Fight Preview: Errol Spence v Mikey Garcia

By Lee Saunders

Errol Spence Jr will defend his IBF Welterweight World Championship against Mikey Garcia in the early hours of Sunday morning at the AT&T stadium in Texas.

The unbeaten Spence Jr (24-0, 21 KOs) makes the third defence of his title since beating Kell Brook in Sheffield in May 2017, but faces the toughest task of his career in his home state of Texas when he takes on Mikey Garcia, who is also unbeaten (39-0, 30 KOs) and has won world titles in four weight divisions. On paper it is the fight of 2019 so far by some distance.

The talking point before the fight has been whether the 31-year-old Garcia, stepping up two weight divisions from his last fight, can pull off a historical win, to gain a world title at a fifth weight division. To emphasise the difficulty of the job at hand, a win would likely cement Garcia as the pound for pound number one boxer in the world.

As the adage goes, a good big ’un usually beats a good little ‘un, and that is very much the case here. Spence, aged 29, is a big Welterweight who could easily fight at Super-Welterweight, has stopped each of his last 11 opponents, and is considered by many as the best in his division.

Garcia, on the other hand, is naturally a Lightweight (12 pounds lighter than a Welterweight), has never fought at Welterweight, and is without a knockout in his last three outings. He is, however, ranked higher than Spence in most pound-for-pound lists, has a clear advantage in terms of experience, and is considered by most to have the superior technical skills.

Prediction

Spence’s power and relentlessness will see him win via a late stoppage, but Garcia’s technical ability will allow him to pick up most of the rounds prior to the stoppage.
Coverage of the fight and the undercard will be shown live on ITV4 in the UK from 1am on Sunday, March 17.

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