Put “Respek” on His Name

By Johnathan Lee Iverson on March 17, 2019
Put “Respek” on His Name
The Truth made the elite 4-division champion look mortal. (Frank Micelotta/FOX Sports)

The fighter known for snatching souls put together one of the most surprisingly sound boxing displays since Hopkins vs. Trinidad…

Narratives are the way of the world. Narratives construct the basis and set the tone for how we perceive the world we inhabit and those we call our neighbors. In every major sporting event there is a narrative, be it spoken or unspoken which creates the atmosphere of said event.

So it was with Errol Spence, Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia. To merely call Spence, Jr.’s performance dominant is too easy. To dismiss Garcia’s defeat as due to a size disparity would be lazy. Errol Spence, Jr. was simply better. If they met and fought at any other weight, at any other time in their careers, Errol Spence, Jr. would still be better. The numbers don’t lie, as the only size disparity that made any difference, was the final punch statistics. Errol Spence, Jr. landed 345 of 1,082 (32%) punches to 75 of 406 (18.5%) punches landed for Mikey Garcia. There’s a narrative in those numbers for which Spence, Jr. has been unapologetic about following the fight.

The truth about The Truth is that he went into this fight with a chip on his shoulder. Although he was the favorite, he perceived the predictions and breakdowns by talking heads as undervaluing his intelligence as a fighter and that all he was capable of doing versus Garcia was imposing his size and strength. He felt slighted that by contrast, Mikey Garcia was deemed, almost by default, the fighter with the higher IQ and well-rounded skill set. Add to that, the feeling of betrayal Spence, Jr. expressed at Hall of Fame legends Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, and George Foreman for choosing the Mexican-American champ over one their own. It was a rather interesting Sunday morning as I scrolled through my twitter newsfeed to read @ErrolSpenceJr making such thoughts known to the likes of @GeorgeForeman and even, @OscarDeLaHoya. His fans on the app appeared to be trolling @SugarRayLeonard as he seemed to be backtracking from his prediction.

From the beginning this matchup appeared to be a no-win scenario for Errol Spence, Jr. If he blew Garcia out, it would have merely confirmed the size and strength disparity. Had he lost to Mikey Garcia, particularly in dominant fashion, Spence, Jr. would be vanquished into obscurity with his aura of invincibility shattered. However, neither was the case, as it appeared Spence, Jr. had other plans. As those punch stat numbers made clear The Truth determined to draft a narrative that would leave no doubts about his supremacy as boxing’s very best. Before a crowd of nearly 50,000 attendees—proving himself a box office draw—the fighter known for snatching souls put together one of the most surprisingly sound boxing displays since Hopkins vs. Trinidad. He made the elite 4-division champion look mortal. This approach by Spence, Jr. was a calculated statement. It was the ultimate exclamation to his doubters and critics who previously lacked respect for his ring IQ and boxing acumen. It was also a frightening wake-up call for his fellow welterweights. If they didn’t know then, they most certainly know now that they are dealing with a complete fighter with a deep arsenal, who is capable of winning in any number of ways.

The real victory for Spence, Jr. is due to Garcia’s daring spirit to even consider such a fight. Nevertheless, with Garcia’s own star power and fan base and the intrigue this matchup produced, coupled with Errol Spence, Jr.’s masterful performance, The Truth is now in that much coveted driver’s seat as the man to beat. Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are just holding belts. The cat is out of the bag. All roads, in the welterweight division, now lead to Spence, Jr. And if an encounter with Manny Pacquiao does in fact materialize and he is victorious, his star power will know no bounds.

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  1. thrashem 08:04am, 03/18/2019

    Glad the fight didn’t take place in Vegas or Mexico City. Fight would have been Spence by a draw.
    Spence is the No.1 contender for unifying welterweight crown.
    Very interesting division. Spoiler alert “Pacman still lives!”

  2. Koolz 12:36pm, 03/17/2019


    Farmer vs Carroll.
    Farmer being pretty damn impressive here!

  3. Kid Blast 12:23pm, 03/17/2019

    I am having some not-so-delicious crow for lunch

  4. Koolz 12:07pm, 03/17/2019


    Taylor vs Volante damn is Katie a good boxer!

  5. Koolz 11:58am, 03/17/2019

    benavidez jr vs love

  6. Koolz 11:50am, 03/17/2019

    a boring fight with Spence not showing his power.  Garcia not being able to stop spence’s jabs.
    Crawford would eat them alive.  The Pacman would destroy them.

    P4P ...?
    Garcia actually looks ok at his size.  Now Let me show you fun Fight!

    Tanaka vs Taguchi.
    Who is Tanaka only the 1 at Light Weight in the World!

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