After months of call outs and then deliberations, it looks like it’s finally happening. March 16th of 2019 is the date, and we’ll be able to tune in to FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View to watch Mikey Garcia go to battle with Errol Spence Jr.
Top international online sportsbooks like Bookmaker have Errol Spence Jr. as a moderate -350 favorite over the much smaller Mikey Garcia. Can Garcia overcome their difference in size? He’ll be giving up three inches of reach and around 15 pounds to the hard-hitting Spence Jr. Win or lose for Garcia, we have to give him props for stepping up in weight to test his abilities against the best available opponent.
A Duel in Arlington
The Dallas area is just about the best place for this fight to happen, especially for Garcia. Both fighters have huge fan-bases in Dallas, but given the Mexican-American population in the area, Mikey Garcia will likely have the crowd on his side in Arlington.
Garcia can box, but jumping from 135 to 147 is a huge leap up in weight. And even Mayweather stated that this will be a challenge for Garcia because Errol Spence Jr. punches hard even against fighters of his own weight. It is interesting that Garcia didn’t ask for a rehydration clause in the contract to help even up the weight a little bit. We understand not wanting a catch-weight as Garcia wants to take that IBF welterweight title away from Errol Spence Jr. However, it may have been a mistake to not get at least the rehydration clause. As we stated above, 17 pounds is a lot; maybe too much.
"Floyd Mayweather did it all the time, fighting bigger guys," said Garcia. "He did it with skills. There's more to boxing than brute power." - Mikey Garcia
While this quote is true, Garcia doesn’t have the defensive abilities of Mayweather. Say what you want about Floyd, but no one equals his defense. If Garcia can snatch this welterweight belt, he’ll be in the elite ranks of fighters with titles across five weight class; Hearns, Pacquiao, Leonard, de la Hoya, and Mayweather.
Style & Matchup
So we have already discussed the fact that Spence Jr. is bigger than Garcia. But there is an extra point to stress here. Once Spence Jr. gets rehydrated, he’ll be around jr. middleweight in size again. Stylistically, if these two fighters were the same weight class, Garcia could easily take advantage of Spence Jr.’s tendency to leave himself open to counter-punching.
Errol is known for working the body of his opponents to wear them down. He likes to move forward and work the body relentlessly. If he were a smaller guy, Garcia would be able to use this against him. Unfortunately for Garcia, big body shots are going to slow him down much quicker than they would a larger welterweight. So he isn’t going to be able to absorb blows for long even if they are against a tucked elbow. That power is going to transfer right through to his inside. It may be worth the trade-off if his shots were going to land with a lot of power, but I’m sure if his hands won’t essentially just bounce off Errol Spence Jr. head. To put it bluntly, Garcia is going to land great punches … but will they do any damage to a guy who is used to having quite a bit more weight coming in behind the fist?
As exciting as it would be to see history made in an epic upset, we just don’t see it happening. We have a feeling that Mikey will start out by outboxing Errol, but Spence Jr. will just be able to wade through the lighter fighter’s punches to deal heavy damage that will take its toll over the course of the fight.