This weekend, Mikey Garcia takes on Welterweight IBF World Champion Errol Spence. Much has been made of the disparity in size between the two fighters, as this bout sees Garcia step-up two weight classes from lightweight to welterweight. As the odds currently stand, the larger man, Errol Spence sits as the -350 favourite, with Garcia as the +325 underdog.
Despite the significant plus-number next to Garcia’s name, he’s certainly one of the best boxers on the planet, although it’s very difficult to see him overcome his bigger opponent here. After all, Garcia isn’t just stepping up to take on a decent world level champion like his namesake Danny Garcia or someone of that ilk. He is taking on perhaps the best welterweight on the planet, or at least someone who’s in the conversation with the highly ranked P4P, Terence Crawford.
Spence is a superb boxer, he boasts physical and technical advantages that could pose very challenging for Mikey Garcia to overcome. Firstly, he’s a massive welterweight who is very destructive in his punching. He’s stopped all but three of his 24 opponents and has always campaigned at WW. He’s likely to go on to compete at light middle, or even middleweight in the future. The fact that he’s a big natural welterweight means he’ll likely come into the ring upwards of 160lbs on the night. For Mikey Garcia, who’s campaigned at featherweight, that’s a massive physical disadvantage.
Secondly, there’s a strong argument that Spence is as technically gifted as Garcia and this would be a 50/50 match up if both fighters were naturally the same weight. When Spence boxes it’s difficult to pinpoint what it is that makes him so good as he’s not flashy or particularly eye catching. His offense if very effective, particularly to the body, but he’s also very good defensively. In winning his world title against Kell Brook he proved that he’s very hard to hit, and this is a concern for a smaller fighter like Garcia who’s going to be at a reach disadvantage. Furthermore, one of Spence’s greatest traits is his ability to control the range. He’s excellent at landing his own shots while his opponents fall just short. Again, this is a substantial advantage for a bigger man over a smaller man.
This isn’t to say the fight will be hugely one sided; Mikey Garcia is a very patient boxer adept at picking holes in his opposition’s defence. Expect him to be competitive and have some success, particularly in the first half of the fight. He’s skilled enough and tough enough to survive the fight and any onslaughts from Spence, so the fight to go the distance at -121 looks to hold a little value. However, as the fight pans out, Spence’s size and skill will eventually take over, with him likely to win most of the rounds in the second half of the fight and ultimately a decision victory. Errol Spence to win a points of decision victory sits at +175.
1u - Fight to go the Distance -121
By Peter Morris