Spence Jr. put on a one-sided massacre in Dallas as he predicted
By Jeff Zimmerman at ringside
Photos: Frank Micelotta/FOX Sports
In one of the most anticipated and intriguing fights in a long time, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) squared off at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night in front of 47,525 boisterous fans. It was also shown live on FOX on PBC Pay-Per-View, the first one for both fighters. If you entered the stadium Team Garcia or had your doubts about Spence Jr., you quickly realized why he is called The Truth.
Spence put on a textbook boxing clinic on the guy many believe is the most fundamentally sound fighter in the sport in Mikey Garcia. Spence Jr. also showed the nonbelievers leading up to the fight that it wasn’t going to be the size that stops the smaller Garcia, but his boxing skills and overall boxing IQ. There’s a reason why Leonard Ellerbe said this week that he gave Floyd Mayweather his best work in sparring and no one is smarter than Mayweather in the squared circle.
Spence Jr. also told everyone this week he wanted to put on a one sided massacre and that’s exactly what he did. The southpaw from DeSoto outside of Dallas was methodical over the first few rounds and continued throughout the fight as he landed his stinging, machine gun right jab to the head and body and followed up with a straight left or a massive hook to the head and body of Garcia. Spence Jr. snapped Garcia’s head back multiple times in those early rounds as Garcia was defensive most of the time and when he did open up like he did in the 3rd round, he was met by a fist to the face or to the stomach.
Spence Jr. continued to box the socks off Garcia through the middle rounds and clearly was pitching a shutout leading into the championship rounds. The 9th and 11th round were Spence Jr’s best from beginning to end as he walked down Garcia and threw everything he had at Garcia all over the ring. Garcia was just unable to do anything to stop it. In the 12th and final round, Spence Jr. was measuring Garcia with his right hand as he turned up the heat in the last minute trying to deliver the knockout for his hometown fans. Instead he settled for a convincing unanimous decision as the scores read 120-108 twice, 120-107.
Spence Jr. and Manny Pacquiao met in the center of the ring which could be the next mega fight at Jerry World as it has been rumored. Jerry Jones was front and center as well and has already hosted two Pacquiao fights and would love to continue big time boxing at his palace that seats 100,000 people.
Spence Jr. was more than happy to show Sugar Ray Leonard and other former legends that doubted his skills that he is indeed The Truth and is more than just a brawler in the ring.
“I can box, I can move my head if I want to. The game is to be smart, it’s the Sweet Science.”
“I give Mikey Garcia all the credit for taking the fight.”
Former WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) stopped J’Leon Love (24-3-1, 13 KOs) in two rounds. Benavidez got to work right away rocking Love with a left hook in the opening round and he continued to attack him. In round two, Benavidez backed Love up to the ropes and unloaded a vicious combination prompting referee Laurence Cole to step in to stop the fight at 1:14 of round two.
Unbeaten three-class champion Kosei Tanaka (13-0, 7 KOs) retained his WBO flyweight belt by unanimous decision in a slugfest against grudge rival and former WBA 108-pound titlist Ryoichi Taguchi (27-4-2, 12 KOs) on Saturday in Gifu City, Japan. Tanaka won by scores of 119-109, 117-111, 117-111.
It has been a long training camp for Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 20 KOs) and Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) as they met once again for their final press conference leading up to their mega matchup this Saturday night at AT&T Stadium that will be shown live on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View. The build-up for this fight that nobody saw coming just six months ago, now has everyone on pins and needles waiting for it to happen, in what many consider the fight of the year.
For the most part, both sides have shown the utmost respect for each other, which is to be expected from Spence Jr. and Garcia, two of the very best in boxing, yet very mild-mannered outside the ring. However, after what started as a typical final presser, heated up midway through as Spence Jr. referred to their faceoff and coverage in the promotion leading up to the fight.
He believes Garcia and his trainer, brother Robert Garcia has disrespected him and let it be known he didn’t appreciate it. Here’s how the exchange went down, which started off as simple trash talk.
