PROS AND CONS: MIKEY GARCIA CHALLENGING ERROL SPENCE Jr.

September 19, 2019

Amy Green

(Editor’s note: After Mikey Garcia’s dominant victory over Robert Easter Saturday night, much was abuzz when Garcia called out that he would like to move up to Welterweight for his next fight and challenged boxing’s most avoided fighter Errol Spence Jr. In the last 20 years only Shane Mosley and Robert Guerrero have succeeded in skipping the Jr. Welterweight division and going from lightweight to welterweight to win the belt.
Mosley had 2 tune up fights at Welterweight against Wilfredo Rivera and Willy Wise before he faced then Welterweight Champion Oscar De La Hoya and Guerrero won the interim WBC title straight from lightweight over Selcuk Aydin. Here’s the pros and cons break down from Punchline’s Amy Green!)

Mikey Garcia unified the Lightweight titles in his unanimous victory over Robert Easter on Saturday. Garcia (39-0) put Easter (21-1) on the canvas in the third round, and thoroughly dominated him to tally winning scores of 116-111, 117-110, 118-109. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Garcia boldly announced his intention would be to face the feared Errol Spence in his next fight, moving up 12 pounds to welterweight. “ I don’t know if there is anyone else who’s a bigger challenge than Errol Spence,” Garcia said in his post fight remarks to Showtime’s Jim Gray. Ringside, Spence grinned, and it almost looked like he was licking his chops in anticipation of a match with Garcia. Social media feeds expressed a range of sentiments. Media, fans and boxing enthusiasts all applauded Garcia for his willingness to face the welterweight boogeyman Spence, but in the same instance, cringed at the idea. Garcia faces a huge risk/reward situation against Spence, and there are definite pros and cons to this fight.

PROS

Mikey Garcia is technically sound, with an amazing ring IQ. He is composed under pressure, a good counter puncher, never wastes his shots, and possesses power that keeps his opponents at bay or deposits them on the canvas. Pressure is another great tactic for Garcia and he employs it readily, grinding his opposition down and using his other skills in combination.

CONS

Errol Spence is just too big with more then welterweight strength, and certainly a deadlier puncher than Sergey Lipinets, who Garcia said he definitely felt his power, and that was at 140 pounds. Spence, 24-0, has an evil killer instinct and hones in on any small chink in his opponents armor to get a victory. He is also very technically sound, and applies the pressure relentlessly, stalking his foes, sending them in retreat, and in 21 cases, knocking them out. Eduardo and Robert Garcia are opposed to this fight, and with good reason. Jumping immediately into the welterweight fire against Spence without benefit of a couple of tuneups and not at least testing the opposition could be disastrous. Additionally, Garcia’s power may be at its limit at 140. Spence is considered scary bad, and too much for even seasoned welterweights such as Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter.

Other options exist for Garcia, at 135 pounds, such as a clash with Vasiliy Lomachenko or even at 147 there is the potential for a bout versus Terrence Crawford ( if the promotional Gods were able to get in sync). Either of these fights could be equally as exciting, dangerous, and bank worthy! However, the boxing public demands the best fight the best, and may not always heed reasonable thought. Garcia is no doubt looking to take that road, but he might find himself on a highway to hell with Errol Spence?


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