When your life flashes in front of your eyes in the blink of an eye, it can shake a person to the core, but in the backend survivors from this experience often recover with renewed zeal and zest for life. Errol Spence Jr. . falls into the latter category as he was able to recover physically and mentally from the terrible car accident that could potentially have cost him his life in October 2019. The 30-year-old boxer eager to prove his persistent injuries has not made his claim of being the best pound fighter in the game any less valid. On the 5th. December he will meet welterweight Danny Garcia in the title fight, 2020, at AT&T Stadium in his home state of Texas.
Spence Jr. , A unified champion who has held the IBF title since 2017 and the WBC title since 2019. – who is currently unbeaten with 26 wins in his professional résumé – is considered one of the most exciting fighters in boxing with a knockout-to-win ratio of 80. 8th%. After comparing with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and winning against tough competitors like Kell Brook and Sean Porter, Spence Jr. . is highly regarded and battle-tested. However, there have been concerns as to whether he will be able to recover to his previous form even within his own camp. According to Spence Jr. . Any doubt was allayed as he returned to what he loved most: his intense preparation to let his magic work in the ring.
« I mean, you have little doubts the first time it happened, things like that, » said Spence Jr. . admits VIBE over the phone. “But I’m mentally very strong, I stay focused. I just got back to the gym and kept working and focusing on my boxing skills. I think my dad and my coach probably had more thoughts about, “Can I take a punch? Is my response time still the same? ‘And things like that. But once I had sparring everything was back to normal. I just feel like things happen for a reason. It happened in my life for a reason and I feel like it got me back focused on the main mission, the main goal. « And that primary objective is to continue on his path to boxing supremacy, which could include a roadblock in the form of a potential showdown with rival and WBO welterweight champion Terrance Crawford. Spence Jr. . All attention is focused on his upcoming fight in which he will face Garcia and remind the world why Texas is nothing to play with.
VIBE spoke to Errol Spence Jr. . about his return to the ring, the respect in the hip hop community, fatherhood and what the fans can expect on Saturday night.
« It’s the biggest comeback in professional sport. « – Derrick James was amazed at @ ErrolSpenceJr’s return to 😤 #SpenceGarcia #ManDown pic. Twitter. com / MMmsnvlUxZ
VIBE: It has been more than a year since your last title fight, in which you defeated Sean Porter. How does it feel to get back in the ring?
Errol Spence Jr. . : Man, it feels great, really indescribable. It is a blessing to be able to return in just over a year and fight at the highest level, fight a top opponent like Danny Garcia and defend my titles. Especially at home in the AT&T Stadium. I don’t think it can get any bigger so it’s great. I am very grateful for the opportunity to do this at this level resulting from my accident and it is good. It’s definitely a blessing.
Shortly after your last fight, early in the morning on Nov.. In October 2019 they were involved in a single vehicle accident and were hospitalized in the intensive care unit. They had facial injuries but no broken bones. How did this experience affect you?
It was just an unfortunate accident for me, but it brought me back to reality. To take care of things that are really important in my life and mean something in my life, and not to take for granted things that are not natural with life and boxing. To me, I felt like I was back on track and focused, and I was hungry for what I really wanted to achieve in boxing and in life.
What do you think were the biggest challenges on your return journey from an injury?
I would say my biggest challenge has been both mental and physical. There were days when I was physically injured, but I pushed myself mentally or did something every day to improve myself. Whether it was training or stretching or a job that was positive in my life. Whether it remained focused and re-dedicated to the work and not subsided. If I had a bad week or day, I didn’t let myself be disappointed. The next day I got tougher so I would say mentally and physically.
I take things from everyone. Lots of people watch boxers just to watch the fights, but I watch the footwork. I watch how they react to blows, how they slip, how they block, how they strike back, everything. I grew up with the likes of Terry Norris, Lennox Lewis, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones and Vernon Forrest. All of these great fighters who as they grow up watch their skills and know how to throw their punches and how to react to punches. For me it was a variety of different fighters that I watched.
Besides surviving the accident, the birth of your son is another moment that has affected your life. How has that changed your attitude towards life and how do you approach your craft as a boxer?
I don’t think it will change my life as a boxer or how I deal with boxing. But it gave me a different perspective because if I hadn’t survived the accident or something drastic had happened, he would never have been born or I probably would never have had him. I feel like a new blessing in my life, definitely a breath of fresh air. I always wanted a son too. I have two daughters and this is my first son. It was definitely a blessing to have a III because my father’s name is also Errol. It’s really a blessing to have someone look up to me and try to do the things that I do. It’s about setting the example and setting the table properly for him so that he can eat when it is his time.
