wrote on Instagram. “The thought of leaving my (three) little girls and them growing up without me still (messes) with me, but I’m triple blessed and must be here for a reason . . . My accident slowed me down and gave me a different perspective on (things) I was taking for granted.”

Armed with a new lease on life, Spence found that new perspective in a nearly 60-acre ranch he purchased in DeSoto, Texas, just south of Dallas.

“I was just trying to find answers, you know? I needed to go somewhere new and start over and get out of that dark cloud that was downtown,” he said in a recent interview, “and be in a better element, because I’m already like an introvert; I don’t like being around people that much anyway.

“The ranch life is way better for me because people can’t just hop upon me like in the city. So if you want to see me you really have to come out to see me. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet and being with my family. So yeah, I was looking for something different.”

While he may not like being around people that much, he discovered he very much liked being around horses. So much so that he eventually bought ten of them. He also had some cattle that came with the ranch.

“I really can’t tell you why I bought (the ranch), it just came upon me to do it,” Spence said. “Once I did, I started buying horses and I bought more cattle and fixed the place up. It gave me a peace of mind after living downtown. And the serenity of being out there in my back yard . . . nobody bothered me. It was a beautiful thing after being in a high-rise where you always run into people in the elevator and you hear the cranes going in the morning.

“I feel like I’ve got hyper kids, and they wanted to go outside and run around and play. And I got a pool. Basically, it was a second chance at life and I wasn’t going to let it pass.”

Spence’s interest in horses was piqued through one of his friends who owns horses.

“He told me to get into it because riding horses gives you a peace of mind,” Spence says. “So I got on his horse one day and was just riding around, and I realized that riding horses gives you a different kind of peace.

“I just fell in love with them, so I started buying horses, and now I have ten. It’s therapeutic riding the horses, especially when you’re by yourself riding around in the field, just you and the horse. You’re not thinking of anything else. It was very therapeutic for me, especially after my accident, just buying the animals, and being out there on the ranch, enjoying myself and giving me a different peace of mind.”

Errol Spence Jr (photo from Instagram)
Errol Spence Jr. (photo from Instagram)

He doesn’t like to admit it, but Spence has a favorite. “I named her Little Mama, because she’s kind of smaller, and I have one named Big Mama,” the boxer explains. “I feel like horses have a personality, and Little Mama’s more affectionate than the other horses. She wants to be petted, and she wants all the attention.

“When the other horses get next to me, she snaps her nose at ‘em and acts like she’s going to kick, just so she can get all of my attention. We kind of bonded differently and I sit on the fence and feed her apples and stuff. I think I spoiled her.”

Spence believes horses can sense how you feel when you’re riding them. “Oh, definitely. That’s definitely true,” he says. “When I first got on horses, I had to learn how to relax. Animals can sense your feelings and emotions.”

Spence will have even more time to ride these days as his boxing career has been put on hold for awhile. He had to pull out two weeks before his highly anticipated, August 21 unified welterweight title bout against Manny Pacquiao due to a retinal tear in his left eye. His professional record remains at 27-0 with 21 knockouts.

“We’ve come back from worse,” he said, a not-so-subtle reminder of his car wreck.

For now, though, Spence will recover from his injury by living a quiet, simple life on the ranch with family, and of course, his beloved horses. He says he will eventually tear down the old wooden barn on the property and replace it with a metal barn, in which he hopes to build a gym. He has his father and another ranch hand around to help.

“Someone told me that true happiness is basically being content,” he explained. “If you’re not content with life, and are like, ‘I need more and more, I need more money, more money . . . You know, yes, I do want more for my kids and more for my family. But I’m content with my life, outside of making money and boxing and things like that. That’s true happiness, tending to your family and the things you have.

“Of course, I want to accomplish more in boxing, but it’s not an overwhelming necessity.”

There are more interesting articles in our section on Recreation & Lifestyle.

Errol Spence Jr (photo from Instagram)
Errol Spence Jr. (photo from Instagram)

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