Errol Spence masterful in beating Mikey Garcia
By Allan Fox: Errol Spence Jr. looked out of this world good in taking Mikey Garcia to school in giving him a one-sided beating for 12 rounds in a fight that was a lot more one-sided that boxing fans thought it would be. By the time it was over, Mikey looked like he a guy that had wondered into the wrong ring to face an angry lion, who wanted to tear him apart. Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) wasn’t playing around.
You would be hard-pressed to give Mikey even one round in the fight, considering how dominating Spence was. It’s not for lack of trying that Mikey wasn’t abe to compete. He was trying hard, but he had the wrong style to fight against a large volume puncher like Spence. Mikey has never been known for having a high punch output. With his kind of punching power, he never needed to to throw a lot of shots to win his fights in the lower weight classes, but against Spence, Mikey needed to throw more punches to be competitive, and he was incapable of adapting his game last night.
Spence, 29, threw 1,082 punches, landing 345 with a connect percentage of 32%, according to CompuBox’s stats. What was impressive about those numbers is many of the punches that Spence threw came in the championship rounds [9 through 12]. Spence turned it up a notch in rounds 9-12, and threw nonstop shots, and Mikey was’t prepared for that kind of a high volume offense. Mikey landed just 75 of 406 punches for an 18% connect percentage. When a fighter only lands 75 punches during an entire 12 round fight, it shows you how outclassed they were. Mikey never had a chance. Garcia’s anemic output made it difficult to watch the fight in the last four rounds, when Spence began to hit him with everything but the kitchen sink. Mikey was just covering up and throwing single shots while Spence was hitting him with machine gun punches that didn’t have a lot of power on them. Spence was just focusing on connecting, and his heavy hands made his shots bruising.
Garcia admits that his trainer/brother Robert Garcia wanted to pull the plug on the fight in the championship rounds when the contest became horribly one-sided.
“My brother wanted to maybe stop the fight in the later rounds,” Mikey said about his trainer Robert Garcia. “He didn’t want to let me get hit more, but I told him I was fine and I tried to go out there and pull it off. I thought I could have landed one good shot to change everything, but I wasn’t able to land it.”
Mikey got the attention of Spence on several occasions with big punches that snapped his head back when he was coming forward in the last three rounds. But Spence wasn’t going to be deterred. He continued to surge forward like giant tsunami, and was attacking Garcia in massive waves with nonstop punches. Spence would back off for a second to get a brief rest break, and then would come forward again with another wave of nonstop punches. The only thing Mikey could do during these attacks was cover up and try and land a big shot in between, which he did but it wasn’t enough to make Spence stop attacking.
Spence won on the judges’ scorecards by the scores 120-107, 120-108 and 120-108. One judge scored a 10-8 round for the ninth, which saw Spence unload on a wilting Mikey in throwing over 130 punches with many of them landing. The round was so one-sided that it was a surprise that Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia didn’t throw in the towel, as Mikey was getting hit with massive punches during the entire round.
47,525 fans were on hand to watch Spence thrash Garcia, 31, from start to finish in pitching a lopsided shutout of the 4 division world champion. Spence, 29, didn’t need the cheering from the crowd for him to go after Mikey with a look of someone that wanted to make a statement. Needless to say, this was one of Spence’s easier title defenses. The only good things you can say about Mikey after watching this fight was his ability take a lot of shots without going down, and the power that he showed late in the fight. Mikey’s power was there.
Some of the hard shots that Garcia landed in the 11th and 12th rounds arguably saved him from being knocked out, as it caused Spence to pause and slow up with his attacks. Garcia connected with two are three very hard punches to the head of Spence in the last two rounds that made him not want to continue to attack the way he had in the 9th round. Mikey, 5’6″, didn’t have the frame or the physique that the 5’9 1/2″ Spence had going for him, but his punching was at least on par with his if not better. With Garcia’s ‘dad body,’ he was connecting with some major shots in the 11th and 12th, and he backed Spence up and him circling the ring at times in those rounds. For Mikey have that kind of power at welterweight, it shows what his opponents have had to deal with in facing him at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight.
This was the first fight Spence and Garcia on PPV during their careers, and they a lot of fans watching both on Fox Sports pay-per-view and at ringside at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It’s still too early to know how many PPV buys the Spence-Garcia fight generated, but it won’t be surprising if the final numbers are over 1 million buys, which is what Ringstar promoter Richard Schaefer was predicting before the fight.
“He’s broken records here before, he’s a legend in the sport, and it’d be my honor to fight him next,” Spence said in challenging former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao after the fight. Pacquiao had come into the ring just to accept a challenge from Spence, so that made things a lot easier.
Unlike WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter, who has shown no desire to get inside the ring with Spence for a unification fight, Pacquiao, 40, wants the fight. Pacquiao has the lower World Boxing Association welterweight title, called the ‘WBA World’ 147 lb title. Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman possesses the upper level WBA welterweight strap, called the ‘Super World’ 147 lb title. The WBA has made a mess of things by having two champions with their organization at welterweight instead of just one like most of the other sanctioning bodies have it. Still, Pacquiao is more popular than Thurman, and he would be a great opponent for Spence to fight next if the match can get made. If Spence beats Pacquiao, it would make him the IBF/WBA champion. Spence would still need to fight Thurman to get the main WBA belt from him, and then WBC champion Shawn Porter and WBO champ Terence Crawford in order to unify the welterweight division in it’s entirety. The way Spence fought last night against Garcia, you can argue that it’s a forgone conclusion that he’ll soon have all four [IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO] of the welterweight titles in his possession.
“Yes, why not? We’ll give the fans a good fight,” said Pacquiao inside the ring last night in accepting Spence’s challenge. “I’m so happy to be here in Dallas, and I hope I will be back here soon.”
Pacquiao is going to make a lot of money fighting Spence if the fight is made. Manny has been trying to get Floyd Mayweather Jr. to face him again, but he’s not been eager to face him a second time ever since he defeated the Filipino star by a 12 round unanimous decision four years ago in 2015.
You’ve got to give Mikey Garcia a lot of respect for him moving up two weight classes to face what many boxing fans believe is the best fighter in the welterweight division in Spence last night. Further, when Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia was talking about wanting to halt the fight after the ninth round, Mikey told him he wanted to continue fighting, and he took Spence’s best shots in rounds 10, 11 and 12 without folding under the pressure. If anything, it looked like Spence was the more worn out fighter of the to at the final bell in round 12. Spence had emptied his gas tank entirely in the championship rounds in throwing ton of punches trying to knockout Garcia, and he couldn’t do it. The size advantage that Spence had coupled with his high work rate and excellent power made it impossible for Mikey to pull off the upset last night.