As boxing slowly claws its way back from a pandemic-induced hiatus, many more marquee fights are beginning to come to fruition. That trend seems to be continuing in a big way as unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former junior welterweight and welterweight titleholder have agreed to meet in the fall on pay-per-view, with a definitive date still to be determined. The agreement was first reported on Tuesday by The Athletic and later confirmed by ESPN.
The welterweight clash is expected to take place in November at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, though ESPN reports that Premier Boxing Champions, which will be promoting the event, has placed holds on venues throughout the country as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and state guidelines vary.
Arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, Spence (26-0, 21 KO) is making his return to the ring for the first time since a thrilling battle with Shawn Porter last September. With the victory, Spence retained his IBF welterweight title while also taking the WBC belt from Porter. Despite calls for a huge welterweight title unification bout with Terrence Crawford, the looming fight between Spence and PBC stablemate Garcia was announced in the moments after Spence took the split decision over Porter.
On Oct. 10, Spence was driving his Ferrari home in the early hours of the morning after a night of drinking and was in a high-speed car crash that ejected him from the car. Spence managed to escape the crash without suffering any major injuries, but the accident delayed the planned fight, which was then further delayed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
After starting his career 33-0, Garcia (36-2, 21 KO) suffered his first loss in 2017 when he dropped a split decision to Keith Thurman. Two fights later, he suffered his second career defeat, a unanimous decision loss to Porter. Garcia has since rebounded with back-to-back victories, most recently outpointing Ivan Redkach in January.
Garcia’s best days came at light welterweight, where he held WBA and WBC world titles from 2012 to 2014. After moving up to welterweight, Garcia took a January 2016 decision over Robert Guerrero to win the WBC title, which he lost to Thurman and failed to regain in his battle with Porter.