Pacquiao on fight with Spence: ‘This is one of the biggest challenges in my career’

Throughout his illustrious career, Manny Pacquiao never took the easy way out. From 2008-2011, Pacquiao had some tough fights, including battles against Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez(2x).

During that timeframe, Pacquiao went 9-0.

In 2019, Pacquiao, at the age of 40, defeated then-undefeated WBA 147-pound champion Keith Thurman by split decision.

Now, at age 42, Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) will try to defy the odds one more time when he battles unified WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) on August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).

“There were a lot of opportunities for me to pick an easier fight than this,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. “But I picked Errol Spence Jr. because I want a real fight and a great fight for the fans. I’m a fighter, and boxing is my passion.

“Errol Spence Jr. is aggressive, young, and undefeated. He’s dedicated to his career. This is definitely not an easy opponent. This is the kind of opponent you can never underestimate.”

Pacquiao’s biggest fight in his career was a loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2015, and recently, Mayweather said he would reach out to Spence to give him advice. However, according to Pacquiao, Spence won’t need that advice.

“I don’t think Errol needs advice from Floyd Mayweather,” Pacquiao said. “I believe that Errol is a better fighter than Mayweather. Errol can teach Floyd how to fight toe-to-toe.”

Pacquiao has been in with many great fighters over the years, and Spence will be one of the best he’s ever faced. The eight-division champion thinks the fight against Spence will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.

“I won’t predict another first-round knockdown like I had against Thurman,” Pacquiao said. “I’m focusing my mind, body, and spirit on winning the fight. That’s the only goal.

“This is one of the biggest challenges in my career. I can’t say it’s the biggest because I’ve been fighting the best fighters in the world for years. But he’s right up there with anyone I’ve faced.”

If Pacquiao can pull this one off, man, he could easily go down as the greatest of all time, especially when you consider his age and the type of fighter that he will battle on August 21.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Pacquiao on fight with Spence: ‘It is going to be wild’

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao takes on undefeated unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. in a blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The pay-per-view will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will pit the division’s reigning king against a legend of the sport who has proven in recent years that he is still worthy of his long held standing. Spence will look to earn a legacy-defining victory, while Pacquiao seeks one more monumental win to add to his first ballot Hall of Fame resume.

Both fighters kick off the promotional campaign side by side this Sunday, July 11, when they’ll appear for a live televised press conference on FOX beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The hour-long program will feature commentary from former opponents Keith “One Time” Thurman and “Showtime” Shawn Porter, who will offer their analysis before Pacquiao and Spence return to their training camps.

This will be the fourth FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View headlined by Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), who unified welterweight titles in September 2019 by besting Shawn Porter in one of the best fights of the year. Spence was launched into stardom when the 31-year-old first captured a welterweight crown by traveling to the U.K. to stop Kell Brook in front of his hometown fans in 2017. He followed up his title-winning victory with triumphs over Lamont Peterson and Carlos Ocampo in 2018.

Fighting out of his native Desoto, Texas, Spence returned to the ring last December for the first time since miraculously surviving a car accident in October 2019 where he was thrown from the vehicle before it crashed. Spence thrilled his hometown crowd at AT&T Stadium by defeating two-division champion Danny Garcia by unanimous decision. Spence represented the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics before turning pro later that year and scoring knockouts in 10 of his first 12 fights, showing the promise that he would eventually fulfill on the biggest stages of the sport.

“I’ve been waiting on this kind of major boxing event my entire career,” said Spence. “Manny Pacquiao is a boxing legend and future Hall of Famer. To be able to match skills with him and come out with a victory would be the highlight of my career thus far. I’m coming to win and he’s coming to win and that’s what makes for an all-action fight. I can’t wait to step into the ring at T-Mobile Arena on August 21 in what I expect to be an exciting night.’’

A three-time Fighter of the Year and the one-time Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as Congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.

In January 2019, Pacquiao put on a vintage performance against four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of an illustrious career, which also marked his first time fighting back in the U.S. in two years. In his most recent performance Pacquiao added another Fight of the Year contender to his resume, as he dropped then unbeaten Keith Thurman in the first round on his way to a decision victory in a memorable action fight in July 2019.

