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Arreola picks Mikey Garcia to beat Errol Spence

Chris Arreola Errol Spence Jr Mikey Garcia

By Aragon Garcia: Chris Arreola has a lot of respect for Errol Spence Jr. as a fighter, but he can’t see him winning this Saturday night against the smarter Mikey Garcia in their fight on Fox Sports PPV at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Arreola says that Mikey’s incredible ring IQ is going to be the difference in this fight. Size won’t be an issue on Saturday like a lot of boxing fans and writers think, according to Arreola. Mikey’s ring smarts will lead to him beating Spence by a decision says Arreola.

Mikey hits hard enough to do the job on the bigger IBF welterweight champion Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs), and he’s going to send him crashing down to his first career defeat at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This will be a bitter pill for Spence to swallow, but it’ll ultimately be a good thing for him if he chooses to learn from it. Sometimes defeat can be a learning tool to a new beginning for a fighter as long he’s not in denial, and refuses to admit what he failed to do right. If Spence is hard-headed and/or sees conspiracy that’s not there in his loss, then he probably won’t learn from it, and will keep repeating the same mistakes in his future fights.

“This is a big fight for both fighters, for Spence and for Garcia, but more so for Garcia because in this fight he’s going to make history,” Arreola said to Fighthype. “In this fight, he’s going to be crowned the five division world champion. It’s going to be a beautiful fight for him, and all Hispanic fans that are going to be there supporting him,” Arreola said.

Mikey picking up his fifth division world title will put him in rare territory. Although there’s been other fighters that have won more division world titles than Mikey, but they haven’t done it recently and in such an impressive fashion. Mikey has been totally dominating in winning division world titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140. If Mikey can beat Spence at 147, it would be a history-making fight for him. For Spence, it would be major disappointment for his career aspirations. Spence wants to become a superstar like Mikey, but he’ll come up short of that dream if he loses on Saturday. It won’t be the end of the 29-year-old Spence’s career if he gets beaten by Garcia, but it could be the beginning of the end. If Mikey outboxes Spence and creates a blueprint in how others can beat him, then it’ll be hard for him to come back from this loss to rewrite his career. Spence will be in the same boat as past fighters that have suffered bad losses, and were never able to come back from their defeats. Again, it comes down to whether Spence would be able to learn from his defeat at the hands of Mikey. If Spence can learn, then he can adapt, retool and comeback a better fighter with new armament. We just don’t know if he can.

“A decision win, a unanimous decision by eight to four, seven-five, but it’s going to be a great fight,” Arreola said in giving his prediction of a decision win for Mikey over Spence on Saturday.

That’s a logical pick by Arreola. If Mikey is going to win this fight, it’s likely going to be by a decision. Spence has a good chin, and he won’t be toppled by the power of a hard hitting lightweight talent like Mikey. Spence can take a pretty good shot and keep coming forward. To get the win over Spence, Mikey will beed to focus entirely on winning a decision. If he gets the idea of trying to KO Spence, he coul get clipped by one of his big shots, and wind up losing the fight. The important thing is for Mikey not to get carried away by fighting Spence’s type of fight.

Spence has looked good lately in beating Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu and Chris Algieri. There’s a big difference in facing that level of opposition compared to what Spence will be dealing with on Saturday night when he steps foot inside the ring to fight a super talented fighter with not only power, but also the ring smarts in Mikey.

Spence hasn’t been as busy as he should have for him to gain the most out of his career. At a time when Spence is supposed to be learning his craft, he’s spending a lot of time inactive due to his management not keeping him busy by having him fight enough. Only Spence’s management knows why they aren’t fighting him more than once or twice per year, but it could hurt him in five days from now on Saturday when he gets inside the ring with an unbeaten well seasoned pro in Mikey.

“If you watched his last fight against [Robert] Easter, he was just so methodical, so perfect, so smart about every punch that he takes,” Arreola said. “He’s a smart fighter. That’s how he’s going to win this fight. That’s going to win him the fight just by being a smart fighter. I remember watching him spar when he was going through that stuff with his promoter before. I thought this kid is so smart and so good. He’s just good and smart. That’s the main thing about him. Well, of course [Mikey will carry his power up to 147]. Yeah, he’s going to have the power, but the main thing that’s going to carry over is his ring generalship and his ring brains. I remember when Roy Jones Jr. fought [John] Ruiz. That was a huge jump up in weight [for Jones Jr.], but Roy just outsmarted Ruiz, and that’s what I believe Mikey has to do. That’s not to say that Spence will be slow like Ruiz, but I think it’s going to carry over. Those who don’t think he’s slick enough need to watch his fights. His brains make him slick. He is a slick fighter. He’s an undefeated slick fighter. Slickness to me is knowing your distance, and knowing how to fight someone. He’s the best at distance, knowing his distance, and having the ring smarts and picking his shots,” Arreola said.

Spence is going to have to show that he can adapt in this fight if he wants to win. Whatever came plan Spence is coming into the bout with, he’s to need to chuck out the window in the early going if things aren’t working out for him against Garcia. That might be hard for Spence to do if his Plan-A for this fight is to try and steamroll Garcia. It might too hard on Spence’s ego if he has to use a Plan-B that calls for him to stay on the outside, box safely behind his jab, and stay out of harm’s way Spence might have too much ego to let himself be seen needing box the smaller 5’6″ Mikey. If Spence feels he can win the fight just by slugging, he won’t let himself adapt if things aren’t working with that game plan.

What makes Mikey so good is he’s willing to switch out game plans if he’s unable to knockout an opponent. Mikey tried to stop Adrien Broner, Robert Easter Jr. and Sergey Lipinets early in those fights, but when it became clear that he couldn’t do it, he changed things up by reverting to a Plan-B by boxing those three in the second half of those fights to get a decision win. Spence might not be able to do that. He’s kind of resistant to change in his fights.

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