Spence Jr. vs Garcia, Benavidez vs Love; Arreola vs Augustin – official weights
By Chris Williams: Errol Spence Jr. made a throat slashing gesture moments after his face off with Mikey Garcia on Friday for their big fight tomorrow night in Arlington, Texas. The two fighters both weighed in successfully on Friday with Spence, the IBF welterweight title holder, weighing in at 146 1/4 pounds, and Mikey coming in at 145 1/2 lbs.
One thing that was noticeable about Mikey was he was looking kind of flabby around his midsection and sides. He didn’t look like a professional athlete. Mikey had the appearance of someone that works out at a gym, but isn’t a high level athlete.
One reason for that obviously is all the weight that Mikey has put on in a hurry during his 8 week training camp. He was eating a lot of food to put weight on, and it helped him add muscle, but it also left him with extra fat. Bodybuilders bulk up by eating a lot, hitting the weights hard by going heavy, and then they diet and dehydrate to strip down for a contest. Mikey looks like he forgot the dieting part to lean out his physique, so he’s carrying around some fat. In looking at Mikey’s physique and Spence’s, it was no comparison. Spence looks like a real fighter. Mikey is carrying around too much fat for him to be seen in the same light. That’s not to say that Mikey doesn’t have a chance of winning. He could catch Spence with a good shot and knock him out, or he might be able to go the full 12 rounds and win a decision. We’ll have to see though. Right now, Spence looks better trained, and more prepared to go 12 rounds if he doesn’t knock Mikey out.
There wasn’t much you could take away from the face off between them, as Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) was smiling at Spence in a way that looked friendly, as if the two of them were about to share in winning the lottery. Ringstar promoter Richard Schaefer says the fight Spence vs. Garcia could card could go over 1 million pay-per-view busy on Fox Sports pay-per-view. If the fight does those kinds of numbers, Spence and Garcia are going to hit the lottery in making a lot of money from Saturday’s fight. The fight also could bring in over 51,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Needless to say, Spence and Mikey are going going to make a lot of money from Saturday’s fight. With they paydays they’re going to get, it makes sense for them to smile as much as possible, because they’re about to hit it big.
On paper, the fight itself looks bad if you’re Garcia. He’s moving up in weight two divisions to fight Spence for his IBF 147 lb title, and he’s had no experience in the weight to get him primed for this challenge. Garcia doesn’t know, and neither do the boxing world in how he’s going to do in this fight. With all the talk that’s gone on about the fight, people are now looking at Spence like he’s the challenger and the underdog. A lot of fans have gotten on the Garcia bandwagon, and are no longer looking at the right in a rationale way. Sure, it would make a great story if Mikey were to rip Spence’s IBF title from him in a big upset knockout win, but it’s so far-fetched that it’s not reality based. The fact of the matter is, Mikey stands no better chance of beating Spence than Vasly Lomachenko or Robert Easter Jr. would if they decided to risk everything and go up to 147 to fight Errol. Just going by the way Mikey looked against Sergey Lipinets last year, the predictable outcome for Saturday’s fight is Spence knocking Mikey out within six rounds in this writer’s opinion. Mikey lasting six rounds under the best case scenario would require that Spence take it easy on him in the way that he did against Lamont Peterson last year in January. That saw Spence only step on the gas to any extent at all in round five. Spence looked like he was just having fun in the other rounds. However, the punishment that Spence inflicted on Peterson in the fifth round was so severe that Peterson’s corner pulled him out of the fight two rounds later in the seventh to save him.
Former WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (20-0 17 KOs) and J’Leon Love (24-2-1, 13 KO) both weighed in successfully Love came in at 168 1/4 pounds. Benavidez weighed in at 167 lbs, which is surprising, because he usually struggles to get down to the 168 lb limit. Benavidez looked uncomfortable during the face off when Love started dancing in front of him. It was an opportunity for Benavidez to start clowning as well, but he chose to give Love dirty looks instead. Former world Robert Duran got into the act and started dancing too. That’s the way Duran is. If one of his opponents had done that during a face off, he likely would have started laughing and dancing with them.
Unbeaten super talented former World Boxing Council bantamweight champion Luis Nery (28-0, 22 KOs) weighed in at 118 lbs, and looked good for his fight against McJoe Arroyo (18-2, 8 KOs). For his part, Arroyo weighed in at 117 1/4 lbs. This fight is expected to be as mismatch, as the southpaw Nery is a major talent, and he’ll likely be dethroning WBC 118 lb champion Rey Vargas soon. Vargas is a good fighter, but Nery is a GREAT fighter, and he could be a Hall of Famer one day if he can do a better job in making weight.
Former two time heavyweight world title challenge Chris Arreola (37-5-1, 32 KOs) looked in good shape in weighing in at 239 1/4 pounds for his fight against unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin (17-0-1, 12 KO). For his part, Augustin weighed in at 226 1/2 lbs. Arreola looks like he’s really dedicated himself with his training since coming back to the sport. Arreola is making another title run since losing to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder three years ago in 2016. Arreola stopped fighting for two years after that loss, and came back to defeat Maurenzo Smith by a sixth round stoppage last December. If Arreola can work himself position for a fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, he could make a massive amount of money that could make his retirement one day a nice one.