Category Archives: Editorials

Is Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia Good for Boxing?

When will decides to confront reason, an interest for the outcome is automatically conceived… and just like that, imagination is captured—for it’s that interest seeking results, that will always be amused until the day it finally meets the “truth”…(pun intended).

I believe this formula is best exercised through the boxing metaphor, and I will utilize this formula as a vehicle to explain the reason why I believe Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia is not only good for boxing, but why this fight is so important to the integrity of the sport. It serves as a reminder to the current and future generations of the sport, of what it takes to be great.

Imagination, curiosity, interest and demand—in that order–is the formula that boxing has applied to entice its sophisticated audience through a reminder of our still very relevant primitive drives.

The different factors that go into the formula determine the level of interest in a fight and it’s caliber. When the odds are stacked against a fighter, like Vanes Martirosyan vs. Gennady Golovkin, the interest is scarce and limited due to an inference to the best explanation, an easy prediction that doesn’t require much thinking.

When the formula involves two seemingly equals, like Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, for example, the interest in the fight expands because the public prediction is split right down the middle, 50/50, and the demand for boxing increases reinforcing its relevance… a good thing for boxing.

But every once in a while, there are those rare factors that rarely meet, who ultimately go on to fill in the void of their generation and represent their current state of boxing. Factors that far exceed rationality, factors that successfully capture the imagination–factors like Errol Spence and Mickey Garcia.

These rare fighting events (or matchups), go on to be recognized as mega fights. Since the “Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, mega fights are what the boxing public demands, and this Saturday, boxing will once again welcome its audience to find yet another answer we have all been waiting for.

Mickey Garcia, moving up two weight divisions to fight Errol Spence, a feared and avoided champion in his own weight division, is definitely good for boxing because the bravery and confidence in fighters nowadays seem to be foreign an alien. Garcia’s will to be great is reminding the current fighters of the standard a champion needs to follow in order to secure and emphasize their legacy as an all-time great. An old reminder; “If there’s no risk, there’s no glory.”

My imagination was captured when I first heard of the fight. The risks at stake for Garcia are huge, but the risks he’s taking will be the ultimate reward in his career. To use a word being loosely thrown around, a victory over Spence will grant Garcia “immortality.”

Garcia is following the giant footsteps that have been laid by memorable champions, and the standard Garcia is exercising is an example of a man daring to be great, again. All my praise goes to Garcia, he meets the Tao teachings of Lao Tzu: “The best athlete wants his opponent at his best.” And to speak on Garcia’s will: “When opposing forces are engaged in conflict, the one who fights with sorrow will triumph.” This factor is the reason why this fight is so intriguing.

Spence has so much at stake also, and is the man with more to lose, although, in my opinion, Spence will dominate Garcia. I don’t see the fight pass six rounds because of how confident Spence is in his abilities and skills.

This can also be the reason why he may seem to be overlooking Garcia’s determination, so Spence has to be as methodical as Garcia, otherwise, to quote again from the Tao Te Ching: “There is no greater misfortune than underestimating your opponent. To underestimate your opponent is to forsake your three treasures.”

But in the end, two fighters willing to put their perfect records at stake will sure bring out the best of each other’s abilities come Saturday night.

Furthermore, something about Garcia caught my attention during Wednesday’s final press conference, something that made me reaffirm the foundation of my prediction. With my imagination already captured, I imagined the face-off taking place on the street or in a park. Two kids from the hood, champions of the street, rumor of their city, hours away from finally facing each other.

On the left side stands Errol Spence, looking down on Garcia’s gaze, confident in his preparation and determined by his belief of already being the best in the world, looks dead into Garcia’s eyes. Ready. On the left stands Garcia, brought there by his fighting fate. Uncertain whether to look ahead of him and engage in the stare-down, or steer his eyes away from Spence’s— he didn’t look too confident.

The point of no return has been left far behind and Garcia has no other option than to honor his fighters code with dignity and give his all. If he wins, that’s a plus, but for him, having faced an opponent like Spence, and surviving to tell the tale, is the real victory, the kind of victory he’s there for…the kind of victory that will always find him victorious.

Then, when both men turned around to face the cameras after their face-off, Spence looks at the audience, expressionless, ready, and solid like a rock. Garcia, on the other hand, seemed to have digested the reality of the situation he found himself in and the impact of the danger ahead of him became evident in his expression, full of doubt as he halfheartedly smiled at the cameras.

Seeing the face-off through the lens of my imagination, in the street setting, I concluded that Spence will be the clear winner based on face value.

Spence will more than likely dominate Garcia, especially if Garcia’s idea of successful determination lies on the hope of summoning hidden aggression that he believes will surmount through to a victory.

This clash of will vs. skill, sparks interest because the limits of the will are unknown…and the unknown reward that dwells in the abyss of the will, is monolithic and far more rewarding in the instances in which it prevails.

So all in all, this type of excitement is what keeps people returning to the sport, and it raises the bar for future competitors to perform in a similar setting if of course, they dare to be great.

Again, its bouts like these that go on to demonstrate boxings essence, and the more fights like these we get, the less likely will people trade boxing for MMA. With that being said, yes, Spence vs. Garcia is definitely good for boxing.

