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Spence’s trainer says Mikey Garcia’s coach needs to be smart in how long to let the fight go

Image: Spence's trainer says Mikey Garcia's coach needs to be smart in how long to let the fight go

By Dan Ambrose: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence’s trainer Derrick James thinks it’s a good idea for trainer Robert Garcia to be wise about how long he allows Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) stay in there with him before he has the fight stopped on March 16.

The smaller 5’6″ Garcia is looking to do the near impossible in moving up two weight divisions to face the towering 5’9 1/2″ Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) next month on the 16th of March on FOX Sports pay-per-view at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Although Garcia has always been the knockout favorite in his previous 39 fights as a professional, he now finds himself on the opposite end of the spectrum as food for Spence, who is expected to crush him with his size, strength and punching power in this fight.

If Garcia’s trainer/brother Robert Garcia stops the fight, he’s going to waste all the bulk training that he’s done to get ready for this match. Mikey has bulked up with the help of the coaches at the SNAC facility in San Carlos, California. Mikey is supposedly punching with more power than ever with his new bulked up muscles. But if he doesn’t get a chance to use them due to his trainer Robert potentially throwing in the towel at the first hint of trouble for him, then all that work will have been for nothing. If Mikey loses, he’s expected to move back down to lightweight to defend his WBC title. That muscle that he’s put on will need to be trimmed down for him to make weight for the 135 lb division.

There are already a lot of boxing fans that think Robert will let the referee know that he wants the fight to be stopped when Mikey started getting pummeled by Spence. They think this fight will end in a disappointing fashion with Robert not willing to let Mikey stay in with Spence once things start going badly for him, which might be right away. For all the boxing fans that will be ordering the fight on FOX PPV, they might not be too pleased if Robert Garcia throws in the towel in the first round or two to save Mikey.

“He has to be smart and be intelligent about how long he’s going to let the fight go,” Spence’s trainer Derrick James to Fighthype.com about Mikey Garcia’s trainer Robert Garcia. “I think that the brother may…he loves his brother; he’ll do the right thing [and have the fight stopped]. That’s all I got to say,” said James in sending an ominous message about trainer Robert Garcia needing to pull the plug on the fight when things start going badly for Mikey.

Robert need to realize that this is a very important fight for Mikey. He’s going to be seen by a lot of boxing fans, who could potentially become a fan of his if he puts in a good effort against the bigger Spence. That’s why it would be a good idea for Robert to let Mikey go out on his shield like a warrior rather than throwing in hoist up the flag of surrender when things start going badly for him.

A lot of the guys that Mikey has knocked out during his career went out on their shield. In a lot of the fights, they didn’t have a trainer throwing in the towel when they started taking punishment. The fights went to the conclusion with Mikey knocking them out with them ending up on the canvas and being counted out by the referee. If Robert pulls Mikey out at the first hint of trouble in the first half of the fight, it’s going to look bad in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. Warriors like Oscar De La Hoya stood in there and took punishment in his loss to a young Manny Pacquiao in 2008. De La Hoya’s trainer didn’t throw in the towel or complain that he had a nose injury, and was having a hard time breathing out of it.

Six years ago, Robert pulled Mikey out of his fight with Orlando Salido after the eighth round with the excuse that he had an injured nose from a head-butt. However, many boxing fans believe Robert’s true rationale for pushing to have the fight stopped was because Salido was starting to take over the fight. Garcia was having his way for the first six rounds, but then he tired out and began to take shots from Salido. The way that fight ended, it looked like Mikey had crumbled under the unrelenting pressure from Salido, and Robert yanked him out of the fight rather than letting the match go to it’s logical conclusion. What’s interesting is Mikey didn’t protest the fight being stopped. A lot of fighters would have been upset. Perhaps Mikey was being stoic, and not showing his emotion at the fight being halted because of his nose injury. The timing of the fight being stopped, just when Salido was taking over, looked bad for Mikey. Given the nose injury, the fight went to the scorecards, and Mikey won by an eight round technical decision.

“I don’t take it easy on my sparring partners,” Spence said to Fighthype. “I have no mercy on them. If I can stop them, I stop them. I don’t have no friends in sparring,” Spence said.

Spence is working really hard during training camp, and not taking any prisoners with the way he’s sparring with his sparring partners. That’s not a good sign for Mikey. It suggests that Spence isn’t going to take it easy on him when he gets him inside the ring on March 16. Hopefully, Mikey is going to be ready for the heat that Spence is going to be put on him in this fight,

“I’m just a better fighter than him,” Spence said about Mikey Garcia. “He’s a great fighter with great skills, and he’s very technical, but I think I’m a better fighter than overall,” Spence said.

Mikey is a good fighter at lightweight, but neccessarily the best. Vasyl Lomachenko would likely have his number, as well as Teofmimo Lopez. Mikey is at least #3 at lightweight. Spence is seen as the top guy at welterweight, which puts things in perspective. We got the #3 lightweight in Mikey fighting the #1 welterweight in Spence. Just looking at that, it gives an indication of what kind of ending we’re going to see on March 16. Even if Lomachenko moved up to welterweight to take on Spence, it would likely end very badly for the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine. Lomachenko doesnt handle body shots very well, and Spence would be hitting him with punches to the midsection from the word go. Lomachenko would likely be on the move the entire fight, but Spence would have the reach to spear him jabs to the midsection, which would take his mobility and put him in a last stand situation.

“Getting all the exposure, I can crossover and become a mainstream star,” Spence said. “I will be the cash cow definitely. I think I can be the #1 pound-for-pound fighter by the end of this year,” Spence said.

It’s going to require more than a win over lightweight Mikey Garcia for Spence to become a crossover star, and the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. Spence is going to need to beat the other champions at welterweight in Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford for him to achieve that goal. Unfortunately for Spence, the only guy in that group of fighters that appears interested in fighting him is Crawford, and he fights for Top Rank Boxing. That’s not a fight that has much of a chance of taking place given that Spence’s management at Premier Boxing Champions and Top Rank don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to making fights.

“Even though I got robbed in the Olympics, it helped me with the styles to get me to this moment, Spence said about his development as a fighter.

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