Post-Fight Analysis of Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia – The Result We All Predicted
By John Tsoi: One year ago, Errol Spence was knocked out by the unlikeliest of opponents – a horrific car accident. There were genuine concerns over the unified welterweight champion’s ability to return to the ring, and even if he can, he might not be the same fighter again.
After making a full recovery, Spence wanted no part of a tune-up fight and went straight ahead to accept the bout against a tough opponent in Danny Garcia. The arduous journey from the hospital bed back to the bright lights of boxing proves that Spence is truly the epitome of a fighter.
Almost everyone expected a unanimous 12-round decision victory for Spence. Many felt Garcia was a level below, but his grittiness would allow him to hang on for the full duration of the bout. It turned out to be what we all predicted.
Spence is the clear victor, but it was not a total domination as some might have suggested after the event. They were defensively responsible such that neither landed punches that cause significant damage. Technically, some key points can be discussed.
Spence started off as the aggressor, using his long jab thanks to his reach advantage and going to Garcia’s body. Garcia was tentative in the first three rounds, where he would only throw single punches in spurts to fend off Spence’s offense.
In round 4, Garcia took more initiative by attempting more punches, and the effect was blatant – Spence was not landing as much as he wanted since he had respect for Garcia’s power and had to take caution.
However, from round 6 onwards, Spence stepped harder on the gas pedal and beat Garcia to the punch. In exchanges, Spence always ended up throwing more punches than Garcia, which is crucial to swaying the judges’ scoring.
Round 8 was Spence’s best round in the whole fight as he pressured Garcia to the ropes and peppered him with power punches. His famed bodywork was on full display.
To my surprise, Spence somehow went missing in rounds 9 and 10. Garcia was pushing the action while Spence shied away from his opponent by moving and circling around the ring.
In Spence’s post-fight interview, he said that he “got a little tired,” and I think that refers to these two rounds where he let his foot off the gas. He recovered in round 11 and finished the fight by re-imposing his aggression and pressure on Garcia.
In the end, CompuBox revealed that Spence was dominant in jabs landed, but the power punches landed between the two were similar. This is why boxing beginners must learn to develop an effective jab since it can be a huge difference-maker in a fight like this.
From Spence’s perspective, if we were to nitpick, a small room for his improvement would be to use more of the double jab followed by an overhand left.
Garcia often employed a high guard against Spence’s attack, in which straight lefts by the southpaw could be difficult to go through. However, overhand left goes around the high guard and has a better chance of landing, plus it could knock the equilibrium off an opponent with the impact’s close proximity to the ear.
Even if it doesn’t land, Garcia would then have to worry about this punch and occasionally change his high guard stance to defend, allowing Spence to capitalize in new openings due to the switch in defensive stance.
The double jab beforehand varies the punch combination of a fighter instead of relying on predictable single jabs, which gives the opponent different looks that he needs to adjust to.
From Garcia’s perspective, his defeat was largely due to his boxing style. Many people, including his own father, implored him to let his hands go.
This is the same as others telling Adrien Broner to throw more punches, but he just couldn’t do it. One cannot simply change his fighting style in the middle of a fight; instead, it has to begin in the training camp, from mitt work to sparring, or even to several tune-up fights before successfully transitioning from one style to another.
As seen in this bout, Garcia does not step forward when jabbing, highlighting his intention to counterpunch, but adding that to his lack of combination punching results in a recipe for disaster against a pressure fighter with a good jab like Spence.
Juan Manuel Marquez was a magnificent counter puncher with great combinations, and this made his opponents think twice before going aggressive at him. On the contrary, Garcia’s counter-punching relies on delivering a few punches with power, and Spence’s solid defensive fundamentals negated that.
At this point in his career, it would be tough for Garcia to overhaul his boxing style, so dropping back down to 140 lbs weight class might be the best option for him.
Based on the post-fight dialogues, Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford still seems a distant dream for fight fans. However, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Crawford face Shawn Porter before the ultimate showdown against Spence.
Crawford’s in-ring ability is universally recognized, but his welterweight resume needs reinforcement. A fight against Porter will show us how he handles a top-tier welterweight’s relentless pressure; something Spence will certainly bring to the table.
The performance of Crawford against Porter will be the litmus test as to who the boxing world considers the favorite between a Spence-Crawford mega-fight, which hopefully materializes in 2021.
- Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford near completion for Nov.12th or Nov.19th
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- Thurman believes he’s the back-up option for Spence vs. Crawford
- Terence Crawford doesn’t sound confident Errol Spence fight will get made