“The ageless rivalry of thought propels the kind of actions that force a man to bring about the best of their ability and reveal the true essence of their character and that of his opponents—and in the realm where such fights exist, both men step into the ring already as ‘winners.’”

The post Is Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia Good for Boxing? appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

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Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence Jr. | Fight Preview & Prediction

IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) defends his title against four-division world champion Mikey Garcia (presented by Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event this Saturday, March 16, 2019, at the world famous AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View fights begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Read on for a complete preview and prediction for Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia and let us know who you are picking.


MAIN STORYLINES

Jason Janik/FOX Sports

A fight featuring two fighters on the pound for pound list is rare but is exactly what is going down Saturday night March 14th.

Mikey Garcia is rated seventh and Errol Spence Jr. 10th on The Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list.

Mikey Garcia is moving up two divisions from the Lightweight division after a unanimous decision win in the IBF & WBC unification fight against Robert Easter Jr. in July.

Garcia wants to put his name in the history books by challenging the boogeyman of the Welterweight.

If Garcia were to upset Spence Jr., and become a five-time world champion, he would immediately move to the top of the boxing world alongside fellow Mexican fighter, Canelo Alvarez.

Spence Jr. wants to be the best in the division, and in the world that is no secret. He wants the challenge of facing Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, or Terence Crawford.

In the meantime of securing those unifying title fights,

Spence Jr. is accepting the challenge that Mikey Garcia poses in the ring. Garcia is another big-name opponent in Spence Jr’s way of becoming a boxing superstar and unifying the division.

These two fighters are known to be humble, not talk trash, and let their actions in the ring do the talking. However, the last scheduled press conference before the fight brought out the tension in both fighters.

Errol Spence Jr. said, “Keep that same energy, you been having, you want to act all humble here in front of me, but when you’re doing different interviews you want to talk trash, keep that same energy.”

He later exclaimed he was tired of the press conferences, interviews, and just wanted to get in the ring already.


STRENGTHS FOR EACH FIGHTER

Errol Spence Jr.

Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

Errol Spence Jr.’s strengths are his power, body attack, and jab.

Spence Jr is the divisions hardest puncher, he has the power to stop anyone.

His body punching is relentless and will start immediately to wear down his opponent.

Spence Jr. has an excellent jab and everything he throws it set up and works off of the jab.

Mikey Garcia

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Mikey Garcia’s strengths are his footwork, combination punching, and power.

Garcia isn’t the quickest fighter, but his footwork and angles are excellent. This helps set up his offense or quickly turns defense into offense.

Garcia’s power is telling, he has 30 KOs in 39 fights. He has dropped fighters in every division on his way up to 147. His combination punching is smart and helps him hurt his opponents frequently.


WEAKNESSES FOR EACH FIGHTER

Errol Spence Jr.

Sky Sports

Errol Spence Jr. doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. He has a solid defensive game, good footwork, power, and accuracy.

Spence is patient, not a reckless fighter, he will take his time and then pounce on his opponent.

There isn’t something that Garcia can obviously take advantage of, outside of Spence being a southpaw.

Mikey Garcia

Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing

Mikey Garcia’s defense and finishing are his weaknesses.

Garcia lacks the killer instincts to finish his fights, most notably his last three bouts. One at 135 pounds, and two at 140 pounds. He is a boxer-puncher but doesn’t throw a high-volume of punches, there will be spots of inactivity.

Garcia’s defense isn’t elite, and he is there to be hit, he has the tendency to exchange in fights.


THE WINNER AND WHY

Showtime Boxing/ Amanda Westcott

Errol Spence Jr comes away with the victory due to his power, body punching, and patience.

There is little Garcia will be able to do to hurt Spence, or get in his head to break his cool and calm demeanor. Garcia is underestimating Spence Jr.’s elite boxing skills.

Errol Spence Jr. will take his time as we’ve seen him do in past fights. He will work the body of Garcia, and slowly dismantle him until the KO or TKO is evident.

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Head-to-Head Discussion | Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia

It’s been way too long, but Round By Round Boxing‘s Head-to-Head Discussions are officially back!

It’d be remiss of us not to shout out the semi-retired (or maybe fully retired?) boxing scribe Lou Catalano, who alongside RBRBoxing‘s Editor-in-Chief Alex Burgos launched the head-to-head idea after they met writing for Bleacher Report.

The head-to-head series is pretty straight forward and is basically just a fun way to argue. Two writers break down a fight with two keys to victory for their given fighter of choice.

What better way to make a return than to take on the highly-anticipated fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia.

In Spence Jr.’s corner we have the aforementioned Burgos, while Staff Writer Hans Themistode throws it down for Garcia.

Before the two undefeated combatants actually step into the ring on Saturday night, RBRBoxing‘s Alex Burgos and Hans Themistode go head to head and break down two keys to victory for each fighter.

Read on for the keys to victory and let us know who you think will win this Welterweight clash.


Key No. 1 for Mikey Garcia
Don’t Be A Hero

Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia

Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

BY HANS THEMISTODE

I know we’ve all heard the reports and seen the videos of Mikey Garcia training at the SNAC facilities. From the outside looking in, it seems as though he has increased his muscle mass.