Spence Jr.: At the end of the day, they called me out, so they obviously think they see something in me that they are going to win the fight. I like a fighter that is as confident as I am. Like I said at the other press conferences, I hope you keep that same energy that you have had outside the ring, inside the ring too.
Garcia: If I get to hurt my opponent, drop him and hurt him and possibly take him out, I’m definitely going to jump on him. If we get to stop the fight early, even better for me, I come home much sooner. Saturday night he is going to find out why I picked him, why I chose this fight. All my other opponents, they don’t see anything flashy, they don’t see anything special but when they get inside the ring they realize I am special in a different way.
Spence Jr.: I’m not your other opponents, stop talking about your other opponents like I am one of them.
Garcia: But you will be just another opponent on Saturday night.
Spence Jr: We’ll see.
Garcia: We will.
Spence Jr.: Keep that same energy that you have been having. You’re humble out here in front of me but when you’re doing different interviews with Elie and all that other stuff, you want to talk trash. Your dad and brother want to say other things, but when you get here you want to be humble and show respect like that. Keep that same energy when you’re in Cali at your gym that you have here.
Garcia: It’s the same attitude I have always had. I am confident in my skills and my abilities. I know what I can do. I know what I got to do on Saturday night.
Spence Jr. and Garcia are two guys at the top of their game and this back and forth banter was no exception. There was no shoving, chair throwing or even a bad word. In fact, each fighter remained seated and said what they had to say.
Both camps are extremely confident and rightfully so. Both Spence Jr. and Garcia also have two of the very best trainers guiding them in Roberto Garcia and Derrick James, devising a game plan to beat the other. And both believe their fighter will get the job done.
“Mikey Garcia is a great opponent, but he’s still just another opponent,” said James. We’re going to go in there and show him why we’re better. Errol is feeling great, so I am too.”
“Ring intelligence is definitely one of Mikey’s best attributes. But he’s never been in the ring with Errol. Errol has been in the ring sparring with Floyd Mayweather before and I don’t think Mikey has the same ring intelligence as him.”
Garcia, of course, thinks his brother has what it takes to give Spence Jr. his first loss.
“A lot of fighters have problems with southpaws like Spence, but Mikey has a lot of experience facing lefties and I’m confident that won’t be a factor.”
“Spence’s style is pretty basic, so it’s not too hard to find sparring partners to emulate him. Spence does everything right, just like Mikey. From a preparation standpoint, his style isn’t a big challenge.”
Both fighters and trainers have also downplayed the size advantage that Spence Jr. will possess come fight night and believe at the end of the night the better fighter will win.
Spence Jr. stated, “Size advantage won’t matter. Skill for skill, talent for talent, I am more dominate then him in every aspect. It doesn’t matter. They can say the size, but the size won’t matter. I will beat him in anything he wants to do. If he wants to box I’ll beat him in that, if he wants to fight I’ll beat him in that too.
“Whatever game plan they got going, it won’t work,” Spence Jr. added.
Garcia, of course, begged to differ.
“I have all the skills, all the tools to beat him. Like I said I am better than him in any other way. When it comes to timing, when it comes to speed, reflex, defense, no matter what you name it, I’m better.”
Part of what makes them great is their ability to stay focused on the task in front of them and turn up the heat when necessary.
“I don’t really have a switch,” Spence Jr. explained. “I am calm 24/7. I can talk to Mikey Garcia in the locker room and come out and try to knock his head off. My switch stays on, stays on go. I am ready, and I am always prepared.”
“There is no switch for me. I was ready to go 8 weeks ago. I am ready for fight night. I am pumped up. I am really tired of doing these press conferences and seeing him. I am ready for fight night to put on a show and another great performance.”
Garcia responded, “I’m naturally always pretty calm as well but I know what I got to do on fight night. I know all the work I put in and for all the weeks in camp. I didn’t put in all that work and effort for nothing.”
“Saturday night is when I have to execute. I always said I am very calm and collective, but when we get inside that ring, something does change. I would say once I get inside that ring is when that switch turns on. I have to be calm, I have to be confident, that is just the way I am. I am ready to get it on now.”
