Mikey Garcia talks about training for Errol Spence fight
By Sean Jones: Mikey Garcia firmly believes that the training that he’s doing at Victor Conte’s SNAC facility is going to help him in his up coming fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. on March 16. Mikey is getting top level scientific training in preparation for the fight. He says everything is measured, and they’re monitoring the oxygen levels during his session. However, thorough as the training is for Mikey, he’s a huge underdog for the fight.
The training that Mikey is doing at SNAC isn’t likely going to be nearly enough for him to beat a bigger, stronger and younger fighter like Spence. Mikey is only now starting to train at the SNAC facility in San Carlos, California. For Mikey to have a chance of beating Spence, he would likely need to have been training at SNAC for years, and he also would have needed to move up to 147 two or three years ago instead of now. Going on a crash course training stint at SNAC in hopes of it helping him beat Spence in a division he’s never fought at before, it seems unlikely to happen.
Mikey (39-0, 30 KOs) is moving up 2 weight classes to challenge Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) for his International Boxing Federation welterweight title on March 16 on FOX Sports PPV at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Mikey is trying everything he can to get to the same level as Spence, but it doesn’t look like there’s any magic trick that can turn him into the fighter that Spence is. We’re talking about a fighter that is just much bigger and stronger naturally than Mikey. There’s nothing wrong with that. It would be the same thing if Spence decided he wanted to move up to light heavyweight to take on Artur Beterbiev or cruiserweight to face Oleksander Usyk. No amount of bulking up and the use of scientific training would transform Spence into a natural light heavyweight or cruiserweight. Every fighter is limited by their size to compete against guys close to their own weight class. When they try and go beyond their natural limits, they discover a harsh reality. Mikey is likely going to find out the hard way that he’s not cut out to fight a top welterweight like Spence.
Mikey is still going to be way out of his normal weight class in shooting up from lightweight to face Spence at 147, and it might not matter how much scientic training he does. Mikey’s lack of size is going to have him at the mercy of Spence’s huge power shots, and his body punching.
The body punching is going to be very hard for Mikey to do with, as his entire career has been against fighters that have targeted his head. All of a sudden, Mikey will not only be fighting a guy that is much bigger and stronger than him, but also one of the best body punchers in boxing. It’s just not looking good for Mikey unless he can somehow get a sudden growth spurt. At 31, it’s safe to say that Mikey isn’t getting any taller, and the added bulk he puts on for the fight could hamper his chances of winning by turning him into a more stationary fighter.
Hopefully, Mikey doesn’t bank too much on the training being the end all for him against Spence, because things don’t work out well for him in this fight, he might be crushed mentally. When a fighter thinks that he’s found the secret to success in training, they sometimes are sadly disappointed when things don’t work out like they thought. The way that Mikey bangs on about his training with SNAC, he seems to see it as the magic trick that will lead him to do the unthinkable in beating arguably the best fighter in the 147 lb division in Spence. The reality is there probably isn’t a lightweight alive that can move up to welterweight and compete with Spence for more than five to six rounds. That includes Vasyl Lomachenko and soon to be lightweight Gervnta ‘Tank’ Davis. Like Mikey, those guys would be much too small to beat Spence if they had to bulk up to welterweight to fight him.
Some boxing fans believe that the only reason Mikey is moving up to 147 to face Spence is because he didn’t want to stay at lightweight and get exposed by Lomachenko. Look at it this way: It would be much worse for Mikey to get beaten by a fighter his own size in Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) than it would if he gets trounced by Spence on March 16. Mikey won’t get dumped on by the boxing fans nearly as much for losing to Spence than he would if he had stayed in his own weight division at 135 and fought Lomachenko and lost. All Mikey needs to do is be competitive with Spence for certain amount of rounds before the fight is stopped for him to be viewed as a hero by boxing fans. It’s a bad situation for Spence, because he’s not going to get credit either way for beating Mikey. If Spence destroys Mikey, the fans are going to say, ‘So what, you beat a guy much smaller than you.’ If Spence struggles to defeat Mikey, he’s going to be laughed at by the boxing world. And if Spence loses to Mikey, then it’s going to immediately cripple his career, perhaps permanently
Spence may not realize it, but he might need to knock Mikey out to ensure that he gets the win. Even though Spence will be fighting in his home state on March 16, it’ll be Mikey that has the majority of the fan support on the night. With the fight taking place in Arlington, Texas, Mikey will probably have most of the fans on his side that night. With judges often times being influenced by crowd noise, we could see Mikey winning a lot of rounds due to cheering from the fans. That’s why it’s important that Spence make sure the fight doesn’t go to the scorecards, because we could see another Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin type of outcome if there isn’t a knockout.