Garcia has never been a big guy by any stretch of the imagination, but for his contest against Errol Spence Jr. he knew he needed to change. In 39 professional fights, Garcia has taken out 30 of his opponents inside the distance. His power is more than respectable.

The Welterweight division and Errol Spence Jr. are a different beast entirely.

The need to build muscle mass is evident. Going up essentially two weight divisions and challenging the hardest hitter in said division is a tall order. It isn’t just that Spence Jr. has demoralizing power, but it’s also that he is huge for the division. Spence Jr. has the build of a Middleweight. Seeing him compete at that weight class one day would shock no one.

From all accounts, Garcia looks good. With his natural power and training that he has put forth in the SNAC facilities he should be able to get Spence Jr.’s respect, but please Mikey, don’t be a hero.

With his new found strength he could be looking for the knockout. That would be the wrong decision to make. Spence Jr. wants to turn this into a war. He understands that he has the size advantage and would welcome a fire fight.

What Garcia should do is stay on the outside and box. There are times where he should stand his ground, but those moments should be few and far between. Use the jab, create angles and box your way to a unanimous-decision victory.

 

Key No. 1 for Errol Spence Jr.
Don’t Get Cute

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

BY ALEX BURGOS

Errol Spence Jr. needs to be himself. Seem like an obvious key to victory? Well, how many times have we seen fighters look completely different when they’re in against another top-flight fighter. Too many times.

The Truth, the guy that many people think is the best Welterweight and will annihilate Mikey Garcia, is the one who needs to show up on Saturday night.

That version of Spence Jr. won’t be gun shy early on. He won’t stand in the pocket and simply feint or reset. He won’t be pushed back or be made to fight a fight that doesn’t benefit him. Those are all things that could happen, and if they do then Garcia will be in a great position to box 12 rounds and win a decision.

Spence Jr. must show the same confidence and style that he has against the likes of Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson and most recently Carlos Ocampo.

The point here is don’t get cute and try to become someone else. Be Errol Spence Jr. Be The Truth. There’s more than enough in that guys arsenal to defeat Mikey Garcia.

 

Key No. 2 for Mikey Garcia
Be Explosive And Accurate

Marilyn Paulino

BY HANS THEMISTODE

Mikey Garcia normally wins his fights with power and accuracy. He’s never been the fastest fighter, but in this matchup he holds the edge in that department as well over Errol Spence Jr.

Garcia needs to be first. Show Spence Jr. that there is a difference in hand speed. If he sits back and allows Spence Jr. to take the lead it’ll be a short night. Garcia also needs to be accurate with his shots, which shouldn’t be a problem. The four-division champion is extremely precise with his punches. Spence Jr. might try to outwork his smaller opponent, but that game plan will fall apart if Garcia is landing the cleaner and more effective blows.

Speed and accuracy shouldn’t be a problem for Garcia, but being his normal explosive self might be. Garcia has never campaigned in the 147-pound division. Sure he did win a title in the 140-pound division, but he only fought there one time in his career. His power needs to translate in his new division if he wants to compete with Spence Jr. No one expects him to be the stronger fighter, but he must gain Spence Jr.’s respect quickly or else he will be hunted down all night long.

The game plan seems simple but executing it is another thing. If Garcia can successfully land the cleaner shots, showcase his speed and prove that he still has plenty of pop in his fists then that will lead to an upset victory in the favor of Garcia.

 

Key No. 2 for Errol Spence Jr.
Work the Body

Marilyn Paulino

BY ALEX BURGOS

Errol Spence Jr. is a murderous body puncher. It’s the reason many folks–including myself–think Spence Jr. would fold Keith Thurman.

Mikey Garcia’s brother and trainer, Robert Garcia, famously said (before the Robert Easter fight) that Mikey doesn’t do sit-ups, and by the looks of his physique, no one has any reason to doubt that. For this fight though, Garcia teamed up with Victor Conte and the SNAC squad. Whether that adds to his punching power, ability to take a punch and stamina remains to be seen.

Regardless of if SNAC’s Kool-Aid gives Garcia any special powers, I’d make him prove that he can take it downstairs by working the body early and often.

The best way to welcome Garcia to the Welterweight division is by making him feel the pressure and tapping him to the body with straight lefts and hooks. Spence Jr. uses the straight to the body not only to measure his opponents but to hurt them. Once Spence Jr. gets on the inside, a place Mikey Garcia definitely doesn’t want to be, Spence Jr. should explode with hooks and look to break Garcia down.

As Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson, Carlos Ocampo and countless others eventually realized, Spence Jr. is not a fad or a gimmick–he’s The Truth.

 

Who do you agree with? Who will win Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia on Saturday, March 16, 2019? Drop a comment with your keys to victory.

The post Head-to-Head Discussion | Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: 3 Keys to Victory for The Truth

Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) takes on Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) Saturday night, March 16 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia have a lot to lose in this upcoming bout, but with a victory even more to gain. Both fighters are undefeated and looking to cement their legacy as one of the best fighters in boxing history.