Both guys are seeking legacy making victories with the hope of cementing their name as one of the best of today’s generation and in the conversation as an all time great.
“This win makes me pound for pound #1,” Spence Jr. said. “Mikey Garcia has a great record 39-0, 30 KOs and fanbase. This turns me into a star. Everybody wants to take the place of Floyd Mayweather and become the face of boxing. I feel like this takes me on the right track to become the face of boxing and become the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world.”
“He has all the looks and accolades to be a big star,” Garcia said. “He is a star. But I see a big challenge moving up in weight, challenging him in his prime. That’s what motivates me. That’s what excited me most about this fight and that’s why I chose him over other champions.”
“I don’t want to fight a guy who is just a former champion at welterweight or a guy who moved up in weight but wasn’t really at his best at welterweight. I want to go after the best and he’s the best right now. That’s why I chose him.”
Garcia continued, “I definitely do have to fight the best fight of my life. If I don’t then I can’t overcome the challenge. This is a huge challenge, a big fight. It’s not easy to do what I am doing, not many are daring to do what I am doing. And that’s why I chose this fight. I want to make history and in order to accomplish that I need to fight the fight of my life and you will see the best of me on Saturday night.”
Mikey Garcia explains why he is moving up two divisions to challenge IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence.
“When I took on this fight and I wanted to get this fight, I was not doing it for any reason other than to prove to everybody that I’m the best and that I can fight anybody and I’m not scared to fight anybody even in the welter division.
“I’m going to move into welterweight and just be considered one of the best. And if that puts me number one fighter in town then that’s extra another accolade. But there is no other fighter doing what I’m doing.
“There is no other fighter moving up in weight and back down and back up and keeping weight classes, fighting champions, undefeated champion. No other fighter is doing that.
“So I mean, when you talk about pound-for-pound well I’m actually proving it. I’m doing it in different divisions. So I mean that’s kind of why people will remember me for, that I was willing to fight anybody in any division.
“Whether you put me #1 pound-for-pound or not everybody has an opinion but there is no one else doing what I’m doing!”
WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) of Akron, Ohio and Cuban welterweight Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) talked to the media following their fight Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Porter edged Ugas in winning a split decision and successfully defending his WBC title.
Porter said that he’s ready to take on Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, or Manny Pacquiao. Ugas said he was robbed and wants a rematch.
“I have no complaints about this fight. I wasn’t frustrated at all. The game plan was executed and we stuck to it. We studied Ugas, we knew that moving our feet that he would be thinking. We kept on for 12 rounds and we felt comfortable. I felt comfortable before they announced the decision.”
“I think I allowed him to counter me. I picked up on it but I wasn’t capitalizing. I slipped in the last round. If you thought something was wrong with me, nope, I was alright. What we did tonight is is what we had to do vs. Ugas.”
“I don’t want a rematch with Ugas. I have to go to another level. I’m looking at Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, or Manny Pacquiao. I look forward to any of those three fights. I don’t think I need to convince anyone. Yordanis did a terrific job. I went out there and did what I had to do.”
“My goal from here on out is to win every fight till I retire.”
“I felt I won the fight. Big time. The judges made a mistake as did the referee for not counting that a knockdown in the final round. I felt I won the fight clearly. The judges messed up.”
“I pushed the pace. I backed him up and pushed him. I came to fight. When they announced the decision I was surprised and expecting my hand to be raised.”
“Porter is a strong fighter but I came here to fight. Shawn didn’t want any part of me. I attacked the whole fight. I won.”
“I want a rematch. I deserve it. I did enough to win. The WBC should order a rematch. Overall I’m proud of myself. Opportunities will come out of this!”
Undefeated four-division champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) of Riverside by way of Oxnard, California held a media workout in Riverside, California Tuesday as he prepares for his upcoming showdown against Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) of Dallas taking place March 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View.
“A lot of people underestimate the power when they face me,” said Garcia. “They don’t see my physical size as a threat. But they feel the power once we’re in the ring and definitely change their minds.