As a Texan at heart, you recently bought a 60 acre ranch in Dallas and even learned to ride a horse. How would you say that Texas culture influenced you and helped determine who you are as a fighter and as a person?
I think Texas culture influenced me a lot just because I was outside. It’s wide open in Texas, everyone is out. Owning the land basically gives me something to do with the cattle and the horses and all sorts of things. I think it’s comforting to ride horses I’ve never had before. I’ve never been on a horse or patted a horse before buying land. I feel positive about my life and it’s something I can pass on to my daughters and son, or they can grow up on a ranch and ride horses. I tend to focus on other activities rather than the other things that do not benefit them.
A large part of the hip hop community are boxing fans. Many artists and listeners currently list you as one of their favorite fighters in the game, if not one. How did it feel to be accepted by the hip-hop community and receive this Street Credo and seal of approval?
I mean it feels great. Rap culture is hip hop culture. Period. Children like me grew up on it and had BET and the 106 as a child. & Park and all rapper videos. That’s basically what we idolized when we saw them get cars and jewelry and girls and money and things like that. We were naturally drawn to that. It means a lot to see them hug and support me.
What songs or artists do you normally listen to get you going during training or before a fight?
Artistically I hear Lil Baby. I hear Yella Beezy. Jay-Z, Nas, those kind of people when I’m in chill mode. Yo Gotti, Moneybagg Yo. Yes, that’s about it.
You are currently under contract with Premier Boxing Champions, one of the best boxing teams in the game. How did it work with PBC?
It was great. That’s really all I know, so it was great. I had no complaints, never had problems, everything went well. Everything went great, it was a smooth ride.
Her fight with Sean Porter has been billed as one of the best fights of 2019. What did you learn or take away from being such a respected fighter?
Sean Porter, he’s a different fighter. He’s basically going to go out there and give it all and fight and fight. For me I haven’t really learned anything in the future. Everyone just realized that I can fight when I have to fight. I think I really showed that I can stand there and beat someone in their own game and really buckle up and be really rough with opponents when I really have to. I think that’s the main thing I’ve learned: that I can fight in the trenches.
Would you say this has been your toughest fight yet? If not, who do you think has been the biggest challenge so far and why?
I would say my toughest matchups so far have been. . . Well, I think Sean Porter wasn’t my toughest matchup because I feel like it wasn’t as tough mentally as Kell Brook. Take a ten month layoff and basically fight someone in their hometown. Going overseas and having to train two weeks before the fight and all the different things you have to go through. Train somewhere else, eat differently and so on. I would say Kell Brook. Mental preparation was very difficult, especially before 30. 000 spectators in his hometown. That was mentally hard in itself.
On 5. December you fight against Danny García, one of the most impressive welterweight boxers. What makes Garcia different from the other boxers you have faced?
I have a feeling Danny Garcia has great timing. He’s very tough, has a great punch and he’s the type of guy who will fight. He has a great chin and will fight if he has to.
The fight will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas. How does it feel to come back in front of the fans in your hometown where it all started?
It feels great to me. It is a blessing to fight in front of family and friends in my hometown. I can get tickets for many family members and friends who cannot travel to L.. ONE. And New York to see me fight. Just to get that hometown love. They are the people who have supported me since day one, since I was an amateur. And I think it’s just a blessing to be able to do that and to attract so many fans to really support me.
What can fans expect from you when you meet on 5. December step into this ring?
You can expect what you get from every fight from me: action-packed, one-sided beating. I want everyone to be tuned to FOX Sports and Pay-Per-View. It’s going to be exciting. I’ve never been in a dull fight, Danny Garcia has never been in a dull fight, so [they’ll see] an action-packed, electrifying fight.
One name that keeps being mentioned to you is Terence Crawford, who many believe is the best pound fighter in the game. What do you think of Crawford as a boxer and are you looking forward to stepping into the ring with him one day to prove that you are the undisputed welterweight champion?
Right now, I have no thoughts on Terence Crawford. I feel like I have to get past Danny Garcia for this fight to take place. So if I don’t focus 100% on Danny Garcia, he’s a real spoiler and spoils the apple cart. My 100% focus right now is Danny Garcia.
People often talk about boxing politics and how it prevents certain fights that fans demand. What would your message be to fans about how the business side of boxing aligns with the entertainment side?