Although all things look to be in Spence Jr.’s favor with Garcia moving up two weight classes and the fight taking place in Spence Jr.’s backyard—Garcia’s pure talent and power should not be slept on. This is one of the most anticipated bouts in recent years with two of the best in the business.

Saturday night, we are all in for a treat. This fight could go a number of different ways with a countless amount of outcomes. Though Spence Jr. is the obvious betting favorite going into this bout Garcia has been underestimated before and come out on top.

For Spence Jr. to continue his reign as IBF Welterweight champion of the world he must dial in on the following three keys to victory.


Be Physical

Janer Bigio

Errol Spence Jr. is the bigger man coming into this fight and he needs to make that very apparent to Mikey Garcia.

When the fight gets in close, Spence Jr. needs to push him around and show him that his power is going to be a difference maker.

In the clinch, Spence Jr. needs to push him off and keep coming forward. If Spence Jr. is able to keep Garcia on his back foot this fight will not go the distance.


User You Jab

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Errol Spence Jr. is coming into this fight with height and reach advantages. For Spence Jr. to come out victorious Saturday night he needs to stick and move behind his jab.

If Spence Jr. is busy with his jab it will allow him to move in when he wants to move in seamlessly.

The jab will also allow Spence Jr. to keep the distance when he is trying to mitigate Mikey Garcia’s attack.


Attack the Body

Mikey Garcia walks around in the mid-to-high 150s, so making weight will not be difficult for him. Garcia is doubtfully going to be super shredded which is a huge advantage for Errol Spence Jr. in this fight.

If Spence Jr. is able to use his left hook and speedy combinations to the body it will take Garcia’s legs away. Garcia is the faster and smaller opponent so attacking the body will slow him down and eventually break him.


Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing

It is few and far between that we get to see a fight like this—these are two undefeated fighters at their prime. Like I said before there are so many ways this fight could play out.

You will not want to miss Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia. Saturday night, March 16 we will witness two of the best putting it all on the line. Both men are prepared and ready to make a statement.

Will Spence Jr. remain the IBF Welterweight Champion or will Garcia shock the world and dethrone him?

You can purchase this PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View via your cable provider or purchase and stream it live on FoxSports.com.

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Mikey Garcia Fighting For Legacy Against Errol Spence Jr.

At 31 years old, Mikey Garcia has accomplished more than most do in the sport of boxing.

Born in Oxnard, California in 1987 to Mexican immigrant parents, Garcia has risen through the ranks and has become widely regarded by many as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport–and for good reason.

Garcia, the brother of former titleholder Robert Garcia, began his amateur boxing career at the age of 14 and quickly found success. In 2003, for example, he won a silver medal at the National Junior Olympic Championships, competing at 125 pounds.

Then in 2004, he won a gold medal at the National Junior Golden Gloves Championships and a silver medal at the National Police Athletic League Championships, competing at 132 pounds at both events.

Moving on, Garcia then won a bronze medal at the National Golden Glove Championships in 2005 and a gold medal at the National Police Athletic League Championships that same year. He once again fought at 132 pounds in both of those events.

Following his successful amateur career, Garcia, who now trains under the tutelage of his father, Eduardo, and his brother, Robert, decided to turn pro in 2006 and sign with Bob Arum’s Top Rank. Since turning pro, Garcia has seen nothing but success inside of the ring, as he’s compiled an undefeated 39-0 professional record with 30 of those victories coming by way of T/KO. He’s also won titles in four divisions to date.

Despite his instant success, it actually took Garcia quite a while to get his hands on a title. After amassing a 20-0 professional record that included 17 victories by way of stoppage, however, he earned the chance to compete against Thomas Villa in April 2010 for the vacant IBF USBA Featherweight title.

The fight ultimately proved to be of little challenge to Garcia, as he walked through Villa, finishing the fight in the opening round and becoming a titleholder for the first time.

Between 2010-13, the Mexican-American Garcia continued to hone his craft and improve his in-ring resume, winning and defending various versions of Featherweight Titles and improving his record to an ultra-impressive 30-0.

He then finally received his first crack at a recognized world title while also receiving quite a step up in competition, as he was booked against Orlando Salido in January 2013It didn’t look like it was a step up in competition though, as Garcia dropped Salido four times early on before securing a decision victory and becoming a world champion for the first time.

It was at that point that he moved up in weight in pursuit of more gold, a theme that has since become common in relation to his career.

Taking on then WBO Junior Lightweight champion Roman Martinez in November 2013, Garcia found himself in a bit of trouble after being dropped in the second round. However, he remained composed, bit down on his mouthpiece and showed the heart of a warrior and the grit of a champion. He ended up taking control of the fight and finishing it in the eighth round to become a two-weight world champion.

Following the victory of his second title in as many divisions, Garcia took on Juan Carlos Burgos in January 2015 in New York City. Once again, Garcia got off to a slow start, but he remained composed and successfully defended his Junior Lightweight title for the first time.

With a perfect 34-0 professional record and titles in two weight classes, Garcia appeared to be on his way towards insurmountable heights. Then, however, came a major setback, as issues with Top Rank ultimately kept him out of the ring for the next two-and-a-half years.