“I believe I’m a better fighter overall. When it comes to footwork, I think I have the better footwork. When it comes to speed, I think I have better speed. When it comes to defense, I have better defense. With timing, I have better timing. All of these things are what will help me win this fight.
“The only thing that he has going for him that’s apparent is the size, height, weight and reach…in a lot of ways, he resembles the way I fight. But I still feel that I’m better in every one of those ways and that’s what I’m betting on.”
“I have to be prepared to do whatever it takes. I want to show everyone that I’m a bad ass.”
Mikey’s trainer and older brother Robert Garcia added, “Mikey is looking good. He’s sparring bigger guys and Mikey has been able to hang in there. That’s been the difference this camp. This is a big challenge with a bigger and heavier guy but he won’t be the smarter. Mikey wanted the best challenge out there. He wants to be recognized as the best.”
IBF middleweight champion Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York is pumped up for his showdown as he takes on WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Jacobs squares off against Canelo on May 4th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas streamed live on DAZN.
“I’m feeling confident. My confidence is through the roof. This is not my first rodeo. I plan on having a great camp and give a good show May 4th,” Daniel Jacobs told Fightnews.com® Monday night as the champ wrapped up a three-city press conference tour in promoting his showdown with Canelo.
“It’s been a phenomenal experience. The love from the fans and I was surprised that I got the love, I received in Mexico City,” Jacobs on the press conference tour.
For this fight, Jacobs will hold camp in Brooklyn then resume and wrap up his camp in California as he prepares for Canelo under his trainer Andre Rozier.
“We’re going to spend the beginning of the camp in New York and then finish off in California,” Jacobs on his preparation. “What’s pushing me for this camp is being the best I can be,” Jacobs added.
Jacobs won a split decision over Sergey Derevyanchenko in his last fight as he picked up the vacant IBF middleweight title. The champ comes into this fight with a three-fight win streak since dropping a decision to Gennady Golovkin back in March of 2017. His last four opponents Sergei Derevyanchenko, Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias and Gennady Golovkin had a combined record of 92-0.
His opponent Canelo scored a third round stoppage over WBA World super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding this past December at New York’s Madison Square Garden, just across the river from Jacobs hometown of Brooklyn.
“He is a great guy, an extremely humble guy and I have nothing bad to say about him. He is a very talented guy that is consistent. Canelo is a real good counter puncher and those are the traces were looking for in this fight,” Jacobs said about Canelo. “Canelo hasn’t fought guys bigger than me, that can punch and move like I do. I think he has challenges come May 4th,” Jacobs added.
Coming into this fight, Jacobs has mentioned that he is not concerned with the judges but was defensive when asked by media about the judges. Jacobs dropped a decision to Gennady Golovkin back in 2017 when he came in as the B-side vs. Golovkin. In this fight Jacobs will also come in as the B-side as history has shown, it’s tough to win a decision in Vegas, if you’re the B-side.
“I hate the fact that we’re talking about the judges. It should be fair and the fight should be given to the best man in the ring,” Jacobs said about the judges. “We don’t know what style I will have but I’m gonna want to fight every round and win the round convincingly. I have to win decisively so that there is no controversy,” Jacobs added.
One thing that Jacobs and Canelo have in common is that they both fought close competitive fights against Golovkin. Canelo and Golovkin fought to a draw back in September of 2017 and in the rematch Canelo squeaked out a decision this past September.
“I learned a lot in that fight against Golovkin. I came up short but it was a true learning experience and I will carry that over for this fight,” Jacobs on his fight with Golovkin.
When asked about the two Canelo Golovkin fights, “I thought the first fight was a unanimous decision for Golovkin and the second fight was a split decision or draw for Golovkin.”
Jacobs will look to unify his IBF title against Canelo as Alvarez holds the WBC, WBA, and Ring Magazine title to determine the best middleweight in boxing.
