Unified welterweight titleholder Errol Spence Jr. pleaded guilty on Thursday in Dallas County Court of Criminal Appeals to one charge of driving while intoxicated stemming from the horrific one-car crash he was involved in at about 3 a.m. on Oct. 10, 2019 in Dallas.
Spence was sentenced to three days in jail, although court records pertaining to his plea viewed by Big Fight Weekend did not specify a start date. He was also ordered to pay $3,430 in court costs.
Three weeks after winning a hard-fought split decision over Shawn Porter to unify two world titles, Spence was intoxicated when he flipped his speeding white Ferrari several times.
Spence, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the destroyed vehicle. He landed on concrete and miraculously lived to tell about it. He was hospitalized in intensive care with lacerations, broken teeth and severe bruising but had no major injuries.
“In October 2019, I was hanging out and having some drinks with some friends and ended up wrecking my car and nearly killing myself,” Spence said in a statement released by his attorney on Monday. “Fortunately, no one else was involved in the accident and I am most grateful for that. It was an incident that would profoundly change my life.
“As I recovered, I thought of how much I could have lost and how blessed I was to have a second chance at life, but I also know with this platform I can spread a very powerful message. Don’t drink and drive. Not one drink. It’s not worth it. Thank you to my family, friends and those in the community who helped and supported me throughout this ordeal. I am forever grateful.”
Dallas County Criminal District Attorney John Creuzot applauded Spence for warning others about the dangers of driving while intoxicated.
“I commend Errol Spence Jr. for owning his mistakes and recognizing the recklessness of his decision to drive while intoxicated on the morning of October 10, 2019,” Creuzot said in a statement. “Not only did he put his own life in danger, but he risked the lives of those around him. While it would have been easier to hide from the truth, it is refreshing to see this world-class athlete step up and use his lapse in judgment as an opportunity to spread the message that it is never OK to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated.
“Mr. Spence Jr. is incredibly fortunate as he has been given a second chance after surviving this violent crash. I wish him the best of luck.”
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), 32, from the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas, was sidelined for 15 months but returned to easily outpoint former titlist Danny Garcia in December 2020. In his next fight, this past April, Spence knocked out Yordenis Ugas to unify three of the 147-pound world titles and is now negotiating with WBO titlist Terence Crawford for them to meet for the undisputed title in the fall.