Losing a somewhat significant chunk of the prime of his career certainly wasn’t ideal, but Garcia picked up right where he left off upon his return to the ring in July 2016, scoring a fifth-round TKO victory over Elio Rojas in Brooklyn, New York.

Following that victory, Garcia decided to continue his trek through various weight classes on his quest for greatness and once again, it paid off. With the WBC Lightweight title on the line, Garcia took on Dejan Zlatičanin in January 2017. As he had so many times up until that point, he made easy work of his opponent, scoring a third-round knockout victory and cementing himself as a three-division world champion.

But, three weight classes conquered just wasn’t enough for Garcia, who’s hunger for greatness is never-ending. So, after outpointing Adrien Broner in July 2017, the 31-year-old fighter challenged Sergey Lipinets for the IBF Junior Welterweight title in March 2018.

When the fight finally took place, Garcia took care of business, as usual, dropping Lipinets in the seventh round and winning via a comfortable margin on all three judges scorecards. The Mexican American from a gang-ridden town in Southern, California was now a four-division champion.

As one can imagine, however, that accomplishment wasn’t enough for Garcia either. It is, however, widely respected by the boxing community, which is why it would be completely acceptable for Garcia to remain at 140 pounds or even drop back down to 135 pounds, the weight class he seems to be most suited for, as he did in his last bout.

But as has been seen throughout his illustrious career, Garcia feeds off the next challenge and the next challenge must be bigger than the previous for him. In his mind, he’s already won titles in the four aforementioned weight classes. He needs something more, something bigger.

With that being said, it’s no surprise that he’ll be giving up four inches in both height and reach and moving up two weight classes to challenge IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in the main event of a PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View event this Saturday, March 16 in Arlington, Texas.

Given his skill and the size advantage Spence will hold, this seems like a daunting task for Garcia, which is why his family and his team urged him not to take the fight. But for Garcia, taking the fight was a no-brainer and it wasn’t because of the large magnitude of the fight or because of the money it would reward him with.

No, it was because he wants nothing more than to be great. And as many have before him, Garcia is willing to jump around from weight class to weight class and dare to be great, even when the odds are stacked against him.

And that’s because of legacy, and more specifically, the importance of legacy to Garcia.

“It’s funny because a lot of times with other careers, other fighters, they start off looking for legacy, looking for titles and at the end of the career, it changes,” Garcia told ESPN. “It becomes more of a financial reason, it’s a business. They look for the biggest, most lucrative fight, so they can make the biggest amount of money and take the biggest purse home, not necessarily for the titles.”

Garcia mentioned that he has the money, and to be fair, he has the accomplishments as well. 

“They don’t really care about the titles–they vacate that title at the moment to fight the guy that’s going to make them the most money,” continued Garcia. “But for me, it was kind of reversed. I did it early for the money and fine, I got a title–it’s not that important, it wasn’t that special. Now, it’s different. I’ve already had the money–yes, there’s a lot more that I can make–but that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it to cement my name and add to my legacy and keep the Garcia name living for years to come.”

If he were to retire right now, he’d be remembered as a remarkable fighter, one of the best of his time, and quite possibly a Hall of Famer.

This fight, however, is about more than that. Garcia wants to separate himself from the many other remarkable fighters who have entered the squared circle. He wants to leave a lasting legacy and a lasting impact on the game.

In order to do that, Garcia will indeed have to overcome a tall, tall task in Spence. But, if he’s successful, he’ll be revered forever.

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Unfinished Business: The Return of Gennady Golovkin

This past week boxing fans were treated to a three-city press tour for the upcoming bout between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) and Daniel Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs). Both men hold a majority of the Middleweight titles with Jacobs holding the IBF title and Alvarez holding the WBA and WBC Middleweight titles including the claim to the lineal title in the weight class.

The match will be one of the most significant in all of 2019 highlighting the division as one of the best in the sport. Waiting in the background is the seemingly forgotten shadow of the former king of the division, Gennady “GGGGolovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs).

The Kazakhstani puncher has been quiet since losing a highly disputed majority decision to Alvarez in a fight that garnered many publications fight of the year for 2018. Golovkin seemed to take the defeat in good stride; however, fans are now wondering when they will see him step back into the squared circle.

With HBO now out of the boxing business, companies like Premier Boxing Champions, ESPN and DAZN are all vying for the former Middleweight champion’s services. According to Ring Magazine, DAZN has won the bidding war by offering Golovkin equity in the company and allowing him to secure dates for his upstart promotion, GGG Promotions.

It makes sense for Golovkin who will be turning 37 this upcoming April to start thinking about his career when he decides to hang up the gloves for good. Awaiting him will be a multitude of opponents, and at Middleweight, the vast majority of the top fighters are all younger.

The winner of the Alvarez-Jacobs match would be a logical opponent for Golovkin to return against, however, with their bout-taking place in May, a rematch with either fighter would take place in September or later. This would leave Golovkin out of the ring for a year or longer.

The days of Golovkin fighting three-to-four times a year as he did in 2013, 2014 and 2015 are likely long gone. The good news for the Kazakhstani is that there are plenty of opponents at Middleweight that will allow him the chance to grab back some of the luster lost from his bouts with Alvarez.

