Mikey Garcia sparring middleweights to prepare for Errol Spence
By Aragon Garcia: Unbeaten Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) is sparring with middleweights to prepare for his fight this month in two weeks from now against IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs0 on March 16 on FOX Sports pay-per-view at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Although Spence fights in the 147 lb division, he’s seen by a lot of boxing fans as a fighter that has the size of a middleweight by the time he rehydrates for his fights.
Spence will probably be close to light heavyweight in the low 170s by the time he enters the ring against Mikey on the 16th of March, an that’s going to make it hard fight the the unbeaten star from Oxnard, California. That’s why Garcia, 31, has used a middleweight to get ready for this fight.
“I started in December up with with Victor Conte [at the SNAC facility in San Carlos, California,” Mikey Garcia said to Fighthype. “We’ll be strong, and we’ll be fast. We’ve been sparring some big boys. I think he fights at 160, a Silver medalist. Is style is fast. That’s what I want to work with to be strong, because we’re fighting a bigger guy. I don’t want to be sparring guys just to make myself look great, or just to feel good. We want a guy that can push me, and really make me work,” Garcia said.
With Mikey not phased by the size of Spence, he’s got a very good chance of pulling off the upset in this fight. Spence’s main advantage is his size rather than his boxing skills in this fight. The two fighters are more or less equal in the punching power department. The training that Garcia is getting in sparring with middleweights in camp is going to have well prepare to deal with Spence when he gets in there with him. The body attack from Spence is the main issue that Garcia is going to have to deal with. The guys that Garcia has been sparring with probably lack the same body punching ability and focus that he’s going to see from Spence in this fight. That’s going to be the hardest thing for Mikey to adjust to in this fight.
Spence mugged last opponent Carlos Ocampo in shoving him to the ropes, and then keeping him there while he wound up with powerful shots at close range. Ocampo was pinned to the ropes, and unable to push his way out of it. The referee didn’t want to pull Spence off of Ocampo to reset them at center ring, and that left the Mexican fighter at the mercy of Errol against the ropes. That didn’t look like boxing. It looked like an MMA fighter having trapped a weaker against the cage, and just beating the stuffing out of him. That’s what Garcia is likely going to have to deal with on March 16 from Spence.
It’s not going to be so much a case of Spence, 29, using his height and reach to control the shorter, smaller 5’6″ Garcia from range. It’s going to be Spence employing his size to shove Garcia against the ropes, him there either with his left arm or his chest while leaning on him, and then hitting him with his free hand to the body repeatedly. That’s going to be hard for Garcia to take if he can’t outmaneuver Spence when he tries to do that. The referee needs to do his job to make sure the fight is conducted fairly under the rules of boxing, and not an boxing/MMA hybrid type of fight in which we spence using a bid of both sports to gain an edge against Mikey.