“I truly in my heart. I really think I can beat Canelo. I’m coming with intentions to win, not just to be part of this event,”
Canelo Alvarez says he’s dead serious about setting up a rematch with Floyd Mayweather — and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, says Floyd has more than a BILLION reasons to make it happen. “If Floyd Mayweather decides to come back, a fight with him and Canelo could be a $1.5 billion fight,” Oscar tells TMZ Sports.
Of course, Canelo and Floyd initially fought in 2013 — with Floyd dominating the then-23-year-old rising star. Floyd got a $41 million guarantee for that fight, which was a record payday at the time. But, things have changed in a BIG way since then. Mayweather claims he made more than $300 MILLION per fight for his bouts with Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor.
Canelo’s value has also gone way up — he recently signed a $365 MILLION fight contract with DAZN after notching impressive wins over huge stars like Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Gennady Golovkin.
Oscar says he’s realistic about the chances of making the rematch happen — and even clowns Floyd taking easy fights against tomato can opponents like Tenshin Nasukawa.
But, Canelo says he’s out for revenge — and hopes he can convince Floyd to strap on the gloves for one final war.
“I would love to have the opportunity to avenge that defeat,” Canelo told us through a translator.
In the meantime, Canelo is gearing up for his May 4 fight against Daniel Jacobs to unify the middleweight belts.
Jacobs is 35-2 … and went the distance with Gennady Golovkin in 2017.
WBO minimumweight champion Vic Saludar (19-3, 10 KOs) retained his title by twelve round unanimous decision over Masataka Taniguchi (11-3, 7 KOs) on Tuesday night at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Saludar prevailed by scores of 118-110, 117-111, 117-111.
In a clash for the vacant WBC super middleweight title, former champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) won by ten round technical split decision over Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) on Saturday night at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a close fight. Dirrell suffered a cut over his left eye in round seven. The bout was halted in the tenth round due to the cut (which didn’t seem that bad). Scores were 96-94, 96-94 Dirrell, 98-92 Yildirim.
“I was upset with the stoppage because I wanted finish the fight like a champion,” said Dirrell. “It feels great getting my WBC belt back. We want to unify against Caleb Plant or any of the champions. I’m just going to go home, take some time, talk to my camp and then we’ll go from there. If the Benavidez fight comes calling then I’ll fight him.
“I thought I was winning this fight by more than what the judges had,” added Dirrell. “I was jabbing him and he was applying some pressure, but that’s just what he does. I won the fight though and that’s all that matters.”
Brandon Rios says his clash with Humberto Soto is the final hurdle between him and a fourth World title fight as they clash at the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutierrez in Tijuana, Mexico on Saturday February 23, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. Rios returned to action in stunning fashion in Kansas in November, stopping Ramon Alvarez in the ninth round of a pulsating contest live on DAZN.
‘Bam Bam’s’ return to the ring has been inspired by a promise made to his daughter to become a World champion once again, and a big all-Mexican clash with Soto is just the type of fight that will light a fire under him to produce a performance to land a huge fight next.
“It feels nice to fight back in Mexico,” said Rios. “Especially right now with everything that’s going on, all the politics. Not only that, but it’s good to give the Mexican fans a great show, they get see me live which is awesome.
“I’m fighting a guy that lives in Tijuana. He’s from Mexico, so I’m pretty sure the crowd’s going to be on his side, 100 per cent, but it feels good to be back out in front of Mexican fans. I’m ready to go and show the world that I’m ready to get back to the top again.
“I have some fans from LA going over the border to watch the fight, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to have more support. Anything can happen though, at the end of the day it’s not about who has what, it’s about me and him in the ring.
“The main decision for me to come back was when I was watching a fight on TV and I told my wife ‘Baby, that can still be me. I can still do that shit. I know I can still do that shit.’ I just had bad camp, bad habits. She told me ‘I’m going to let you do what you want to do, you’re a grown man. But if you come back, you’ve got to promise me you do it right.’ None of the half-assed shit, with the dieting, and all that. So, I thought about it for about a day or two, and I had the urge for it.
