Errol Spence Jr. successfully defended his IBF welterweight title Saturday against WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, winning by unanimous decision in front of almost 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Spence vs. Garcia – Fight Recap
The fight began slowly, with both fighters feeling each other out, throwing mostly jabs. It was Spence who seemed to settle in first, landing his patented left hand to the body a few times in addition to a number of jabs to take the first round.
Spence would up the output and aggression in Round 2, which was essentially the start of his domination of the smaller Garcia. While Mikey would land a decent shot every so often, Spence’s footwork, guard, and head movement (as well as the threat of his power) made it almost impossible for Garcia to follow up on anything with success.
While he was unable to significantly hurt Garcia, Spence’s high accuracy, punch output, and punch variation forced the challenger into ‘survival mode’ for almost the entire second half of the fight. When it seemed like Garcia was in trouble, he managed to weather the storm each time and finished the fight.
I scored the bout 120-108 for Errol Spence Jr. Once he put his foot on the gas after the first round or so, it was just a total blowout. Official scores were 120-108 (x2) and 120-107 for Spence Jr.
In the last few rounds, it seemed Spence was pressing hard for the knockout, and I honestly do not know how Garcia was able to stay as composed as he did. Now, granted, he wasn’t really throwing much back, but he was still alert and steady for the most part. A lesser fighter would have certainly folded under Spence’s pressure and power.
Following the bout, Spence called out WBA champion Manny Pacquiao and WBC champion Shawn Porter. Pacquiao, who attended the event and was in the ring for a post-fight interview, appeared open to fighting Spence next.
Other Notable Fight Results
- David Benavidez TKO2 J’Leon Love
- Kosei Tanaka UD12 Ryoichi Taguchi
- Katie Taylor TKO9 Rose Volante (on Friday)
- Tevin Farmer UD12 Jono Carroll (on Friday)
- Maciej Sulecki UD10 Gabriel Rosado (on Friday)
Spence showcased his elite boxing IQ, footwork, and defense in this fight; it really seemed like he wanted to win every minute of every round to prove a point. The only thing surprising about this fight, for me at least, was the fact that Garcia was able to take Spence’s power as well as he did. No, he wasn’t walking through Spence’s punches, but he was taking clean power shots from a heavy-hitter known for stopping some pretty tough dudes.
Respect to Mikey Garcia for stepping into the ring with a dangerous fighter two weight classes larger than him. Spence just knew exactly how to get the most out of his size advantage, and he fought with a chip on his shoulder. It is going to take a real welterweight (or bigger) to give an elite fighter like Spence any problems.
Who do you think Errol Spence Jr. will end up facing next? Should Mikey Garcia go back to 135, 140, or stay at 147? Comment below with your opinion.