I would tell you to be patient. The fights that are worth going to take place will definitely take place, especially if the two fighters so choose. But at the end of the day there is a business side to entertainment. You have managers, promoters. They got TV channels involved, things like that, and everyone wants to be paid. It’s like you can have a great fighter. If he has no draws on TV and no one likes to watch him and he’s bored, he’ll be disfellowshipped. Just like people like [Guillermo] Rigondeaux. He’s a great fighter, but nobody wanted to fight him. He wasn’t a crowd puller so he was basically banned. You have to be patient at the end of the day. Yes we fight. We do beatings and the like, but we also want to be paid for what we do. And we want to be paid fairly, just like the manager is paid fairly and the TV people are also paid fairly. We want to get a fair shake and get paid the same way.
I just want to tell everyone that after this fight I am going back to the gym and keep working and staying focused. I want everyone to order the merch. Esjthetruth. com – get your battle merch there. And basically, for me, as with any fight, stay focused, engaged, and ready to call.
The harrowing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately destroyed black communities in the United States, with cities like Chicago hardest hit. Over the course of the year, artists from the city ran socially distant food drives and PPE donations on the south and west sides of the city. Tony Draper, founder and entrepreneur of Suave House Records, has had close ties with Chicago since the early 1990s and did the chi ‘with NBA veteran Ricky Davis as part of the nationwide Feed Your City Challenge on May 17th. October at Pullman Park for their next community center stop.
On that cool, but bright and sunny Saturday, hundreds of people drove through the complex’s parking lot, receiving groceries from the many volunteers gathered from across town. Masked with PPE in the civilian trenches were local and celebrity supporters like Chitown’s Grammy-winning producer / music manager No ID, rap star G-Herbo, new rapper Queen Key, NBA star Jabari Parker, and media / music entertainer Nick Cannon. Draper and Davis distributed items and loaded boxes of farm-fresh produce and meat into the trunk of cars and loaded the 95. 000 pounds of food from 7. 000 inhabitants to feed. While they weren’t there, Common with Jhene Aiko and Social Justice Collective donated money for the free groceries.
« You cannot lead people until you feed them. We’re here in the community in a real way. People always talk about what’s going on in Chicago and those are the things that are going on in Chicago. Positive things for the community at a time like this. People get together and it’s a wonderful event, ”said Cannon.
It was crucial for Draper to bring the Feed Your City Challenge to Chicago and to be able to carry it out successfully. October is the 24th anniversary. Marks the anniversary of the death of one of Chi’s most influential DJs, rapmaster Pinkhouse, who passed away in 1996. “It feels like me and my partner [Ricky] Davis are coming to Chicago and working with Common, No ID, Jhene Aiko, Nick Cannon, G-Herbo, Jay Allen, Power 92, and Pat Edwards, God make it supposed to happen that day. Even though Pinkhouse is gone, it still affects the south side of Chicago and still sends us blessings. We had to do it, we had to do it, ”Draper said with conviction.
In the meantime, Power 92. 3’s DJ Pharris, DJ Nehpets, DJ Commando, DJ Amaris and Hot Rod were in the 1s and 2s, while Parker, Hot Rod, G-Herbo and community activists Joey G and Nico Naismith played basketball with the kids. A non-profit hoop bus was set up with a small hoop with Black Lives Matter symbols and the names of the victims killed by police officers.
G-Herbo, who is volunteering for the Children of Chicago in 2020, says events like this one are important in building and strengthening black unity across the city. « It’s not just about feeding and providing for yourself, it is about enabling people in the city to feel united. This is the city that comes together and many important and powerful people come from the city, all walks of life come together for a positive reason and that is what it is about. When asked if this event contradicted the stigma of Chicago non-unification, Herbo exclaimed, “Absolutely! We have agreed now and it will only get better so we’re just trying to lead by example and normalize this. This is not just an event, this must be normal for people like me and for the city. ”
And the people who showed up to get their free groceries were more than grateful. Takara, a mom from the Southside of Chicago, says while hearing about the Food Drive at the last minute, « There’s a lot of food out here, a lot of good people out here, and it’s something we need. Events like these are very necessary and meet the needs of families who cannot support their children during these times. I wish I could have volunteered and done a little more, but we need that. ”
In a one-on-one interview with VIBE, legendary Tony Draper talks about his connections to Chicago, the importance and influence of the Feed Your City Challenge, the role celebrities play in activism, and more.
VIBE: You used to split this October. The 17th. was also the day Rapmaster Pinkhouse died. Can you share who he was and why he was so important to Chicago for younger readers who may not know who Rapmaster Pinkhouse is?
