Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia to have WBC Diamond title at stake

By Boxing News - 02/25/2019 - Comments

Image: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia to have WBC Diamond title at stake

By Aragon Garcia: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia will be fighting not only for the IBF belt, but also the World Boxing Council Diamond title when they battle it out next month on March 16 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The WBC Diamond title can be defended by the winner if they choose to. Although some boxing fans are critical of the WBC for them putting up one of their own titles for the Spence vs. Garcia fight, there’s nothing wrong with that. This a history-making fight, and it makes perfectly good sense for WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to have his valuable WBC Diamond title at stake in this fight. It’s a prestigious belt, and it will be a great for the winner of the Spence vs. Garcia fight to add that belt to their collection at the end of the night on March 16.

There had been talk of the WBC having another one of their titles on the line for Spence-Garcia fight, but it’s going to be the ultimate prize, the WBC Diamond belt for their fight on Fox Sports pay-per-view. Until now, the WBC wasn’t a sanctioning body had one of their titles on the line for this huge fight between the two unbeaten world champions. The WBC came up with one of their prestigious belts to have the two warriors fight it out for.

The WBC first created their Diamond title 10 years ago for Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto match on November 14, 2009. Pacquiao defeated Cotto by a 12th round knockout to capture his sixth division world title.

These are the other fighters that have captured the WBC Diamond title in the past:

– Bernard Hopkins

– Mairis Briedis

– Callum Smith

– Sergio Martinez

– Floyd Mayweather Jr.

– Regis Prograis

– Nonito Donaire

– Leo Santa Cruz

– Jean Pascal

– Sergey Kovalev

– Mikey Garcia

– Jorge Linares

– Saul Canelo Alvarez

Having the WBC Diamond title on the line will make the Spence vs. Garcia fight a little more interesting due to the history behind the belt. A lot of great fighters have won the WBC Diamond belt in the past. The winner of the Spence-Garcia fight can feel proud that they belong to a select group of warriors.

Mikey isn’t intimidated in the least by Spence’s size advantage. Garcia is moving up two weight classes to challenge Spence for his IBF 147 lb title in this fight, but the size advantage likely play a factor in this fight. Garcia has put on a lot of size with him bulking up, and by the time the two fighters get inside ring next month, the weight won’t be enough for Spence to dominate like he’s been doing. For Spence to win this fight, he’s going to have to become the thinker, and rely on his ring IQ rather than brute strength to try and beat Garcia.

In Mikey’s recent fights against bigger foes, he’s beaten 5’11” Robert Easter Jr., Sergey Lipinets and Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner. All three of those guys had a size advantage over Garcia, and in each case it didn’t matter. They still lost.

Garcia, 31, will be fighting the fighter considered to be the best in the welterweight division in 29-year-old Spence Jr., who is known for his punching power and his body attack. Spence seems to be getting better with each fight. He’s not showing signs of slowing down as he approaches his 30s. If anything, he’s getting better.

Spence is fighting in his home state against Garcia at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. That means there will be a lot of Spence’s boxing fans that will be in attendance. Garcia has fought in Texas on three occasions during his career. Last year, Garcia fought IBF light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets in front of a large crowd at the Freeman Coliseum, in San Antonio. Garcia had many fans there, and it no different than when he fights in his home of Southern California. Spence might be surprised on March 16 when it’s Garcia who has the largest fan base at the AT&T Stadium on the night.

You can never tell how popular a fighter like Garcia is in a different state when you have him fighting a guy in his own home state like Spence. The crowd likely won’t factor into the results of the fight. Spence and Garcia are seasoned pros, and they don’t become intimidated by fighting in front of hostile crowds. The winner of the Spence-Garcia fight is going to be the guy with the superior boxing skills, and some believe that will be Garcia. He’s the quicker, and has established himself during his career as one of the best boxers in the sport. Spence is known for beating his opponents with his size rather than his boxing ability. He could be in for a big surprise when he gets inside the ring with Garcia on March 16.

If Spence loses this fight, he’s going to have to make a decision whether it’s worth it or not for him to press for a rematch with Garcia. Taking a second fight with Garcia could be a potential huge career blow for Errol if he loses for a second time. It might be better for Spence to go his separate ways if he loses. He could wind up like Gennady Golovkin did when he chose not to walk away from his first fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez when the judges scored it a draw. GGG chose to be stubborn about it, and he took the second fight and lost badly to Canelo. Golovkin has been almost invisible since then, which you can argue is an admission that he recognizes that he deserved the loss. Spence will still have great options available to him if he loses to Garcia. He can go after WBC champion Shawn Porter, WBO champion Terence Crawford or WBA ‘regular’ champion Manny Pacquiao or WBA Super World belt holder Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman. What direction Spence goes in will depend on how confident he is that he can make adjustments for the rematch with Garcia or not.