“I am excited to be battling Errol Spence Jr.,” said Pacquiao. “Like me, Errol has an aggressive, all-action style of fighting.  Boxing fans watching at T-Mobile Arena or on pay-per-view are going to be happy with this world championship fight. It is going to be wild!”

Pacquiao-Spence set for 8/21 in Vegas

Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) and undefeated unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) will meet in a blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This battle for welterweight supremacy will pit the division’s reigning king against a legend of the sport, who has proven in recent years that he is still worthy of his long-held standing.

Outside of a fight between Spence and Terence Crawford, this is probably the best fight that can be made at 147. We’ll see how much the 42-year-old Pacquiao has left, who last fought almost two years ago when he defeated Keith Thurman.

Can he beat another young gun?

The 31-year-old Spence, who defeated Danny Garcia last December, hopes to stay undefeated and continue to be one of the top guys in the sport of boxing.

Spence on win over Garcia: ‘I had a little bit of ring rust, but I was in such great shape’

Unified welterweight world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. defeated two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia by unanimous decision Saturday night in the main event of a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“The moment is surreal,” said Spence. “Coming back from the accident, I feel like I looked pretty good tonight. All training camp I felt good. I told people I didn’t want a tune-up fight. I proved to everyone that I’m the best 147-pound fighter in the world.”

Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) retained his WBC and IBF titles with an impressive performance in his hometown that saw him own a 187 to 117 advantage in punches landed, according to CompuBox. Spence controlled much of the action with his jab, landing 84 of them to slowly damage the left eye of his opponent.

“His jab was rangy and threw my timing off a bit,” said Garcia. “That was the key to the fight. Everything else I feel like I adapted to. The jab was the only thing that was better than expected.”

Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs), known as a supreme counter puncher, picked his spots against the unrelenting attack from Spence, having occasional success with his counter right hook and body shots. However, Spence was the more accurate fighter, connecting on 26% of his shots to 17% for Garcia.

“Danny Garcia pushed me to the limit, especially in training camp,” said Spence. “I’ve watched him fight since he was an amateur. I knew he was a great champion and I had to be 100% ready.”

“I was trying to be more active,” said Garcia. “He did a good job taking away what I wanted to do. Everyone is looking for my left hook, so I thought my right hand could be the difference. I had some success going to the body with it. When two champions fight, one guy is going to be better on the night.”

The two welterweight elites continued to fight hard and throw big punches to the last bell, but it was Spence out landing Garcia in each of the last six rounds. After 12 rounds, the judges scored the fight 117-111 and 116-112 twice, all for Spence.

“I had a little bit of ring rust, but I was in such great shape and took everything seriously in training so that I would not be discouraged by that,” said Spence. “I worked my jab and used my angles because that was my best move.”

Holyfield, Hopkins, Thurman, others predict the outcome of Spence-Garcia

Boxing legends, champions, top fighters and trainers gave their predictions for the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View main event between unified welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia ahead of their showdown this Saturday, December 5 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Buy the pay-per-view now on www.foxsports.com/ppv and watch on any screen.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, Man Down Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on sale now, and can be purchased at SeatGeek.com, the Official Ticketing Provider of AT&T Stadium.

Of those polled, 20 predicted that Spence would retain his titles, while 16 favored Garcia to come out with the victory on Saturday night. Here is what the predictors had to say about the highly anticipated welterweight clash:

Evander Holyfield, Boxing Legend

Spence W 12: Errol Spence is a very technical fighter, and Danny Garcia’s a great counter-puncher. But Errol is the best, so I’ve got Errol winning by decision.

Bernard Hopkins, Boxing Legend

Garcia UD 12: I believe that Danny Garcia will defeat Errol Spence by unanimous decision in a very hard, tough battle of wills.

Keith Thurman, Former Unified World Welterweight Champion

Spence W 12: Danny Garcia’s the biggest puncher I’ve faced in the ring in my entire professional career. Danny’s got great timing and a chip on his shoulder from losing two close fights to myself and Shawn Porter. So Errol Spence better not let him land one of those bricks.