A match between Golovkin and current interim WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo (28-0, 21 KOs) may not ever happen with the promotional divisions in boxing being as prevalent as ever.

Before losing to Alvarez, Golovkin held the WBA Middleweight title for almost eight years spanning from October 2010 to September 2018 including 19 defenses of the title. As is the case in most of boxing’s weight classes the WBA offers more than one title in the division.

Alvarez currently holds the ‘Super’ version of the title and Top Rank promoted Rob Brant (25-1, 17 KOs) holds the ‘Regular’ version of the title he won from Japanese star Ryota Murata in October of last year. Top Rank has shown in the past to be willing to work with other networks and promoters giving Golovkin and his team the option of regaining a title he once held for so many years.

WBO Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (27-0, 17 KOs) is currently promoted by Matchroom Boxing and has been featured numerous times on the DAZN platform. The southpaw from Rhode Island could prove to be a high-risk fight and a notch below of a reward financially from rematching Alvarez or Jacobs.

However, a victory over an undefeated fighter and winning a Middleweight championship could go a long way in showing any doubters that Golovkin is still an elite pugilist.

Although a majority of fans and pundits felt that Golovkin did enough to earn a decision over Alvarez in both of their encounters, there is a growing sense that the former Middleweight champion is no longer the fighter he was just a few years ago. Should Golovkin and his team feel that Andrade may be too difficult an opponent to return against, there are solid contenders available for him.

There is a small storyline with Golovkin’s former IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-1, 10 KOs). The Ukrainian amateur standout is scheduled to face Germany’s Jack Culcay (25-3, 13 KOs) in April and the winner would be a suitable opponent for Golovkin’s return.

In May of last year, there was some controversy surrounding Derevyanchenko and Golovkin as the Kazakhstani elected to drop his IBF title and face Vanes Martirosyan instead of facing the Ukrainian. Both men are known for their amateur accomplishments providing a rivalry that could lead to an entertaining match.

For a fighter that entered the boxing world’s consciousness just seven years ago in 2012, Golovkin and his team have surpassed many expectations. He has sold out Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions and proven to be a draw on both the east coast and west coast.

With a record of 19-1-1 with 18 knockouts in world title fights and going 5-1-1 with four knockouts against former and current world champions, Golovkin is still a commodity in the sport.

The return of GGG will be anticipated no matter whom he ends up facing next. A short break from the sport may have been needed after all the festivities and media obligations required from two huge pay-per-view events.

For Golovkin, there is still some unfinished business to take care of at Middleweight. With his two biggest rivals on a collision course, it won’t be long until he emerges from the sidelines.

The post Unfinished Business: The Return of Gennady Golovkin appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

What’s Next for Erickson Lubin?

Ever since Jr. Middleweight Erickson Lubin (20-1, 15 KOs) lost to then WBC champion Jermell Charlo by first-round knockout in 2017 he essentially disappeared. He fought only time in 2018, easily dispatching of Silverio Ortiz via fourth-round stoppage.

That match did little to prove anything.

Lubin was once highly regarded in the boxing world and many wanted to see how he would perform against a credible opponent. Would he rise to the occasion and prove that his loss is behind him or would he falter underneath the pressure once again? On Saturday, February 9, 2019 at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson, California we got our answer.

Lubin knocked out former champion Ishe Smith (29-11, 12 KOs) in the third round. It was a major statement by Lubin. Smith had been in the ring with some of the biggest names in boxing and although he often times fell short, he always made a good account of himself and was never stopped.

Lubin walked right through him. Lubin might be officially back as a major player in the division, but there is only one way to find out.

Let’s take a look at who Erickson Lubin should be matched up with next.


Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia (29-0, 13 KOs) might not be the most well-known fighter, but one thing is for sure–he can fight. Garcia is fresh off a win against former undefeated Ted Cheeseman, capturing the EBU European Jr. Middleweight championship.

It may not be the most prestigious title, but it does hold some value. Garcia is rated No. 2 by the WBC. He seems to be on his way to a title shot very soon. Lubin must be itching to get another shot at a world title himself. He still needs to secure a few more notable victories. Garcia could provide him with a stiff test.


Austin Trout

If you’re a champion or true contender then at some point you will find yourself in the ring with Austin Trout (31-5, 17 KOs).

What do Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd and both Jermell and Jermall Charlo have in common? They are all elite fighters and they have all beaten Trout. They are also either current or former world champions.

Trout may not be a true title contender anymore, but he is far from a gatekeeper. He has only lost to some of the very best in his division. If Lubin wants to prove that he is truly back to being a title contender, then a match with Trout is his best bet.

A match between Trout and Lubin would be both tactical and explosive. This is the contest Lubin should be aiming for next.

The post What’s Next for Erickson Lubin? appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

What’s Next for New Champion Andrew Cancio?

Andrew Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KOs) pulled off the biggest win in his career when he unseated Alberto Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) for his WBA Super Featherweight title this past Saturday, February 9, 2019.

It was an impressive performance by Cancio as he looked like he was in major trouble to start the contest. He picked himself off the deck in Round 1, only to deliver three knockdowns of his own to claim the stoppage win.

Now that he is officially a world champion the question is, what’s next?

