Errol Spence Jr. crash shakes up manager of his previous gym, but ‘God knows what he’s doing’

Grady Banks, the manager of Errol Spence Jr.’s previous gym, said he didn’t want to believe the news when he first received word via text early morning.

Someone close to the boxer told Banks about Spence’s car crash in Dallas early Thursday morning.

“It was devastating. Unbelievable. When I first received a text from someone sometimes you don’t want to believe it and think it might be some fake news,” said Banks, who runs the Maple Avenue Boxing gym in Dallas.

Spence was ejected from his Ferrari after it spun out of control and flipped multiple times. He suffered serious injuries.

“I’m just glad in that particular situation he didn’t have his seat belt on and it worked in his favor,” Banks said. “It was very heart-thumping. I just thank God for sending his angels to protect him because it could have been a lot of worse. We could be talking about something else.”

Banks said he’s heard Spence is in good spirits and “pulling out well.”

He echoed the sentiments of many across the boxing world.

“He’s a great guy. Outside the boxing ring, very humble guy,” Banks said. “We understand his fame and fortune but he’s a guy you could actually touch and talk to. He’s an everyday guy. He’d always say hello to you. I charge that to his upbringing. His father is a good man as well. His mother, I’ve met her a couple of times, and she’s a very sweet lady.”

The boxers who train at Banks’ gym idolized Spence, he said.

“A lot of kids watched him train and how dedicated he was and how he worked and took the gym seriously,” he said. “He’s always approachable. Very nice guy. He’d talk to you about anything. Even if you don’t know him personally, he’ll talk to you as if you know him personally. Very good, all-around guy. We’re still praying for him and his family.”

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.