But styles make fights, and my gut says Spence wins without a home-run being hit by Garcia. Spence has all of the skills and technique to come out with the ‘W’ against Garcia, whom I was able to hurt with a big punch in the first round.

Spence has that right hook, which he can land to the temple, and those pot-shots as well as a long and stiff jab to go with a height and reach advantage that led to his complete shutout of Mikey Garcia.

But if Spence has that ‘Man-Down philosophy,’ and he’s not a fighter who plays with his food. When he gets you hurt, he gets you outta there. But it could come down to who lands the biggest punch first, and a lot of folks want to know how Spence is after that car accident.

Andre Berto, Three-Time World Welterweight Champion

Garcia KO 5: Errol Spence‘s confidence is going to be sky high after battling back from everything he’s gone through. But at the same time, it’s the accident that’s going to cost him in the ring against Danny Garcia.

Both guys are going to come out swinging and tire themselves out, but Danny’s going to bring it early and often to make Errol prove he’s fully recovered in a donnybrook. My man Garcia’s going to keep punching, and then, you know – Blammo! Garcia KO 5.

Yordenis Ugas, WBA World Welterweight Champion

Spence SD 12: I have Errol Spence winning by a split-decision over Danny Garcia. It will be an exciting fight where at times, either will box, and at times, either will bang, but there will be no knockdowns.

Mikey Garcia, Four-Division World Champion

Spence W 12: Danny Garcia will be competitive and have his moments, but Errol Spence will box more effectively and win by a decision.

Robert Guerrero, Three-Time World Champion

Garcia W 12: If Errol Spence boxes the way that he did with Mikey Garcia, he wins by decision over Danny Garcia. If Spence tries to bang it out with Garcia, then he might get knocked out. But I’m going with Danny Garcia to win by decision.

Jamal James, Interim WBA World Welterweight Champion

Spence W 12: I think Errol Spence will win a 12-round decision, but I’m not counting out Danny Garcia.

Julian Williams, Former Unified World Super Welterweight Champion

Garcia W 12: It’s basically a 50-50 fight, but I’m leaning toward Danny Garcia to defeat Errol Spence in a close fight. I’m pretty sure that Danny’s locked in and extremely motivated, feeling as if everyone is looking past him.

Ronnie Shields, Trainer of Undefeated WBC World Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo

Spence W 12: I think Errol Spence is going to win a close decision. Danny has a chance if he can start fast and make his presence known with that left hook.

But Garcia’s not much of a fast starter, and I think he’s going to run into some problems because Spence can out-box him if he chooses to.

Andre Rozier, Trainer of Former World Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs

Garcia SD 12: Danny Garcia’s family, but he’s also the underdog going into this fight with Errol Spence. Still, Danny’s hungry to build upon his legacy. Danny has the power to stop Errol, who has tremendous boxing skills, and it could happen in what I believe is going to be a tremendous battle of wills.  But I think this fight will go the distance, and in the end, Garcia will win this in a definitive fashion that will secure his trip to the Hall of Fame.

Regis Prograis, Former WBA World Super Lightweight Champion

Spence UD 12: Errol Spence wins by unanimous decision over Danny Garcia.

David Benavidez, Two-Time WBC World Super Middleweight Champion

Spence SD 12: This is a crossroads fight for both of them. Errol Spence wants to demonstrate that he’s still the great champion that he was before the car accident, and this may be one of Danny Garcia’s greatest opportunities to show he still is a great champion.

It’s going to come down to who can dictate the pace and the pressure. I think Errol‘s pressure could be too much for Garcia, but Spence had problems with the pressure Shawn Porter applied as well. If Spence invests in the body against Danny Garcia, his body shots can slow Garcia down and give Spence the edge. On the other hand, Garcia has that eraser of a left hook. But I’m giving Spence the edge and a decision.

Jose Benavidez Sr., Father and Trainer of David Benavidez

Garcia SD 12: I’ve got Danny Garcia winning because of his experience taking a split-decision, but it’s a 50-50 fight because Errol Spence is younger, has a lot of hunger and weighs a little bit more.

Kevin Cunningham, Trainer of Super Welterweight Contender Erickson Lubin

Spence UD 12: I have Errol Spence winning by unanimous decision over Danny Garcia, but at the same time, I’m like everybody else: I’m waiting to see how Errol Spence‘s health is after his experiences with the effects of that car accident.

