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Errol Spence: “There’s nothing amazing about Mikey Garcia”

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Errol Spence Jr Keith Thurman Mikey Garcia

By Dan Ambrose: Errol Spence Jr. says he doesn’t see anything amazing about his opponent Mikey Garcia for March 16. Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) says the only thing he sees in watching the unbeaten four division world champion Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) is a very technically sound fighter, but that’s it.

Spence will be defending against Garcia on March 16 on FOX at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Garcia, 30, will be moving up two weight divisions from lightweight to challenge Spence for his International Boxing Federation welterweight title.

“I already started pre-camp,” Spence said about his early preparation for his March 16 fight against Mikey Garcia. “I don’t have to watch him fight. If he sees something, he’s going to have to use it all. He’s going to have to use more than what he sees, because a lot of people think it looks easy from the outside until you get in there, and you start getting touched. You start getting hit, and I come at you some more. We’ll see. He’s pretty confident,” Spence said of Mikey Garcia. “He’ll make a good fight though. He’s a very technically sound. That’s about it. I don’t see anything amazing about him. He’s doing a lot of great things right,” Spence said.

Mikey has a lot of talent, but he’s so much smaller than Spence. It’s going to be next to impossible for the 5’6″ Garcia to deal with the 5’9″ Spence’s three inch height and four inch reach advantage for this fight. In addition to the height and reach advantage that Spence will have going for him against Garcia, he’s also likely going to be considerably heavier. Although Garcia does plan on bulking up in weight for the fight, the weight that he puts on likely won’t result in more punching power. It doesn’t work that way. When fighters add a lot of muscle and fat weight, it mainly helps them take shots better, but does very little for their punching power. Where Garcia will be hurt by him bulking up is in the stamina department. He’s going to have to carry the extra weight he puts on, and that’s going to make it hard for him in the later rounds, if he makes it that far in the fight.

When Spence and Mikey stood side by side during the kickoff announcement of the Spence-Garcia fight, the size difference between the two was shocking. Mikey looked like a lightweight standing next to a junior middleweight. Spence fights in the welterweight division, but he’s a fighter that belongs at 154. Spence has been melting down to fight at 147 to get important fights, which aren’t there at 154. In contrast, Mikey still looks like a lightweight, even though he recently up to 140 briefly for fights against Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets.

Former IBF light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets touched up Mikey pretty well in their fight earlier this year in March. Garcia won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision over the 5’7″ Lipinets, but he was pretty lumped up by him. Lipinets is considerably smaller than the 5’9″ Spence, and he’s not the same kind of puncher. The way that Mikey looked at the end of his fight with Lipinets, bloody and swollen around the face, it’s difficult to picture him being able to make it to the final bell against Spence. Unless Garcia catches Spence with the perfect shot to knock him out, he’s likely going to lose to him on March 16.

Most boxing fans feel that Mikey has no chance of beating Spence. They feel this is a mismatch in size and power for Spence. The opposition that Mikey has been facing lately against Lipinets, Robert Easter Jr., Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin and Elio Rojas are not the type of fighters that you’d like to see him fighting to get him ready for a fighter like Spence. To get ready for a fighter like Spence, Mikey should have been fighting guys like Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor, Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia, Kell Brook, Jessie Vargas, Egidijus Kavaliauskas Josh Kelly and Daniyar Yeleussinov. Those the fighters that would have given Garcia the type of preparation that he would need to be competitive with Spence. Garcia has been fighting the wrong guys, and it’s likely going to show when he gets inside the ring with Spence on March 16, and he finds how hard he hits, and how much bigger he is than the fighters he’s been facing. Easter Jr., 5’11”, is 1 1/2 inches taller than the 5’9 1/2″ Spence, but he’s not nearly as heavy or as powerful as him.

After hearing news that WBA Super World welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) says he doesn’t plan on looking to fight him until 2020 at the earliest, Spence says that he can’t sit around and wait that long for the fight. Spence said he plans on moving up in weight to 154 to challenge IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd in 2019. Spence says he doesn’t know if the chronically injured Thurman will be able to stay healthy, and he’s not going to sit and wait on him. Spence is going to move up to 154 and look for big fights in that weight class.

“I don’t see how I can wait that long, and he might get hurt again,” Spence said to Fighthub about Keith Thurman saying he won’t fight Spence until 2020. “I ain’t going to wait that long, especially if I look good and I keep stopping people. He [Thurman] keeps getting hurt. It’a crazy.”

It would be a risky move on Spence’s part for him to wait on Thurman until 2020, hoping that he’ll finally fight him, and that he won’t suffer another injury that will keep him out of the ring for a prolonged amount of time. Thurman has been out of the ring almost two years with different injuries since his last fight against. Some boxing fans see Thurman as holding his WBA Super World 147 lb title hostage, and speeding time enjoying his life outside of the ring rather than wanting to continue to compete. If Spence waits until 2020 for Thurman, he could end up with nothing to show for that time.

Thurman has a tune-up bout against Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) on January 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Most boxing fans see this fight as a mere formality for Thurman. If he Thurman wins that fight, he wants either a rematch against World Boxing Council welterweight champion Shawn Porter, who he beat by a close 12 round unanimous decision in 2016, or a fight against WBA ‘regular’ 147 pound champion Manny Pacquiao in 2019. Thurman wants his WBC belt back. That’s one of his major goals in 2019. Unfortunately for Spence, he’s not one of Thurman’s immediate goals. Spence and WBO champion Terence Crawford are fights that Thurman is putting off until 2019. Spence will need to stay at 147 for one more year for him to potentially get the fight with Thurman. However, there’s obviously no guarantees that Thurman will give Spence the fight in 2020, even if he is healthy. Spence has been trying to get a fight against Thurman since 2016 without any luck. Having to wait another year on top of the the other three years that he’s been waiting, it might not be worth the time expenditure for Spence. He needs to focus on fighters that are healthy, and interested in fighting him. The often injured Thurman fits neither of those categories.




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