Errol Spence targeting Danny Garcia

Image: Errol Spence targeting Danny Garcia

By Allan Fox: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. has eyes set on defending his title against former 2 division belt holder Danny “Swift” Garcia if he’s interested in fighting him for his belt. Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) doesn’t see why Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) wouldn’t take the fight. Spence, 27, notes that Keith Thurman isn’t available for the time being due to him having recent surgery on an elbow.

Garcia doesn’t have any other fight options in terms of challenging for a world title. Spence says he’ll give Garcia a title shot if he’s ready and willing to take the fight. Thus far, Garcia, 29, has been as quiet as a church mouse when it comes to Spence’s offer for a title. That’s quite unusual because it’s a world title shot that no one else is offering Garcia. He can either fight Spence for a world title or accept a lesser fight against a contender.

Garcia has had a lot of soft fights against weak opposition in the last 2 years. The only tough fight for Garcia was his match earlier this year against Thurman, which he lost by a 12 round split decision on March 4. Before that fight, Garcia fought these guys:

– Samuel Vargas

– Robert Guerrero

– Paulie Malignaggi

– Lamont Peterson

– Rod Salka

– Mauricio Herrera

Those are a lot of weak fighters that Garcia has been padding his record with. It’s no wonder Garcia wasn’t ready to deal with Keith Thurman when the two of them fought each other.

“I’d rather fight Danny Garcia,” said Spence to Fighthype. “Danny Garcia doesn’t have a fight, so me and Danny can fight. I got a title, if he wants to fight for a title,” said Spence.

It’s up to Danny Garcia and his manager whether he’ll take on Spence. It’s definitely not a good sign that Garcia isn’t speaking about Spence in the media. You can interpret that to mean that he’s simply not interested in stepping up to take the fight with Spence.

It would be a great fight for Garcia to take, as a win for him over a good fighter like Spence would elevate his status in the welterweight division. Garcia needs a career defining victory for him to be viewed as a legitimate welterweight. Right now, all Garcia has to show for himself is him winning the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title in a fight against Robert Guerrero last year on January 23, 2016. That fight was heavily criticized, due to Guerrero having lost 2 out of his last 4 fights before facing Garcia for the vacant WBC 147lb title.

The WBC skipped over Shawn Porter completely in letting Danny Garcia and Guerrero fight for the vacant WBC title. That kind of tainted the whole idea of Garcia fighting a world title. Some argue that Garcia was given the WBC title on a silver platter by the WBC. Instead of doing something with the WBC belt, Garcia fought Samuel Vargas in his next fight before losing the WBC belt in a loss to Thurman this year.

“It’s definitely in the works to bring a fight to Dallas,” said Spence to Premier Boxing Champions. “Danny Garcia is out there.”

I don’t know what Danny Garcia intends on doing for his next fight. It’s already been 4 months since Garcia lost to Thurman. The silence from Garcia’s side would seem to indicate that he might choose to stay out of the ring for the remainder of 2017. If that’s what happens, then Garcia would likely wait until Thurman has rehabbed his surgically repaired elbow and then face him next year in 2018.

Personally, I think it looks bad for Garcia to sit idle and wait on Thurman. Garcia needs to show that he’s for real at 147 by taking on the best fighters like Spence and Porter. Garcia is likely looking at from the business side. He would be better off taking on another weak opponent while he waits for a nice payday fight against Thurman. Garcia probably likes his chances of beating Thurman, as he had some success in the last 6 rounds after being totally dominated in the first half of the fight. I don’t think Garcia will beast Thurman in the rematch though. Thurman has the better hand speed and power. As long as Thurman doesn’t gas out, he’ll beat Garcia in a second fight.

”I’m coming back in September or October,” said Spence in talking about his next fight. ”I’m happy to fight in Dallas.”

Spence needs to look at his next fight in a more realistic manner. I don’t think Danny Garcia is going to fight him in 2017 or probably not even 2018. Garcia has never shown any interest in fighting Spence. A fight between them could take place one of these days in the distant future once Spence establishes himself as the best fighter in the division and captures 3 of the 4 titles.

Garcia’s shelf life at welterweight is likely about done. I don’t see him going anywhere after his loss to Thurman. There aren’t any vacant titles at 147 for Garcia to fight for like there were last year when he fought Guerrero for the vacant WBC belt. Once it’s become clear that there’s nothing for Garcia, he could show interest in a fight with Spence. That would obviously happen after Garcia loses to Thurman for a second time. Garcia’s career would be in a bad place at that point, and he would need a fight with Spence. He wouldn’t get a fight against the Top Rank promoted Jeff Horn due to the politics of boxing.

These are the most realistic options for Spence’s next fight in September or October:

– Carlos Ocampo

– Luis Collazo

– Bradley Skeete

– Sam Eggington

– Sadam Ali

– David Avanesyan

– Rashidi Ellis

I would mention Konstantin Ponomarev as a potential fight option for Spence, but he’s with Top Rank. They might be saving him to match against Manny Pacquiao or Jeff Horn for an in house fight. Spence’s next fight is going to be a big step down from his recent win over Kell Brook last May. That was an exciting fight that attracted a lot of interest in the boxing world. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Spence’s first defense of his title will be anywhere close to that kind of fight.