Why be upset about Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence?

By Paul Magno on October 31, 2018
Why be upset about Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence?
Afterwards, when the dust settles, everyone can go back to wishing for their dream fights.

The top welterweights have had plenty of time to sign on the bottom line against Spence and none seem too eager to do so…

The idea came out of the blue like a sucker punch to the back of the head.

Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence was on nobody’s radar when the proposed bout was launched into the Universo Pugilistico by Garcia, himself.

Twenty-one months ago, the idea of Garcia-Spence would’ve brought about wide-scale skepticism and more than a few chuckles from smart boxing people.

Garcia, a former featherweight and super featherweight world champ, was one fight into his comeback from two-and-a-half years of inactivity and had just beaten WBC lightweight titlist Dejan Zlaticanin. His three-round destruction of the okay-but-not-great native of Montenegro was impressive and it was widely thought that the Mexican-American boxer-puncher had settled into his ideal weight at 135.

Four months later, Spence would take his fast-rising career on the road, to the UK, to stop defending IBF welterweight champ and home country favorite Kell Brook after 11 tough, complicated rounds, literally breaking Brook’s face in the process. The Texas native immediately punched his way to elite-level status with the victory and, in no time at all, became THE welterweight to beat in the post-Mayweather era.

Garcia-Spence would’ve been blown off as a case of a great smaller fighter being overmatched against a great larger fighter. After all, Garcia had just jumped up to 135 and Spence was already considered a large welterweight with a middleweight frame. But, Garcia’s subsequent wins over Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets at junior welter have made Garcia’s targeting of Spence not so entirely laughable anymore.

A good chunk of fans and media, though, still don’t like the idea of Garcia-Spence and the reasons for their negativity range from concerns over Garcia’s well-being to anger over “wasting” time on a perceived novelty fight when bigger, better “in division” fights could be made for both.

And the skeptical fans and media have valid points.

It remains to be seen whether someone like Garcia, whose superiority is based on tactical, technical precision and cold, calculated execution can be effective against someone who may be able to just walk through his biggest shots. Against Lipinets, Garcia was his usual precise, skilled self, but he was notably less dominant against someone who wasn’t quite as rattled by his clean scoring blows. It also remains to be seen how well Garcia can take a shot from a larger, heavy-handed fighter with legitimate fight-closing skills.

And, indeed, both DO have bigger, better “in division” fights to be explored. Garcia vs. Vasyl Lomachenko at 135 is at the top of every fight fan’s wish list and Spence vs. Terence Crawford/Keith Thurman (or any number of other top welters) is considered a “must happen.” Garcia and Spence fighting one another means that all other possible top level fights for both get pushed back even further.

But this is where realism should be wedged into the conversation.

The top welterweights have had plenty of time to sign on the bottom line against Spence and none seem too eager to do so. Boxing is not losing out on Spence-Crawford or Spence-Thurman if they get Spence-Garcia. If anything, Spence would likely be facing a high-end second-tier welterweight next while continuing to wait on bigger names. And Garcia, meanwhile, will most definitely not be missing out on a Lomachenko lightweight unification by moving up to 147 against Spence. Conflicting business interests and a river of bad blood will keep the former Bob Arum darling, Garcia, from meeting the current Bob Arum darling, Lomachenko. It’s not pleasant news to hear, but moving heaven and earth would probably not be enough to make Garcia-Lomachenko any time soon.

So, is it really so bad for something to be manufactured for two superb fighters with no big fights currently available to them? Garcia-Spence has the feel of a business-engineered time filler, but it’s not without its merit. Garcia is already building a firm following and a win over Spence in an impossible-to-conceive upset (in some eyes) would elevate his star even further. Spence would gain less from a win than Garcia, but on name value alone Mikey is more of a bankable opponent than anyone Errol could realistically fight in the proposed early-2019 timeframe.

This fight is not the ideal contest for either, but it’s not the end of the world. Despite the critical attacks, there will be plenty of intrigue in how it plays out and it’ll be interesting to see both fighters deal with things they’ve never had to deal with before.

Garcia-Spence is alright and it may be the best “big” fight option in the immediate future for both. Let them go at it. Afterwards, when the dust settles, everyone can go back to wishing for their dream fights.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. joe giordano 05:43pm, 11/03/2018

    Kid Blast, Spence fought and easily defeated highly rated Kell Brook,.

  2. Kid Blast 04:56pm, 11/03/2018

    Spence

    Ocampo-Nobody
    Peterson-Lay-off
    Brook-Damaged
    Bundu-Old
    Algiers- Washed up

  3. Raw 05:22pm, 11/02/2018

    Loma vs Garcia is absolutely thee best fight to me made in boxing, slightly ahead of Wilder vs Joshua.

  4. johnloyd 04:18pm, 11/01/2018

    let garcia fight spence…remember when pacquiao will going to fight dela hoya every people tells that’s a bullshit or a big mismatch, but after the fight they say pacquiao is go good boxer… for me that’s a fight must happen soon..

  5. Kid Blast 03:45pm, 11/01/2018

    A comparison of the opposition levels of Spence and Garcia is no comparison whatsoever. Garcia has fought elite opposition while Spence has not. This, in my view, will offset the size advantage. Fact is, Garcia is a puncher/boxer through and through and has been bred to be one. Spence was a football player first and then a boxer. I go with Garcia on this every day of the week.

  6. thrashem 11:37am, 11/01/2018

    I agree Joe.
    This would be big mistake for Garcia. He is no way near Spence’s talent. Mikey may not even get by Loma. Do Loma first before he even thinks about the talent in welterweight division. Mikey is no Pacquiao and starts way too slow and will get eaten! Save yourself a public beating!

  7. Joe Giordano 09:32am, 11/01/2018

    Both boxers are elite level, however Mikey Garcia would be taking on too much of a challenge against Spence, who is the best in his division, with other top boxers who could probably defeat Garcia.  Not in favor of seeing the two go at it but the fight would be too compelling to resist watching. Garcia should clean up his division and fight Lomachenko. Spence/Crawford is the best fight to be made in boxing.

  8. Ho Lee Chit 07:05am, 11/01/2018

    Garcia vs Spence? Garcia is too small. It would be one jump too many.

Leave a comment