Steve Cunningham, Two-Time World Cruiserweight Champion

Garcia SD 12: I see Danny Garcia winning a close, split-decision over Errol Spence. Garcia’s the underdog again, but how many times have we seen this? Garcia was supposed to lose to Erik Morales, Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan and so many others, but he beat them all. Spence is talented, but I see Garcia fighting with that Philadelphia pride and bringing another world championship home.

Nonito Donaire, Four-Division World Champion

Spence W 12: A lot depends on whether Errol Spence is 100 percent after his car accident. But either way, I anticipate him using his height, reach and ability to fight from a distance. Spence will counter Danny Garcia’s power and mid-range fight abilities on the way to winning a close decision.

Abner Mares, Three-Division World Champion

Spence TKO 8: If Errol Spence had not been in that car accident, I would have picked him to defeat Danny Garcia, hands down. But now it’s a 50-50 fight because we don’t know how he’s going to come back from the injuries, physically and mentally.

But it seems like Errol‘s 100 percent ready to take on the big task of Danny Garcia for the simple fact that his boxing abilities are far superior. I think it’s going to be a stoppage. With his skills, Errol Spence knows how to pick you apart round by round.

Danny Garcia’s vulnerable because he’s a guy that’s a big puncher who is always in a fight during any given round, but he opens up a lot. I see Errol Spence out-boxing and breaking him down for a TKO say, by the eighth round.

Vito Mielnicki Jr., Undefeated Welterweight Prospect

Garcia SD 12: This is going to be a tremendous, 50-50 fight that can go either way, with Errol Spence being an excellent boxer with power. Danny Garcia has that one-punch power, so it’s a fight where anything can happen. It’s really tough to make a choice, but I think Danny will be the winner of a hard-fought split-decision.

Gary Russell, Jr., WBC World Featherweight Champion 

Spence W 12: I think Errol Spence may get him, but he can’t mess around. Danny Garcia’s only got a puncher’s chance. Danny has been looking a little sharp and crisp. I edge it out to Errol, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

If Errol gets reckless, Danny could clip him.  I’m going with Errol. I think Errol is going to be more physical and will out-work Danny.  Danny is going to look for that one, nice shot. Errol is going to try to work him and rough him up.

Gary Russell, Sr., Trainer of Gary Russell Jr.

Garcia W 12: This fight will be Errol Spence‘s biggest fight. I like Danny Garcia in this fight, personally. Spence can’t go to the body and not get hit. If Danny gets close enough to hit Spence, he is going to fire. Danny has power in both hands. I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny upsets Spence.

Gary Antonio Russell, Undefeated Bantamweight Contender 

Spence W 12: Danny Garcia has the puncher’s power to stop Errol Spence, but I believe Spence is too much for Danny. Spence is too aggressive and has too much dog and tenacity for Danny. I’m just worried about which Errol will come to fight. Will the old Errol be able to perform to his old standard prior to his accident? I feel like Errol can win this fight.

Gary Antuanne Russell, Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender

Spence W 12:  Both Errol Spence and Danny Garcia are phenomenal fighters. Style makes fights. Errol Spence is more agile and more of a boxer-puncher. Danny is more of a poised, counter-puncher and seasoned boxer with more in-the-ring experience.

Danny has more of a puncher’s chance, having fought champions and ex-champions, beating most of them. Errol definitely has a puncher’s chance as well to go with a high IQ and the ability to lure Danny into a position where he can hurt Danny. Errol can knock Danny out with a hard punch or a slew of hard combinations, but Danny could catch Errol with a counter punch, so the fight could go either way. Still, I’m leaning toward Errol Spence, who he has more in his arsenal than Danny.

Chris Colbert, Undefeated Interim WBA World Super Featherweight Champion

Spence UD 12: I see Errol Spence winning by a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia because Garcia’s got a granite chin, and we’ve never seen Garcia buzzed, battered or hurt.

Stephen Fulton, Undefeated Super Bantamweight Contender

Garcia W 12: This places me in a very difficult position because this is a 50-50 fight, a really hard fight to pick, and Errol Spence is the hungry, younger fighter who has a lot of skills. But if I have to pick a winner, I’ll go with the underdog, Danny Garcia, because I believe a lot of people are underestimating him, and guys like that can tend to sneak up on you. That’s why I’m picking Danny Garcia to rise to the occasion and win a great fight.

Luis Collazo, Former World Welterweight Champion

Garcia KO 10: Errol Spence gets careless too much, and Danny Garcia’s got a puncher’s chance. I’m going with the underdog, Danny Garcia, by ninth or 10th-round knockout in a helluva fight.

Erislandy Lara, Two-Time World Super Welterweight Champion

Spence W 12: This is going to be a fun fight to watch because both Errol Spence and Danny García are true warriors. Spence is the naturally bigger man and has more tools in his box.  Garcia is tough, but I think Spence will be too much for him. Spence wins by decision.

Omar Figueroa Sr., Trainer of Omar Figueroa Jr. & Undefeated WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon Figueroa

Garcia W 12: Danny Garcia is a smart, great fighter and I like the way that he thinks. I say Danny Garcia wins by decision over Errol Spence.

Erickson Lubin, Super Welterweight Contender

Spence D 12: If Errol Spence isn’t affected by the car accident, I have him winning a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia. We already know Danny’s going to come to fight and seems more focused than ever. Going off of what I only know right now, I’ll say they’re going to fight to a draw.

Omar Douglas Jr., Lightweight Contender

Garcia SD 12: I respect Errol Spence for coming back from that car accident and accepting such a tremendous challenge in Danny Garcia, but there are a lot of questions about which Spence will show up after his accident.

I think Spence should have taken a tune-up fight to see where he was before stepping up to this level. I’ve seen up close that Garcia’s one-punch knockout power is special, and I think that will be the difference in him winning a close, split-decision.

Sebastian Fundora, Undefeated Super Welterweight Contender

Spence TKO 10: Errol Spence is the best fighter in the whole division, and I believe he’ll come into the ring wanting to prove that in a great fight against Danny Garcia. I know Spence was involved in that terrible car accident after beating Shawn Porter, but I think that he can knock out Garcia.

Ivan Redkach, Welterweight Contender

Garcia SD 12: I like Danny Garcia to win a split-decision over Errol Spence as a result of his timing, punching power and experience. Errol Spence may look good in sparring and training since his car accident but sparring and training are not like being in a real fight, and that’s what he’s in against Garcia.

Joey Spencer, Undefeated Middleweight Prospect

Spence UD 12: Errol Spence and Danny Garcia are two champions with great chins and good defense, but I’m picking Errol by decision just because of his work-rate.

Danny will be in the fight, will counter effectively and avoid taking too much damage because of his solid defense, but again, he won’t sustain the work-rate with Spence.

Richard Commey, Former IBF World Lightweight Champion

Garcia SD 12: Errol Spence is still a great fighter, regardless of what happened with the car accident. But I believe the night will belong to Danny Garcia. I expect Garcia to start fast, pressuring early and using his patience and power to control the fight on the way to winning a decision.

Eimantas Stanionis, Undefeated Welterweight Contender

Spence W 12: This is a very difficult fight for Errol Spence because of his very long layoff and the car accident, so nobody knows how he will feel. But if Spence is the same fighter, I see him winning. Danny Garcia always has that left hook, and he can always hurt you with either his left or right hand. But Spence has good defense, so he may be able to account for that. With all things being considered, I think it will be Errol Spence winning by a decision.

Jonathan Walley, Co-Trainer of Welterweight Contender Sergey Lipinets

Garcia TKO 8: It’s a 50-50 fight, and I think Errol Spence tries to box before eventually engaging with Danny Garcia. But that’s to the advantage of Garcia, who counter-punches well and I think he’ll catch Spence at some point and knock him out.

Final Count:

Spence20

Garcia: 16

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Garcia on Spence: ‘After the Garcia and Porter fights, I saw some holes in his game’

Throughout his career, two-division world champion Danny Garcia(36-2, 21 KOs) has been doubted. Whether it was against Amir Khan, where he won his second title, or Lucas Matthysse, who at the time was the ‘Boogeyman” at the 140-pound division, Garcia has been at his best when the odds were stacked against him. 

On December 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas(FOX PPV), Garcia will battle unified 147-pound champion Errol Spence Jr.(26-0, 21 KOs). Like his fights against Khan and Matthysse, Garcia will be the underdog, which is very familiar to him.

“I’ve been an underdog my whole career. I’m used to playing that role,” Garcia said during a Zoom call on Tuesday. “I just have to go in there and be myself. I have to believe in myself 100% and fight round by round. I’m going to show what a true champion is made of.

“After the Garcia and Porter fights, I saw some holes in his game, and I knew it would be a good opportunity to become champion again. These type of fights bring out the best in Danny Garcia. They give me the extra motivation that I need, and that’s why I wanted it.”

Garcia will have to go to Spence’s backyard on December 5th, which could favor the DeSoto, Texas native if the fight goes to the scorecards. However, according to Garcia, he’s not worried about the judges; he’s worried about winning rounds.

“My job is to fight. I can’t go in there and worry about judges,’ Garcia said. “They’re going to do what they do. My job is to put in the work in the gym so that I’m ready on fight night. I have to go in there and win rounds and win the fight.

“I know that I’m a great fighter. I’ve been in these type of fights before. I know what I’m made of. As long as I’m mentally and physically at my best, nobody can beat me. I’m a dangerous man when I have this focus.”

Spence is coming off a severe car accident, so some wonder if he will be the same fighter, but Garcia expects Spence to be at his best.

“We’re taking this fight like Errol is 100%. We’re not banking on anything hindering him<‘ Garcia explained. “We’re taking this as seriously as possible. We wanted this fight a long time ago, but we just had to stay focused. Now the fight is finally here, and I feel like we’re going to have a great performance.”

In the end, Garcia expects to get the job done against Spence.

“On December 5, no stone will be unturned,” he said. “We’re going to give it 110% and take these titles from him in his hometown.:

History tells us never to doubt Garcia, and for anybody that does, it could be a mistake.

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Shawn Porter: ‘I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere’

Two-time welterweight world champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter scored a dominant unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Sebastian Formella in an IBF Welterweight Title Eliminator Saturday night headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“He was a tough fighter,” said Porter. “After about six rounds my dad told me that he’s going to keep taking these punches, so I just needed to keep the pressure on him.”

Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) began to impose his renowned all-action style from the outset, as Formella (22-1, 10 KOs) looked to use the ring and his jab to slow the ongoing attack. Porter’s arsenal was more varied and effective as the fight went on, adding in increased body attacks and thudding left hooks and uppercuts to punctuate his numerous combinations.

“The game plan was to use finesse and subtlety,” said Porter. “I went in there looking for the shot and ready to take the openings. I wanted to be aggressive, but not too aggressive, because we knew he would run. We worked on cutting off the ring and I think it all worked out tonight.

“For me it made sense to fight up on my toes. It’s a different type of rhythm and a lot of guys don’t know when I’m coming and going. I think it mixed things up for Formella tonight. We worked on fast jabs, powerful jabs, directing the jab and today he couldn’t tell which one was coming. I was popping his head back and of course also going to the body.”

Formella continued to stand tall against Porter through the middle rounds, throwing return fire and landing scoring punches, even as Porter pressed forward and used his strength advantage.

“We had a lot of film on Formella,” said Porter. “I knew that his focus would be on his feet and when it wasn’t the feet, he would be covering up. I could tell his corner was telling him to punch with me or right after me, so he connected on me that way. I had to get on a different rhythm for him. He was able to play some chess and he did well. My dad always says that the mind controls everything. I think he had his mind made up that he was going to take everything and go 12 rounds. His body followed his mind tonight.”

In addition to out-landing Formella by a count of 304 to 148 throughout the fight according to CompuBox, Porter had a significant advantage in body punches landed, connecting on 89 to Formella’s six. Porter’s 304 punches landed was the most he’s connected on in a fight, surpassing the total he accrued in his 2016 clash against Keith Thurman.

“We definitely worked on throwing the overhand right for this fight,” said Porter. “We worked on our power a lot and in the beginning I wanted to land that overhand right. I was really keyed in on that. My dad said to stick to the speed and that would set up the power. I switched it up to straight rights to the body because that’s more of a speed punch.”

Porter continued his dominating work through the final round as Formella showed impressive durability in going the full 12 rounds in his U.S. debut. All three judges scored the bout the same way in favor of Porter, by the score of 120-108 three times.

Porter’s victory puts him in position for a showdown with the winner of the upcoming Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View matchup in November. In his post-fight interview with FOX Sports’ Jordan Hardy, Porter delivered a succinct message for his potential next opponent.

“I’m still here, and I’m not going anywhere,” said Porter, who dropped a close decision to Spence in a unification bout last year, and defeated Garcia to capture the WBC title in 2018.

“There’s no telling what they’ll see from me in a rematch,” added Porter later. “I think both guys can also make adjustments. That’s what makes rematches so great, the fans have seen what both of you can do and they want to see who will make the right adjustments. I definitely think that I will be a little different against either guy.”

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions

Garcia on Spence fight: ‘It wasn’t my night and not the fight that I wanted to fight’

Mikey Garcia says he will prove he can win a World title at Welterweight and become a five-weight World champion as he prepares to face Jessie Vargas at 147lbs at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas on Saturday February 29, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Garcia (39-1 30 KOs) has stayed at Welterweight to meet Vargas (29-2-2 11 KOs) following his World title clash with IBF ruler Errol Spence at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in March, stepping up two weights following his comprehensive win over Robert Easter Jr in a unification clash in Los Angeles in July 2018.

The 32 year old returns to action just under a year since his meeting with Spence, and has chosen to remain at 147 pounds to meet former WBO Welterweight ruler Vargas, the former two-weight champion himself looking to return to World title level.

Garcia understands that fans and media alike are curious to see him remain at Welterweight and not go back down to 140 pound or 135 pounds – and the man himself says that he will shine on the first night of the latest phase of his glittering career.

“I think that there’s a lot more that I can do at 147 pounds,” said Garcia. “The Spence fight was not a representation of that, it wasn’t my night and not the fight that I wanted to fight, I just couldn’t perform and once in a while you have an off night and it happened to be that night for me. I need to show my fans and the boxing world that I can do a lot more, even at 147 pounds.

“A World title in a fifth division is very exciting. I would love to fight for a title again at 147 pounds, claiming a World title in a fifth division would be amazing and that’s why I am staying at 147, but there are other motivations for me in the sport, I’m not done, there’s a lot more to accomplish. After this fight I’ll look at options at 147 pounds and 140 pounds, I’m not stuck at either weight, I’m keeping my options open.

“I have a lot of legacy to build still, I want to create a bigger legacy for myself and for my family. I’m not done. I still feel I have a lot more to accomplish and I know I will. I’m in the prime of my career right now. There’s no looking back or stopping me right now.

“I consider this the third stage of my career because I am coming off a loss. Can I come back stronger and better than before or am I done? Past my prime? That’s why I’m here to prove it to everyone that I’m not any less than what you saw in previous years, in fact, I am only getting better. I’m not declining at all; I’m fast, strong and talented, and I consider this next part to be the best years of my career.”

Garcia’s clash with Vargas is part of a stellar night of action in Frisco, with the longest reigning British World champion Kal Yafai (26-015 KOs) puts his WBA World Super-Flyweight title on the line against the former pound-for-pound king and four weight World ruler Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (48-2 40 KOs) and rising Mexican sensation Julio Cesar Martinez (15-1 12 KOs) makes the first defense of his WBC World Flyweight title against unbeaten European champion Jay Harris (17-0 9 KOs)

Murat Gassiev (26-1 19 KOs) will make his long-awaited Heavyweight debut against Jerry Forrest (26-3 20 KOs), Israil Madrimov (4-0 4 KOs) defends his WBA Inter-Continental Junior-Middleweight title in an official eliminator for the #2 position in the WBA against Venezuelan Charlie Navarro (29-9 22 KOs).

Matchroom Boxing USA talents Diego Pacheco (8-0 7 KOs) and Alexis Espino (5-0 4 KOs) get their first taste of action in 2020 and headline star Garcia will showcase two of his Garcia Promotions charges with 20 year old unbeaten Texan Flyweight Jesse Rodriguez (10-0 6 KOs) clashing with Marco Sustaita (12-2-1 10 KOs) over ten rounds and unbeaten Mexican Middleweight Leo Ruiz Acevedo (6-0 4 KOs) taking on Dennis Knifechief (12-11 7 KOs) over six rounds.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Garcia on Spence: ‘He isn’t the hardest guy to hit’

Two-division world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia is eager for another crack at returning to the championship ranks, but knows that he can’t look past the hard-hitting Ivan “El Terrible” Redkach when they face off in a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator Saturday, January 25 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“I’m just taking it one fight at a time,” said Garcia. “I’ve been that way my whole career. I know that you can’t overlook anyone. I’m totally locked in on Ivan, and that’s it.

“We’re just working hard and working smart. We’re making the necessary adjustments for Redkach specifically, but this is just another fighter in front of us. I noticed that he’s really hungry. He obviously wants to win, and he’s coming off of three solid victories. He has his confidence back now. I just have to be ready for whatever he brings to the table on January 25.”

Redkach is coming off a career-best victory in June, when he knocked out former two-division champion Devon Alexander in his first fight campaigning at welterweight. It was Redkach’s third straight victory since losing to John Molina Jr. in a memorable 2017 firefight that saw both men hit the canvas.

“I caught some highlights of his fight against Devon, but not the whole fight,” said Garcia. “I saw the full Molina fight though, and I know what I’m up against. Molina caught him, but before that, Ivan was doing well. He just got careless. So I just have to be on my A-game and make no mistakes.”

Garcia’s last outing was a victory in April over veteran contender Adrian Granados that was notable in that Garcia flashed impressive power in becoming the first person to ever knock out the durable Granados.

“I feel like my new conditioning coach has really been able to help me with different kinds of strength training,” said Garcia. “We’re hitting different muscle groups and it definitely showed against Granados.”

With his return to Barclays Center on January 25, Garcia makes his eighth headlining appearance at the venue, the most of any fighter. Garcia also holds the arena’s single event boxing attendance record, for his 2017 welterweight title unification showdown against Keith Thurman. The Philadelphia-native has made a boxing home just a couple of hours up I-95 from his hometown, starting with headlining the venue’s first boxing event in 2012.

“It’s just a great atmosphere in Brooklyn and at Barclays Center,” said Garcia. “The fans there have gotten to know me really well, and all my fans in Philly can make the quick drive up. They love to watch me fight there and they know when Danny Garcia comes to New York, it’s going to be a great night of boxing.”

With a win in this title eliminator, Garcia would put himself in line for the WBC welterweight title held by unified champion Errol Spence Jr. Garcia has also been rumored as a possible next opponent for WBA Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao. If one of those two opponents are next for Garcia, he is confident in his abilities to become world champion again.

“I feel like my style is dangerous for both Spence and Pacquiao,” said Garcia. “For Errol, I see he likes to stand in front of his opponents and he isn’t the hardest guy to hit. With Manny, I feel like my counter punching and style would also be hard for him. So, I like my chances against both of them.”

Photo: Frank Micelotta/FOX Sports

Official statement on Errol Spence’s condition

Unified welterweight champion Errol Spence, who recently defeated Shawn Porter to capture the WBC welterweight title, was involved in a single-car accident Thursday morning in Dallas. The 29-year-old Spence was reportedly ejected from his white Ferrari.

Here is an official statement from Errol Spence’s team on his condition:

“Errol Spence Jr., IBF/WBC unified welterweight world champion, was involved in a serious, single-car accident in Dallas early Thursday morning and is being treated at a Dallas-area hospital. Spence is awake and responding and his condition is listed as stable. He did not sustain any broken bones or fractures, but has some facial lacerations. He is expected to make a full recovery.

He is currently resting with his family by his side. They want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes and are extremely grateful to the Dallas first responders who rushed to the scene to attend to Errol after the accident and the doctors who are taking care of him at the hospital.”