Draper: For young people who didn’t understand how music was heard back then, there was no social media [in the early 90’s], there was no Instagram, so you had to get your record to the hottest person in town. That person had to make a decision whether it was good or not. And if that person touched your record in Chicago, that person would spread, it was automatic. That happened to a young Tony Draper with the first albums of 8Ball & MJG. He put his hands around it and exposed it to the Chicago market. Every time I think of Chicago, I think of Pinkhouse. Pinkhouse was the main reason I came to Chicago in the first place.
Coming to Chicago was a very interesting moment for me because when I came I had my hat cocked in a certain way and I didn’t know the rules and regulations. And he said to me: « Tony, man, you have to hold your hat straight (laughs). And I’ve kept it straight since then. So, for me, to make my trip as a young black downtown guy raised by a single parent to start Suave House at 16, see what I went through to start [the company] and become one Force to make be expected with. That was an achievement, but I also wanted to touch people who I knew understood the music and understood where I came from and the importance of a young black guy who is a true, independent CEO and gives me the opportunity to mine to listen to music. I’m from Memphis and grew up in Houston, but Chicago is Suave House’s largest market to this day. They supported everything Suave House did, and I wanted to bless them [with the Feed Your City Challenge] as much as they blessed me.
Given the conversation within the music business that revolves around Black Lives Matter and supports Black Communities, what do you think it will take to get many of these big label CEOs and executives to join these communities like you and many from them to support the artists have worked across the country?
I think they need to work with people they are not comfortable with. Stop giving money to these organizations who you think are giving money to black people because they are not. Nobody holds these organizations accountable. Do business with someone who has their finger on the pulse. Someone you know is in the music business which has been very successful in business. As at the moment, the Feed Your City Challenge, we are in our ninth city. We had eight of the best music artists who hosted these cities with no financial support from their parent companies. [The artists] give the money themselves. Jhene Aiko gave money herself. Nick Cannon himself. Rick Ross, 2 Chainz … pee from quality control.
Pee was on vacation in Mexico and took a private jet back to Atlanta to attend Feed Your City in Atlanta. He didn’t have to do this, but he did it because he cares where he’s from. He takes care of the area. He wants to take [talent] with him from the region, but he also wants to give something back to this community. You see, white people want to come and exploit your community, but don’t build a library over there, never build a basketball court, never build anything. When an artist is dead they say ahhh aahh ummm. If you wanted to show a good character, you would have said, “I made a lot of money with this artist. Let me do something for this community as a token of my appreciation for the birth of this particular artist. ‘
And you will never see if I don’t and I will. That’s why I’m in Chicago. I go to every city that has blessed me and fed my family because every time I feed myself I feed my family, my loved ones, it comes from my fans. My fans gave me the opportunity to buy my records. I had a dream, I had a ride, but without the opportunity you might not have heard of Tony Draper. I am always grateful for people who have helped me. That’s why I want to help them. I’m in the best place I could ever be in my life. I am 49 years old, I am successful, I am good. Bro, do you want to know what makes me happy? Give to someone else. There is another star out there that is hoping and praying that they will get an opportunity and if I could give them that opportunity I will give it to them. I don’t like the attention. I am pleased with the performance. Let me help someone. And if I help them and they become successful, they don’t owe me a quarter. I won’t sign it or anything. I just want you to acknowledge and pass it on. See, we have to learn how to pass it on.
Given the timing of this event triggered by the pandemic, how do you feel about everything?
I think it was God’s mission. With COVID, it is really unfortunate that many people lost their lives during this pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs, homes and property. My heart goes out to them. But if I and Ricky Davis can put a smile on a mother and father’s face and feed their children, that’s all I need. I remember me and my mom going to churches and food banks, walking with free government cheese, egg powder and we were happy. We were so happy, smiling, and grateful. I think without that we wouldn’t have made it through next week. I am always grateful for all that God has blessed me with. I don’t think I’m special. I think I had a plan and I stuck to my plan and implemented it.
Suave House has had plenty of artists who have always spoken out on social and political issues lately, much like an ice cube. Given what you are doing with these artists for the Feed Your City Challenge, do you think the role of the celebrity today is to face these problems or to step back and support the people who are already doing the work?