“I got my first fight and it was great, and the second one with Danny Garcia which wasn’t all that – shit happens in boxing. And then I got to meet Eddie Hearn who gave me a three-fight deal thanks to him.
“Nobody was really paying attention to me anymore, and Eddie gave me an opportunity, and I really appreciate that. I’m fighting my second fight with him, and I can’t wait to go again.
“My main target is to get a title shot. Not only the reason why, is because I promised my little girl. She does karate. I told her, if you become a black belt, you give me that title. When I become a champion again, I give you my belt.
“We made that promise, and I don’t want to break her heart, so that’s why I want to be a champion again before I retire. I keep my word. Every day, I kid you not, she says ‘Dad, remember you promised me?’ Every day. I come to the gym today, she’s asking me if I’m bringing back a title. That’s 100 per cent my drive.
“You know what, it could be soon. It could be my next fight, who knows with Eddie Hearn. For now I’m just concentrating on this guy. I’m ready for whatever falls next.
“Soto is a veteran, he’s 30 years old. he knows some tricks, he’s a former three-time World champion, so we’ve got to be ready for whatever he brings. That’s why I’m working so hard to correct the mistakes.
“Working with Matchroom Boxing and being on DAZN, they’ve giving me fights back-to-back which is great. I haven’t got that wasted time, rested time, they’re giving me fights right away. I’m grateful and happy to be a part of the team. I’m ready to get back to the top.
“It’s going to be a great fight. You’ve got a three-division former champion Soto comes to fight, very talented and very skillful, he’s a big counter puncher. Then you’ve got myself, Bam Bam, who comes to brawl and always gives the fans a good show, but what always makes a perfect fight is a counter and brawler. There’s always going to be punches thrown, always something going to happen.”
Rios and Humberto clash in an all-Mexican affair, in association with Zanfer and Paco Presents, on a huge night of action in Tijuana.
There’s a stacked undercard in support of the main event, led by the rematch between Jose ‘Gallito’ Quiniro (20-2-3 9KOs) and Joel Cordoba (7-4-2 1KO). The Mexicans shared a draw in a Christmas cracker in December and will return to the same venue as that clash to find a winner this time.
Alexis Espino makes his professional debut on the card, with the 19 year old Las Vegas native and decorated amateur itching to get life in the pro game underway on a proud night for his Mexican family. Diego Pacheco (1-0 1KOs) made his debut in this arena in December with a stoppage win, and the talented teen fights for the second time in the pros on Saturday.
A trio of unbeaten Mexicans complete the current line-up in the shape of 2016 Olympian Joselito Velasquez (7-0 6KOs), Omar ‘Pollo’ Aguilar (11-0 10KOs) and Sulem Urbina (8-0 1KO).
WBA middleweight champion Rob “Bravo” Brant (25-1, 17 KOs) retained his title with an eleventh round KO over previously unbeaten Khasan Baysangurov (17-1, 7 KOs) on Friday night at the Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley, Minnesota.
Brant was sharp, dropping Baysangurov with a right hand in round two. He got the stoppage win with a barrage of punches that drove Baysangurov to the deck again in the eleventh round. Time was 1:42.
When it was announced last year that WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) would be taking on IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) the whole boxing world was shocked. It was last November as FOX officially announced their early 2019 boxing schedule. Garcia and Spence stood face to face for the first time in New York as Mikey looked up and stared at the champ Spence. Garcia takes on Spence later next month on March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas live on FOX Pay Per View.
“I’m happy that I’m fighting a PPV, a fight of this magnitude, the atmosphere. This just shows what type of fight this is. I’m excited. This is the biggest fight this year,” Mikey Garcia told Fightnews.com®. “I want to prove everyone wrong.”
Mikey returns to the D.F.W. (Dallas/Fort Worth) area as he last fought there back in June of 2013, scoring a spectacular knockout over former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez as I was seated ringside covering my first fight in Texas.
“It feels good to be back fighting in Texas. Last time I was here in Texas the fans showed me a lot of love,” Garcia on returning to the Lone Star State.
