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.
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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.
Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions