Spence-Garcia fight fan’s dream
March 16, 2019 7:00 AM
by Alan Berg
One of the major flaws being a boxing fan is not seeing the major names fight each other in their prime.
Thanks to Mikey Garcia’s guts and desire this Saturday won’t be like most weekends. Garcia moves up from lightweight to welterweight to challenge Errol Spence Jr. for Spence’s WBC Championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Showtime PPV.
Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) told CBS Sports Radio, “Everybody wonders why am I even doing this or (thinks) I’m crazy to ask for this kind of fight. But that’s because they haven’t seen the best out of me. I wanted this fight, and I know I’m going to prove to everybody that I’m a better fighter than they ever expected or ever imagined.”
This type of fighter is what boxing truly needs, a fighter who is willing to take risks to make their mark in the sport. With that said, Garcia (+290 at Caesars, CG Technology) is a heavy underdog to Spence (-340 Station Casinos, William Hill).
Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) has been completely dominating in his victories and deserves the role of favorite. I am a huge fan of both fighters and this will be the best fighter either has been in the ring with.
The biggest mainstream story is the size difference, but it will be more about execution of game plan more than who is the bigger man.
Two highly skilled fighters like this rely on dictating the pace, the amount of punches thrown and where the fight will take place. Spence is going to box and attempt to land big shots moving forward when he sees openings. Garcia will want land effective shots to Spence’s body early to slow him down in the late rounds, looking to pile on the points as Spence tires.
The X factor of this fight for me is the hand speed of Spence. His jab is fantastic, the combinations he can rip should keep Garcia completely off balance.
Conversely, Garcia is a crafty intelligent fighter. In his last fight winning the IBF lightweight title from Robert Easter, Jr. he faced a fighter similar but far less skilled than Spence.
Once Garcia got Easter’s timing down, Garcia took him apart with an aggressive game plan, keeping his foot on the gas moving forward and landing combinations every round. If he can keep that gas pedal down regularly, he could give Spence plenty to think about.
Currently the total rounds on the fight is set at 9.5 and the juice is on the Over at -180 from the Westgate SuperBook. The best price on the Under is at Caesars +170. When I first made my number for this fight, I believed Spence should be a -500 favorite. And as you know, for me, price is everything. I am going to wait, as I believe you will eventually see less than -300 on Spence.
When you put two of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet together, usually something special happens one way or another.
Garcia will make strides and make the fight an interesting battle for the opening six rounds. But ultimately, he will eat too many shots moving forward throughout the 12 rounds.
Spence will defend his crown, win by unanimous decision and call out Terence Crawford for the Unification megafight at 147 pounds. SPENCE
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