World welterweight champion boxer Errol Spence Junior remains hospitalized after being ejected from a Ferrari near downtown Dallas, police say.
Spence, 29, was driving the Ferrari at a "high rate of speed" along South Riverfront Boulevard when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed shortly before 3 a.m., police said. The Ferrari veered left over the median and onto the southbound lanes, which sent the vehicle flipping multiple times, police said.
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He was not wearing a seat belt, according to police.
Spence was taken by paramedics to Methodist Dallas Medical Center with injuries that were considered serious, but not life-threatening, police said.
On Thursday night, Spence's PR Team released a statement saying "Spence is awake and responding and his condition is listed as stable. He did not sustain any broken bones or fractures, but has some facial lacerations. He is expected to make a full recovery."
Inside R&R Boxing Club of Dallas owner & trainer Roger Rodas proudly shows off his Errol Spence Jr. posters. He’s not just a fan. Rodas says Spence trained at R&R for about 5 years.
“Real good guy," Rodas said. "Real humble like I said and hard worker.”
Rodas said they’ve known each other nearly 12 years. Spence was last here about six months ago before opening his own gym.
In the gym they say Spence was a hard worker, but also humble taking time to shake hands with everyone training along side him. That was inspiring to the young boxers.
“It was a real motivation to work next to a world champion,” 17 year old boxer Jorge Guevara said.
The news of Spencer's crash was a tough blow to Rodas.
“World champion, one of the best out there and hearing something like that it was hard it was sad to me,” Rodas said.
Everyone in this gym that knows him well is praying for his recovery.
“I just hope he recovers fast and hopes God keeps him,” Rodas said.
"His injuries are not life-threatening. His parents are with him at the hospital," Tim Smith, a spokesman for Spence's promotor, Premier Boxing Champions, told The Associated Press.
The investigation into what caused the crash remains ongoing, police said.
Last month, the former U.S. Olympian added the WBC welterweight title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split-decision victory over Shawn Porter in Los Angeles.
With his rangy athleticism and virtuosic skill, Spence, who is 26-0 with 21 knockouts, has captured fans with a series of crisp victories in recent years. He won the IBF title in 2017 by stopping Kell Brook in England, and he defended it three times, culminating in a one-sided thrashing of undersized Mikey Garcia in March.
Spence emerged victorious from his bout with the veteran brawler Porter (30-3-1), which featured several wild exchanges and had the Staples Center crowd of 16,702 on its feet throughout the 12th round and roaring for both fighters when they embraced after the final bell.
Heading into the fight in which he was a heavy favorite, Spence had a lot of attractive options ahead, including a possible fight with the resurgent Manny Pacquiao and a potential bout with fellow unbeaten champion Terrence Crawford after that.
Friends of Spence's reportedly first learned of the accident from a group text that was sent out around 5 a.m., according to multiple longtime associates who were working out Thursday at the Maple Avenue Boxing Gym in Dallas, where Spence once trained.
"I thought it was maybe 'Fake news' until I could find out for myself on the news," said Grady Banks, Manager of Maple Avenue Boxing. "I am glad he is alive. [That] is the most important thing. I'm not worried about him boxing again. I'm not worried about if he will make another dollar. I'm just glad that he's alive."
Marquis Brooks, a friend and fellow boxer who calls Spence 'EJ' spoke about Spence with great respect.
"He is a great champion with a great heart," Brooks said. "He shows love everywhere he goes. He's always humble. He's very humble. Anytime someone asks about EJ, my first word is humble."