I think it’s a choice. For me, I’m not a city official, I’m not a politician. I feel more comfortable getting my hands dirty on the floor. If I were in Chicago building houses for people, I would actually be there. I wouldn’t [just] send any money or a crew there. i would be there. So I feel blessed. I feel blessed when I talk to people and they see me hand out food out there. I feel good when a person pulls up in their car and opens their trunk and says, “Draper ?! Did you put groceries in my car ?! « And they might be happy about » Space Age Pimpin « or » I’m So Tired of Ballin « or whatever, but just the mere fact that they were happy that I put groceries in their car meant car me more than anything. I think it is a decision that you make as an individual.
For many people, some celebrities cause harm because their celebrities and actions could overshadow the real problem.
you know what? Without you being a celebrity, you couldn’t be heard. So why not use this platform to be heard? I think LeBron James is phenomenal. I think Ice Cube is phenomenal. You don’t have to agree with him, but you have to respect him for voicing his opinion and trying to get something for black people. Nobody else did it! Nobody else took the initiative to write a Black America treaty and submit it to both camps [Biden and Trump]. I think that was a phenomenal move, whether I agree with it or not, it was still a phenomenal move. We have to stop all the damn talking and do something.
Draper and Davis’ Feed Your City Challenge will be launched on Jan.. November will be the next stop in Compton, California.
Although tip « T. . I. « Harris has earned some very respectable films as a presenter for his successful rap career. The self-proclaimed « King of the South » moniker really took shape as he stepped into his community activism calling. He has appeared in blockbuster films with Denzel Washington, Paul Rudd and Kevin Hart, but his willingness to tell the truth to power has shown an unwavering commitment to be on the good side of history rather than opting for silence, to secure a place on the good side of Hollywood.
During this conversation, Tip talks about his upcoming Verzuz battle with Jeezy, politics, the Trap Music Museum, and his desire to make his TV / film directorial debut.
Don’t talk about politicians much longer. Today the people have the floor at the ballot box. Judging by the number of voters who turned up earlier this year, the 2020 elections will smash all records for voter turnout. With a deadly pandemic, forest fires, floods, economic pressures, and a struggle for survival emanating from the tweets on the streets, the stakes have never been higher.
If you are reading this and have not voted, it is not too late. Get up, go out and let your voice be heard. As Samantha Smith recently discussed on her IG Live, this year’s election is too important to stay out of.
Snoop Dogg will vote for the first time this year – and he’s not the only one. Ziggy Marley also voted for the first time this year and documented the process on social media. « I decided to vote and wondered why, » wrote Ziggy of his IG. « Then I thought of those who came before, of the price they had paid. In part, I vote in honor of them and in order to honor them, so as not to belittle their many sacrifices and struggles with my haughty justice and indifference. Many brothers and sisters of different backgrounds and origins marched, bled and died to give people like me basic rights in 🇺🇸, the right to be treated like a human being, the right to vote. «
As the eldest son of Robert Nesta Marley aka King of Reggae, Ziggy is part of a powerful musical legacy, but his father is more than a musical legend. The new film Freedom Fighter – part of the « Bob Marley Legacy » series for the 75th anniversary – examines Marley as a symbol of human rights with a voice that is more powerful than any politician.
Ziggy continued his father’s musical mission as a solo artist and part of the Grammy-winning family group Melody Makers. His 2018 album Rebellion Rises opens with a song entitled « See Them Fake Leaders » that leaves no doubt about his views on government institutions. Even so, Ziggy remains involved in the political process, contributes and encourages others to do the same.
« Imagine, Martin Luther King Jr. , John Lewis and others thought, ‘Voting rights? Civil rights? Who cares? What difference will it make? ‘ »Ziggy wrote of IG. « Imagine what the world would have been like now without their victims. Go ahead, imagine it. Can you see it Well what do you think «
« Voting clearly is not the end, » added Ziggy Marley. « It’s a small piece of the puzzle and just one of the tools in our toolbox that we need to use in a bigger effort to make positive positive change for all people. The work must continue with maximum effort after the elections, regardless of the result. « Ziggy emphasized that he did not vote for a party or a person for an idea. « Though we have differences, we can be better people, united people, more loving people, equal people, just people. Politics will come and go, left, right and centered, but still all of the humanity we have to show one another is non-negotiable. «
Ziggy voted by email this year, but so those of you in line today can exercise your rights and hear your voices, Ziggy created a special playlist for Tidal’s « Hold The Line » campaign. Music to vote – from Ziggy and Bob to Fela and James Brown to Public Enemy and Rage Against The Machine.
Errol Spence Jr. . , Danny García, World Boxing Council
World News – GB – Errol Spence Jr. . Conversations return to the ring, the embrace of the hip hop community, and more
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