Locked and Loaded: Spence/Garcia

By Robert Ecksel on February 20, 2019
Locked and Loaded: Spence/Garcia
“Every time I see Mikey I get excited and anxious and want to go to the gym and spar.”

“I want to be recognized as one of the best of this generation. How can I achieve that if I don’t take these risks?”

On Saturday, March 16, in a fight televised live on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs), the hard hitting southpaw from Desoto, Texas, will defend his IBF welterweight title against Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), the undefeated four-division champion from Ventura, California.

The fighters went face-to-face in Arlington Tuesday at a presser in advance of the bout. It won’t be a replay of Stanley Ketchel vs. Jack Johnson or Mickey Walker vs. Max Schmeling, but Garcia is moving up in weight to challenge the champ, despite the disparity in size, as great fighters used to do in the past.

“I’m very excited for what’s coming in a few weeks,” Mikey said. “This is a fight that I really wanted and it’s definitely the biggest challenge of my career. To fight the best welterweight in the division is no easy task. Errol Spence Jr. is going to bring the best out of me.

“I’m sure Errol is getting ready for the biggest fight of his career just like I am. That’s what’s going to make this interesting. That’s the recipe for a tremendous fight. It’s not very common to see two of the pound-for-pound best, still undefeated and fighting each other in their prime.

“We’ve been implementing techniques that will help me improve my speed, explosiveness and reaction time, while also adding a little bit of mass. I think all of that is going to be beneficial to me on fight night. I feel very happy with the results.”

But there are risks in challenging a big man in his fighting prime.

“If I don’t take these risks, then I won’t be rewarded,” said Garcia. “I want to be recognized as one of the greatest and the best of this generation. How can I achieve that if I don’t take these risks? That’s why I’m taking the biggest fight available.”

Spence is an exceptional talent. He poses a challenge unlike any Garcia has faced.

“Every time I see Mikey I get excited and anxious and want to go to the gym and spar,” he said. “On Sunday, I sparred 18 rounds because of the whole press conference and face off on Saturday. Looking into Mikey’s eyes, I can see how hungry he is and that’s motivating me.

“Mikey is very difficult because of how me places his punches. He’s always thinking and he has a high ring IQ. But I’ve been clicking on all cylinders. I’m strong mentally and physically and prepared for anything he brings to the table. A win here can definitely catapult me and I’m ready to make it happen.

“I’m 100 percent prepared and focused on Mikey Garcia. I’m hungry and I’m already on weight. I can’t wait to put on another show. It’s going to be a legendary night.”

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  1. tetumbo 10:16am, 02/24/2019

    Spence isn’t talking like a favorite, which bodes well for him to produce the predictable outcome as the “good big man” in this contest. that mental state will go a long way towards neutralizing Mikey’s own mental edge of exceeding confidence and ignorance of losing along with superior skills and experience. nonetheless, Spence appears to be playing this like a maturing and potentially great fighter in his own right. IMO, this contest will be decided by mistakes. who makes them and who is able to consistently exploit them. i do think that Spence’s offensive potency is a but overrated. Brook was doing well and absorbed several flush shots that eventually exposed his previous injury v. Golovkin. otherwise, it was an even bout that revealed some conspicuous flaws in Erroll’s execution. what Mikey has never been able to count on (with the exception of Salido who was decked five times and experienced his own broken orbital bone) is a hard-charging and obliging target to tee-off on and THAT’s what i believe Mikey is counting on to defeat Spence, which neutralizes Spence’s own fight plan of “breaking down” his opponent. Spence will have to risk breaking/damaging some of his own offensive tools and weapons in the proces

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