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Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: 25,000 tickets sold already

Errol Spence Jr Mikey Garcia

By Eric Thomas: This Saturday’s fight between Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) is expected to have a huge crowd at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 25,000 tickets have already been sold for the Spence-Garcia fight and a large walk up crowd is expected on Saturday, according to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times.

The AT&T Stadium seats 100,000, so there’s little chance that it’ll sellout on Saturday. Still, that’s a lot of tickets that have been sold for this fight, and if the walk-up crowd is equal to the amount of tickets that have already been purchased, there could be 50,000 boxing fans there to see the fight come Saturday night. That would be similar to the size of the crowd for the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith fight in 2016.

Spence, who comes from Texas, says he doesn’t care if most of fans that show up are there to support Mikey. Spence, 29, says he wasn’t bothered when he’s fought in front of large crowds in the past, and he’s not going to care if the fans are there rooting for Garcia. Spence expects that he’ll have the crowd on his side, since he’s from Texas, but if not, he’s not going to change his game and become depressed if the fans are cheering only for Mikey.

“It doesn’t matter. I mean it didn’t play a factor overseas, it’s definitely not going play a factor at home so, I just want people to come out and support,” Spence said to Fighthub. “If they support me or they support Mikey Garcia, I just want people to come out.”

Spence will get a good payday from the fight, and he’ll receive a lot of attention from the boxing public. However, the knowledgeable fans aren’t likely going to take too much notice of Spence’s win due to his size advantage over the tiny 5’6″ Mikey. For all intents and purposes, Spence is facing a pumped up featherweight in Mikey Garcia. That’s the weight class Mikey started his career out at when he turned pro in 2006. Although Mikey has moved up to lightweight, he looks at that weight class, and not like a solid lightweight. When Mikey moved up to 140 for his two fights against Sergey Lipinets and Adrien Broner, he looked flabby against those guys. Since Mikey wasn’t facing a talented light welterweight, he did well in beating both, but he took a lot of facial damage in his 12 round decision win over Lipinets last year. In looking at that fight, you can’t give Mikey much of a shot at beating Spence. Lipinets was busting up Mikey with his shots, and he’s not a huge puncher.

“I’m not really worried about anything come Saturday night,” Spence said. “I feel like we got everything in place for anything he can do. Either he wants us to fight or he’s going to box, whatever. I mean, I feel like I’m going to be the dictator in the ring,” Spence said.

Mikey boxed both Broner and Lipinets in beating them by decisions, but he didn’t look powerful. Even when Mikey would load up on his shots, he didn’t have the power on his punches that he needed to get either of them out of there. Mikey did drop Lipinets with a perfectly timed left hook in the seventh round, but he didn’t hurt him. Lipinets got back up and continued to pressure Mikey for the remainder of the contest.

When Spence and Garcia stood next next each other recently, the size difference between the two was so vastly different that it was impossible to see a scenario where Mikey will come out on top in this fight unless Errol suffers an injury. A freak accident like a slip by Spence or a shoulder injury is about the only thing that this writer can see where Mikey could win the fight. Some boxing fans and former fighters don’t believe that size matters in the sport. Having seen it play a factor repeatedly in fights, you have to say size does matter. Size might not matter if the bigger fighter can’t punch or isn’t a good fighter, but it definitely helps even then. The bigger fighter is able to last a lot longer against a smaller fighter than a similar sized small guy fighting another smaller fighter. But when you have a bigger guy with talent like Spence.

Mikey, 31, has the better overall talent of the two in terms of technical skills, but it’s just a very small edge, and not not enough for him to make for his lack of size and punching power. Mikey is also older than Spence, and he’s got mileage on him from his years of sparring. Mikey hasn’t taken too much punishment during his career other than in his fight with Lipinets, but he’s still not as fresh as Spence. The taller, and bigger fighter is Spence. Being younger and with less mileage on him makes Spence even more imposing. Getting hit flush by Spence all night long is going to do something to Mikey, especially if he’s hitting him with body shots. We might start seeing Mikey wilt from the very start of the fight once he starts getting hit by Spence’s heavy shots to the body and head. Spence isn’t going to be discouraged if he has a hard time landing head shots against Garcia. Spence will re-aim his shots downstairs, and make Mikey miserable with his body punching.

Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia has probably put together the best possible fight that will give him at least a chance to hold off Spence for a little while. The only thing that Mikey can try to do is jab, move and hold as much as posisble, and hope that Spence gets tired from all those stalling tactics to the point where he’s not punching as hard in the second half of the contest. Mikey could then try and take the fight to Spence to either go for a knockout or win a close decision. You’ve got to assume that Mikey will lose all the early rounds due to him playing it safe, but you never know. Judges are funny. It’s possible that if Spence lands 90% of the shots, the judges might give Mikey some of the rounds if he lands one or two good shots. Mikey was winning rounds against Lipinets despite getting hit a lot by the harder shots. Mikey would throw a nice combination that looked good, but lacked power and wasn’t nearly as strong as the punches that Lipinets was hitting him with. The judges still gave Mikey a wide decision. But with Spence, Mikey can’t count on getting a decision win, because this could quickly turn into a massacre in favor of Errol.

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