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Spence vs. Garcia: Mikey – “I have the skills to win this fight”

Errol Spence Jr Mikey Garcia

By Mike Smith: Mikey Garcia says he’s got the speed and boxing skills to defeat Errol Spence Jr. on Saturday night on Fox Sports PPV at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) is coming into Saturday’s fight an an underdog for the first time in his illustrious 13-year pro career.

(Photo credit: Stacey Verbeek)

Being an underdog is a new experience for Mikey, but he plans on proving the bettors wrong by unseating IBF welterweight champion Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) in front of his own fans on Saturday. Mikey isn’t going to try and overpower Spence. He knows he can’t beat him that way. Where Mikey will be looking to take advantage of Spence is when he loads up with his wide hooks that he likes to throw. That’s something that Mikey spotted a long time ago, and he obviously feels he can nail Spence with shots when he loads up like that against him in this fight.

Mikey is going to use his speed and ring IQ to school Spence, and beat him to the punch for 12 rounds. If the knockout comes it comes. Mikey isn’t going to press the issue and get sloppy in there. Spence, 29, is a large welterweight with size and punching power that would easily carry up to junior middleweight if not middleweight. Spence has got the size t

The two fighters made their grand arrival on Tuesday at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel for their fight this Saturday on FOX Sports pay-per-view starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.

“I have the timing, the speed, the footwork and defense,” Mikey said. “I have all the skills needed to win this fight. I could have taken easier fights than this, but they didn’t spark the fire in me. This fight does exactly that.”

Mikey’s recent opponents, Robert Easter Jr., Sergey Lipinets, Adrien Broner and Elio Rojas, are nowhere near the same class as Spence, and they’re not as big as him or as powerful. The recent experience that Mikey has had in the run up to this fight with Spence, it’s not going to help him much. Mikey’s recent level of opposition are guys that would prepare him to fight a lesser fighter than Spence like one of the contenders in the welterweight division instead of Spence. Mikey thinks he can raise his game and make up for his lack of experience by being motivated, and giving it his all. I don’t know if that’s going to work.

It’s going to be intriguing to see if Garcia, 31, can slow Spence down with his speed and timing, as you’ve got to believe that Errol is going to be like a runaway train on Saturday when he gets in there. If you look at Spence’s last fight against Carlos Ocampo, he didn’t show much finesse what he was doing in there. Spence basically let Ocampo know from the opening bell that he was coming for him.

Spence’s shots went right through Ocampo’s gloves, and still did damage when he was covering up against the ropes. The power on Spence’s shots made it impossible for Ocampo to do anything against him. Ocampo was focused more on not getting hit with head shots from Spence, and couldn’t do anything about the body shots. Ultimately that’s what led to Ocampo getting stopped in the first round. He couldn’t handle the body shots. Mikey is pretty good at defending with head shots, but it’s going to difficult for him to handle Spence’s body shots if he attacks him there. That’s why it’s important for Mikey to hit Spence with counter shots when e

“This is where my heart is. I’m going to give everyone a great show on Saturday,” Spence said.

Spence wants to run Mikey over, and not let him have his innings. Spence wants to rout Mikey without even letting him have a chance at bat. If Mikey is going to have any chance in this fight, he’s going to have to get Spence’s respect from the beginning of the fight like he did against Adrien Broner, Robert Easter Jr., Sergey Lipinets and Elio Rojas. Mikey made those fighters respect his power by clipping them with some big shots early on. Those were all smaller fighters than Spence, so Mikey’s power had an effect on them. His power might not sway Spence too much, and if that’s the case, this fight is going to be a mismatch. Mikey isn’t going to be able to take Spence’s heavy shots for 12 rounds if he’s able to tee off on him the way he did against Carlos Ocamo, Lamont Peterson or Chris Algieri. Mikey’s punch resistance is no better than those fighters. He’s a good puncher in his weight class, but he’s not super human when it comes to his ability to take big shots.

“I’ll have tunnel vision on Saturday night and I can’t wait,” Spence said. “My motto is ‘Man Down’ and I’m here to again show everyone why I’m the best.”

That doesn’t sound too good if you’re a Mikey fan. The way Spence is talking, he doesn’t seem like he’s going to take a go slow approach to let Mikey gain some badly needed momentum right off the bat in this fight. If Spence were to box Mikey, then it would help get some confidence and try some different things in there with him to outsmarted him. Spence wants to make quick work of Mikey, because he sees him as a threat. He’s not going to take it slow with him like he did with his recent opponent Lamont Peterson. Although Peterson is probably at the same level as Mikey is in terms of punching power, Spence let him hang round Spence only fought hard in the fifth round in knocking Peterson down, and punishing him badly with big shots. Spence backed off in the sixth, and resumed toying with Peterson instead of trying to knock him out.

Although Spence probably could have knocked Peterson out in the sixth or even in the first, but he didn’t want to go all after he had him within an eyelash of being knocked out in the fifth. It looked to this writer like Spence felt sorry for Peterson, because he was so over-matched in the fight, and he’d looked defeated the entire run up to the fight. Peterson carried himself like a fighter that knew he was going to lose, so he never bothered to talk trash with pence the way other fighters would have if they were fighting him. Spence appeared to take it easy on Peterson, which ultimately it worse than it would been had he gotten it over with right away. With Mikey, Spence, is going to probably go after him from get get go to get him out of there to make a big splash with the boxing fans. Spence has to get Mikey out of there right away, because he’s not going to get any credit from the fans unless he destroyed Mikey early on, and I mean REALLY early on The fans aren’t going to understand Spence having to go 12 rounds with Mikey. They’re going to trash Spence if he can’t knockout Mikey in the first six rounds due to his size advantage in the fight.

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