Spence and Garcia—Pound-for-Pound, Texas and California

By Marc Livitz on March 15, 2019
Spence and Garcia—Pound-for-Pound, Texas and California
Garcia seemed to have the bigger as well as more raucous share of fans. (Marc Livitz)

Much of the chatter on the media shuttle from the fight hotel to and from AT&T Stadium was about how Garcia virtually has no chance on Saturday night…

DALLAS, Texas—On Friday afternoon at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, thousands of fans attended the weigh-in proceedings for Saturday’s IBF welterweight championship showdown between Errol Spence, Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Spence (24-0, 21 KO’s) is not only a local product from nearby DeSoto, but a former Olympian as well. Of course, WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KO’s) is taking the greatest risk of his career by challenging someone who is two weight divisions higher than him.

Much of the chatter on the media shuttle from the fight hotel to and from AT&T Stadium was about how Garcia virtually has no chance on Saturday night. Although not a consensus, many are of the opinion that no matter how great the smaller guy is, the larger guy will take the prize, provided he’s just as talented. Such may be the case with Errol Spence. Many are saying that it’s not a case of whether we like the amiable Garcia or not. It’s just that Mikey is taking too big a step off the building’s ledge.

Spence has to his credit an extensive amateur career which led up to his appearance at the 2012 Olympics in London. The Texas fighter had no second thoughts about traveling across the pond, so to speak, if it meant he’d get a chance at a world title. In May of 2017, “The Truth” bested Kell Brook in the United Kingdom city of Sheffield for the IBF strap.

At AT&T Stadium on Friday afternoon, although no complete surprise to those who follow the sport of boxing, it was Mikey Garcia who seemed to have the bigger as well as more raucous share of fans. The Oxnard, California native has fought as a professional for well over a decade and has had some very memorable nights of his own. Depending on who is asked about Spence and Garcia, the two men are rightfully a part of boxing’s mythical pound-for-pound list. With all due respect to the current greats of the ring, it’s quite an event when two fighters are in the same weight class, give or take, and the rights cards fall to allow them to compete. That is to say to compete with each other.

Interestingly enough, the banners and posters which at this time cover much of the first two floors of the Renaissance Hotel (official fight hotel) not only have the customary face shots of both contestants, but an interesting tagline across the top as well. “WHO WILL BE #1 POUND-FOR-POUND?” It beckons memories of when Oscar De La Hoya met Pernell Whitaker almost 22 years ago. It’s header boasted, “The paths of two great champions finally cross to decide who is the best….pound-for-pound.” Had Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao actually fought at the zenith of the bout’s significance rather than its price tag, then who knows how differently matters may have gone?

Is it fair or perhaps close to fair to consider the victor of tomorrow night’s contest as the best fighter in the world? Would such chaps as “Canelo,” “GGG,” “Hi-Tech” or “Bud” have a say in the matter? To be honest, there’s no shock why Mikey Garcia of California had a larger share of fans at AT&T Stadium today than Errol Spence. Although Spence is the champion as well as the hometown fighter, boxing has nowhere near the following in the United States as it does in Mexico, which is where Mikey’s roots lie. While billions are pumped into the marketing of football, basketball, basketball, hockey and other sports in America, Mexico’s basically all about its futbol and boxeo. Regardless of where one stands, it’s just as valid as Spence’s moniker, “The Truth.”

Some seem to be miffed at the bout’s $75 pay-per-view price tag. That’s fair, especially since we’ve been hoping for a long while for pay TV to get its cord cut. The bout will also be shown at local cinemas. Tickets are $20. Sound better? Sit back and enjoy. Here’s to hoping that we get a good one.

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  1. Kid Blast 12:25pm, 03/17/2019

    Crow eating time. Ugh

  2. Kid Blast 07:22am, 03/16/2019

    This is kind of like the stock market. When everyone is down on a particular stock, then that might be the time to take a look, especially if you can get 4k back from a 1k investment.

  3. Old Yank 05:48am, 03/16/2019

    Spence has had fewer than 100 pro rounds. He’s had only two fights against truly dangerous fighters who were at the top of their game. Garcia has over 200 pro rounds and has mixed it up with at least 7 or 8 truly dangerous fighters at the top of their game.
    For his career, an average Spence bout lasts 4 rounds. Mikey has a legit shot at starting fast, keeping the pace fast and looking very good in the later rounds.

  4. The Tache 03:15am, 03/16/2019

    I think better fights to narrow down the ‘pound for pound’ contenders would have been Spence v Crawford and Garcia v Lomachenko.  Re this fight though, as well as the weight factor Old Yank mentioned, does anyone know if this fight was tested under VADA? I ask because Victor Conte has claimed he has seen potential signs of testosterone abuse in Spence. Now I know these rumours are unsubstantiated and I’m not sure how reliable Conte’s poacher turned gamekeeper act is, but it is another straw for the Garcia fans to cling to at least. I am imagining: Spence was dirty before, Spence is weight drained, Spence is over-rated. Mikey is going to expose him and then punch down Trump’s wall. Or something like that. (Tongue in cheek)

  5. steve 08:48pm, 03/15/2019

    Old yank….lmaooooooooooooooo!!  Excellent fairytale!!

  6. Koolz 04:57pm, 03/15/2019

    I forgot about those IBF rules!

  7. Your Name 04:13pm, 03/15/2019

    Take a stand. Who are you picking? Man up.

  8. Old Yank 03:38pm, 03/15/2019

    REMINDER: Under IBF rules, neither fighter can weigh over 157 the morning of the bout. If one (read: Spence), does, then he needs to shed the overage before fight time.
    Spence is a great fighter, but he’s been fighting the scales for two years! And as a second reminder, the scales have defeated more champions than most are willing to admit.
    The storyline that’s already been published says Mikey Garcia is competitive for the first half of the bout, but Spence will own the second half. The story is fiction! Spence will be dried out before he steps into the ring. If he does not own the first half of the bout, he will not have Mikey’s stamina for the second half. That’s not the tale of the tape—it’s the tale of the scales.

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