Let’s discuss.


Alberto Machado

Now, former champion Alberto Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) was dominating the fight before Andrew Cancio completely blitzed him in the fourth round.

We’ve seen it time-and-time again where an overwhelming favorite overlooks his opponent. A rematch between the two is warranted to validate his win.

Cancio won the fight fair and square, but would he win it again? There’s only one way to find out.


Masayuki Ito

WBO Super Featherweight champion Masayuki Ito (25-1-1, 13 KOs) has quietly built himself a very impressive resume. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2015 and he has defeated stellar competition including the likes of Evgeny Chuprakov and Christopher Diaz.

Putting Andrew Cancio in with another champion so quickly after his win over Alberto Machado seems tough. Unfortunately for Cancio that’s the price he must pay now that he is a champion.

It’s a fight he can win, but he will have to go through hell in order to get the victory.

The post What’s Next for New Champion Andrew Cancio? appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

What’s Next For Former Champion Alberto Machado?

Well that certainly did not go according to plan.

Alberto Machado (21-1, 17 KOs) was expected to make a statement against Andrew Cancio (20-4-2, 15 KOs). There was not much expected out of Cancio and for good reason. Every time he stepped up his level of opposition he lost. The only opponent of note that he matched up against was Joseph Diaz Jr. Cancio was dominated and stopped in Round 9 of that contest.

Machado vs. Cancio started off according to script with Machado flooring his opponent in the first round and had him badly hurt. Everything went downhill after that. Cancio brought the fight to Machado and floored him three times en-route to a fourth-round stoppage victory.

It was a jaw-dropping result. Although Machado was dominated, all is not lost. He is, after all, only 28 years old. One bad night at the office shouldn’t spell the end for him. There are plenty of notable fights he can take and win. Let’s take a look at what he should do next.


Miguel Roman

Before Miguel Roman (60-13, 47 KOs) lost to WBC champion Miguel Berchelt, he was on a roll. Winning four matches all via stoppage. Even with his defeat to Berchelt, he gave the champion all he could handle. Both Alberto Machado and Roman want to throw their respective hats in to the mix for a title shot.

It makes sense for these two fighters to be matched up at this point.

Sure, it would be ideal for Machado to face a bit of a softer touch in his comeback fight, but if he wants to challenge for another world title as soon as possible then he needs to take on a fighter with the pedigree of Roman.


Rene Alvarado

After reeling off six-straight wins, Rene Alvarado (30-8, 20 KOs) needs a signature victory to put him over the top for a title shot. A win over former champ Alberto Machado can do just that for him.

That win won’t come easy as the champ has plenty to prove as he works his way back up the ladder.

A win over Alvarado won’t exactly place him in position for another title shot, but it will certainly put him in the hunt for it.


Gervonta Davis

After watching the performance of the “other” WBA titleholder, Gervonta Davis (21-0, 20 KOs) against Hugo Ruiz, it would seem suicidal to match up Alberto Machado with him for his first fight back.

It’s not as crazy as it seems. Davis is a hard hitter and possesses very underrated boxing skills, but Machado has a few advantages. Standing at 5’10”, Machado would have a huge height advantage over the 5’5″ Davis. Machado would also have a five-inch reach advantage as well.

If Machado can avoid one of Davis’ bombs, which is much easier said than done, then he would stand a chance at causing a major upset him.

The post What’s Next For Former Champion Alberto Machado? appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Teofimo Lopez’s The Takeover: The Break’s Over (For The Best At 135 Pounds)

Undefeated Lightweight Teofimo Lopez went third person and basically told his detractors, “It’s only entertainment!” 

Teofimo Lopez was absolutely right. Boxing, while violent and potentially life-threatening, is maddeningly entertaining. Fight fans tune in for the competition, all of the aesthetics and even the carnage.

Saturday night this writer was fully in his entertainment bag as the momentum of the landing from Lopez’s backflip carried him over to within feet of the back of badly hurt Diego Magdaleno. Once there, the prodigious Lopez ad-libbed a shoveling motion, signifying any one of today’s brazen phrases to caption defeat of an opponent.

The 21-yr old’s showstopping knockout and the images and energy of that moment immediately brought the words of A$AP Ferg briefly to mind.

I’m on a new level, I’m on a new level…

Bought me a new shovel, put these n___ in the dirt

Briefly because the fight was being watched while sitting on a couch far removed from the action, and this writer also realizes that at that moment Magdaleno was possibly severely hurt – if not irreparably damaged. Also, at 43-years old, cornerstone principles like sportsmanship, humility, respect for your opponent are all long-learned lessons.

Teofimo Lopez, whether you hate him or you like him, you’re still going to watch him – Teofimo Lopez

However, in a brutal sport like boxing fighters have to suspend their civility, and concern for the well-being of their opponent, in order to earn a living in the occupation they’ve chosen. One would have to be built and trained a certain way to have even thrown the second left hook at the defenseless Magdaleno in the final seconds of the fight.

But what is crossing the line in boxing?

Tough to say, and one may only know when they see it.