Now he will be fighting at the home of Dallas Cowboys and Spence’s hometown. This is definitely the biggest stage for the 31 year old from Riverside by way Oxnard, California. Fighting in “Jerry’s World,” for the first time, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s stadium which has hosted many spectacular events including 3 major world title fights, 2 Manny Pacquiao fights and Canelo fight. Going into hostile territory, Garcia will be stepping into Spence’s turf as the Dallas native hails from nearby De Soto. It’s said that Texas has the best boxing fans, Garcia is confident he will have his mass wave of supporters on fight night.
“I believe there is going to be fans for both sides. I have fans everywhere. I have fought in Texas before and I have fans there too.” Mikey said on fighting in Spence’s hometown. “I know a lot of fans that will be there are big boxing fans. They will enjoy the night,”
Coming off a unanimous decision over Robert Easter Jr. in his last fight, Garcia dropped Easter and dominated setting up the fight with Spence. It was that night following his victory at the postfight press conference that Garcia hinted on the possibility of fighting Spence.
For Spence, this will be the third defense of his IBF title he won over Kell Brook in May of 2017. Spence has successfully defended his title twice as he stopped former champion Lamont Peterson and made quick work of Carlos Ocampo with a first round knockout in his homecoming at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, the Dallas Cowboys training facility.
“He reminds me a lot of me on how he fights. He is a technical fighter that does everything right,” Garcia said about Spence. “I see a lot of things I can take advantage of,” Garcia said. “He is a world champion and was at the Olympics. He has done a lot of good for his career.”
In preparation for Spence, Garcia has been training in Riverside, California with his brother respected trainer, former world champion Robert Garcia along with their father Eduardo Garcia. In this camp, Garcia has also been training strength and conditioning with Victor Conte’s SNAC program.
“The routines are different than in the past. Most recently I haven’t been doing strength conditioning but I have done work in the past. What I have noticed is the intensity every drill is high and explosive. So that is the difference,” Garcia stated.
Garcia will be making the leap from lightweight to welterweight moving up two weight divisions to take on Spence. This won’t be the first time Garcia fights above the 135 pound lightweight limit as he had two fights at 140 pounds fighting Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets at super lightweight.
“Everyone sees the obvious, his size, height, and weight, all that don’t matter. My power will be there. He will respect it, but not sure if it will hurt him. On fight night he will be 12-14 pounds over the limit but I feel power will be there,” Garcia explained. “We are both world champions and I don’t want to be picking easy fights. I could have picked contenders, that is what some champions do. That is not what I want. I want the best.”
Looking to become a five-division world champion with a win over Spence, Garcia could possibly add another accolade to his career. Having won his first world title back in 2013, Garcia defeated the always tough Mexican warrior Orlando Salido to win the WBO featherweight title. Later that year he won his second world title moving up to super featherweight to win the WBO title over Rocky Martinez. After being out of boxing for 2 years, Garcia returned and won his third, world title with a devastating knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin, picking up the WBC lightweight title. Last year he moved up to super lightweight and defeated IBF champion Sergey Lipinets to win his fourth world title in fourth weight class.
“I don’t consider my ring experience a big advantage. My boxing ability and confidence, I feel, I’m the better boxer.”
The question everyone wants to know. Why would Garcia decide to take on the much taller Spence? Mikey standing at 5’6 gives up a 3-inch height advantage to Spence standing at 5’9. Already opening up as the underdog, Garcia will be fighting at welterweight for the first time.
“Nobody believes in me. They think it’s a fight I can’t win. Once I do, I will prove everyone wrong. Make all the doubters believers.”
The World Boxing Association Championships Committee has ratified Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as the WBA’s middleweight and super middleweight champion. Canelo will be able to hold both WBA titles simultaneously in accordance with the organization’s rules, as it was also the case with Floyd Mayweather Jr. some years ago.
Canelo won the WBA super championship at middleweight last September when he defeated Gennady Golovkin, and he will defend the title in May against IBF champ Daniel Jacobs. He won the 168-pound WBA title last December when he defeated Rocky Fielding.