CLICK THE LINK TO CHECK OUT THE BITE DOWN BOXING RECAP OF TOP RANK’S KOVALEV VS ALVAREZ 2 CARD THAT AIRED THIS PAST SATURDAY ON ESPN/ESPN+. 

Ironically, this writer had just watched a FightHype interview of Lopez a week earlier, where he provided a lucid series of comments regarding the shortcomings often associated with one of boxing’s most flamboyant fighters in Adrien Broner.

After watching the clip it further cemented the belief that the kid might be the goods.

Now, after the kid’s creativity inside the ring ran afoul of what’s normally acceptable for KO celebrations, there’s no need to rush to throw him out with the bathwater. Despite the fact he doubled down on the shoveling move during the post-fight interview with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna.

The move was crass, but Magdaleno invited the disrespect. Once the former two-time world title challenger realized Lopez was easily out-classing him, he elevated the level of machismo by trash-talking the youngster. Referee Gregorio Alvarez, in his most effective moment of the bout, could be heard when he admonished the fighters for the chatter, and instructed them both to knock it off and fight.

You know the rest of the story. But, once that switch is flipped, how does one shut it down within seconds when the adrenaline’s still flowing? Boxing rings don’t come with a tail-hook.

Professionals ought to figure this out. Boxing’s greatest champions learn this with time.

The sky’s the limit for Lopez, and a performance such as Saturday night’s win only expedites the pace of his takeover movement. The path to a Lightweight crown looks difficult at the moment with new IBF champion Richard Commey expected to fight WBA and WBO champion Vasiliy Lomachencko this spring.

Perhaps even more difficult is WBC champion Mikey Garcia’s relationships with Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions. Sorting all that out allots time for some folks to forget about Saturday night’s lapse in decorum (heard anything about Jermall Charlo spurning Julian Williams’ handshake after stopping Williams in 2016?), and for the takeover to reexamine everything at stake.

Boxing is absolutely thriving right now! Some fight fans may have more fights to watch than they have free time in which to watch them. At a moment fraught with an abundance of opportunity, why would a 21-year old with the total package want to risk ruining what could soon become a lucrative brand to go full-on heel? Because, the kid is definitely on a new level.

Brooklyn ambassador Jay-Z – the all-time great rapper/entrepreneur renowned for his successes with many a “Takeover” – once rapped about the benefits of letting the right person upgrade you, so maybe when Lopez’s takeover happens it can ultimately be “…high level not eye-level.”

Protect yourself at all times.

This article originally appeared at bitedownboxing.com

All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank 

All lyrics verified with genius.com

The post Teofimo Lopez’s The Takeover: The Break’s Over (For The Best At 135 Pounds) appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

After Another Spectacular Knockout, What’s Next for Teofimo Lopez?

Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) continued his streak of eye-catching knockouts this past Saturday night as he completely pummeled and ultimately stopped two-time title challenger Diego Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs).

Lopez may only have 12 fights in his pro career, but he feels like he is on the brink of a title shot. It’s not just that he’s winning these fights, but also how he’s winning them. Although everyone is impressed with him, some reservations are in order.

A title shot is in his future, but not his near future. Lopez has gradually stepped up his level of competition, but now it’s time to go to another level. Let’s take a look at who Lopez should be matched up with next.


Ricky Burns

Teofimo Lopez looks like a rising star. There have been boxers that have had the look of a future champion, only to fizzle out. Lopez seems to be legit, but a fight against Ricky Burns (43-7-1, 16 KOs) will allow us all to find out just how legit he truly is.

To this point Lopez has been matched up with fighters who have fallen short in their chase for a title. In Burns however, Lopez will be taking on a legit former world champion in three different weight divisions. Burns isn’t quite the fighter he once was, but he would represent the toughest challenge of Lopez’s young career by far.

Lopez has generated a lot of buzz for his spectacular knockouts and rightfully so. Burns has never been knocked out in his career and he has fought a ton of big punchers. A fight with Burns would be a massive step up for Lopez, but it will tell us just how good he really is.


Luke Campbell

Luke Campbell (19-2, 15 KOs) is sneaky good and a true title challenger in the Lightweight division. In his matchup against Jorge Linares in 2017 he lost a close split decision all while suffering an early knockdown in the bout.

Campbell is an excellent boxer and has more than respectable power. Outside of his professional accomplishments he is also a 2012 Olympic gold medalist as well.

Lopez would be at a height, reach and experience disadvantage against Campbell. If Lopez wants to continue to climb up the ranks then he will have to add a name the caliber of Campbell to his resume.


Jose Pedraza

A fight against Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) seems like it would be premature for a talented, but young fighter in Teofimo Lopez. However Lopez has said on many occasions that he wants a showdown with pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko.

If that is the fight he truly wants then a matchup with Pedraza should be on tap for him.

Pedraza is coming off a tough fight against Lomachenko. One which resulted in his defeat, but not without giving a very good account of himself. Pedraza is no push over, he is a real fighter who has the capabilities of winning another world title.

Is a fight with Pedraza a bit premature in the career of Lopez? Yes. Be that as it may, Lopez wants to be fast tracked to stardom. A matchup with Pedraza is the right one to make.

The post After Another Spectacular Knockout, What’s Next for Teofimo Lopez? appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.