Garcia on Spence: ‘He’s the truth’

Errol Spence Jr. retained his IBF Welterweight World Championship in his hometown in front of 47,525 fans with a unanimous decision over four-division world champion Mikey Garcia in the main event of the first Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event Saturday night from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

All the cliches came out after this fight. “Size Matters,” “Skills Pays the Bills,” and so on. Garcia was making his welterweight debut, and while Spence’s size did matter, his skills are what got it done.

“Throughout training camp, a lot of commentators thought he was too smart, and I couldn’t box as well as him,” said Spence. “I showed I can box and I can move my head if I want to. The game is to be smart; it’s the sweet science. I had the size and reach advantage, so why not use it to take away the jab? It’s a weapon for me, and it takes away one of his weapons.

“The Truth” threw a career-high 1082 punches and out-landed Garcia by a staggering 345 to 75 margin.

After 12-rounds of action, all three judges saw the fight for Spence, by scores of 120-108 twice and 120-107.

“I really appreciate the love and support of the fans tonight,” said Garcia. “It’s a great night and all the credit to Errol, he’s a great champion. He’s the truth. He executed his game plan very well.”

What’s next for Spence? He wants Manny Pacquiao, who was at AT&T Stadium last night.

“He’s broken records here before, he’s a legend in the sport, and it’d be my honor to fight him next,” said Spence.

“Yes, why not?” said Pacquiao, when asked about facing Spence next. “We’ll give the fans a good fight. I’m so happy to be here at AT&T Stadium, and I hope I will be back here soon.”

We’ll see if Pacquiao will step up to the challenge, but after what we saw on Saturday night, if he declined the fight, who could blame him!

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
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Spence: ‘I don’t think anyone has the power to knock me out’

The perception, in boxing, is that many are running far away from IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Whether that’s the case, who knows, but one man we know for sure who is not running is four-division world champion, Mikey Garcia. In his welterweight debut, Garcia is looking to defeat Spence on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas(FOX Sports PPV).

When talking about this fight, you have to look at size. Spence has fought at 147 his career; while Garcia has not gone past 140, but according to Spence, size won’t matter in this fight.

“The size difference won’t matter,” Spence said this week. “Skill for skill and talent for talent, I’m more dominant than him in every aspect. I’ll beat him at anything he wants to do. On paper, he’s the toughest opponent to date, but once we get in the ring, we’ll find out.

“I don’t think anyone has the power to knock me out. We don’t allow that kind of mentality into training camp. I hope he tries though.”

If he beats Garcia on Saturday night, Spence believes that would make him the number one pound-for-pound boxer in the sport.

“This win makes me pound-for-pound number one,” Spence said. “Mikey has a great record and a big fan base, and I feel like winning this fight turns me into a star. Everyone wants to take Floyd Mayweather’s place as the face of boxing, and this puts me on the right track to become the face of boxing and the best fighter in the world

“This is a legendary fight. This is where we see what fighters are made of. There have been a lot of great fights when little guys came up and beat a bigger fighter. You can’t ever write off the little guy. This is going to be a hard fight.”

Spence is looking to bring the pain to Garcia, and his primary goal is to make Garcia regret taking this fight.

“I know I’m the best fighter in the world and I’m going to show it Saturday night. I’m going to punish him and make him wish he took his brother’s advice to not take this fight.”

Photo: James Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Garcia: ‘I know there is a lot more to my game that you guys still haven’t seen’

Usually, when a fighter goes up in weight, he likes to test himself against lesser opposition. Then, after that initial introduction, a fighter may go after the best in the division, but not Mikey Garcia. The four-division world champion is making his welterweight debut against maybe the best 147-pound fighter in the world. That fighter is IBF welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr.

Garcia will battle Spence this Saturday at AT&T Stadium(FOX Sports PPV) in Arlington, Texas.

For Garcia, it is not what he saw in Spence, but what he saw in himself that made him want to take this fight. Recently, on a conference call with the media, Garcia spoke about the moment he realized he wanted to fight Spence:

“Look, I was watching him fight Kell Brook, and I saw him really turn the fight around and showed to everybody why he’s the world champion and why he deserves all the credit,” Garcia said.

“And then I saw him fight Peterson. And we were watching with my dad and my brother, and I told Robert my brother and my dad that after a fight or two I want to fight Spence. And they all thought I was crazy and just joking, but I was serious. I told them, “I’m going to move into welterweight because I’m coming I’m moving to welterweight. I will fight and challenge Spence.

“I saw his fight with Peterson, and even though he did great, I just feel like there is a lot more that I can do. People keep asking me what did I see in him. Was there a particular fight? Something that I saw in his game? Some holes in his game? No. It’s not even about that.

“It was just what you guys haven’t still seen in me, and I know what I can do and what I’m capable of, and that’s what I’m betting on. That’s exactly why I took this fight because I know there is a lot more to my game that you guys still haven’t seen.”

Garcia has a lot of skills, but we’ll size matter come Saturday night in Texas?

We’ll find out soon…

Spence on Garcia fight: ‘This is definitely one of those crossover fights for me’

IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is thought of by many in the sport as possibly the best fighter at 147. To date, the biggest name that Spence has defeated was former world champion Kell Brook, but that fight took place in the UK. Now, Spence is preparing for the biggest fight of career, and this time it’s on American soil.

On March 16 at AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas(FOX Sports PPV), Spence will battle four-division world champion, Mikey Garcia. This fight will mark the first time that Spence will headline a pay-per-view, which means a lot to the Desoto, TX native.

“This is definitely one of those crossover fights for me,” Spence said at a media workout on Tuesday. “Garcia is the biggest name to date that I’m fighting on American soil. It’s just great being so young in my career, fighting in my first pay-per-view and fighting with a guy like Garcia who brings over a different fanbase.

“You can tell how I looked ten weeks ago compared to how I look now. I’m not overlooking Garcia. I’m in tip-top shape, slim and ready. The difference is that now in a pay-per-view fight you have to be more dedicated and focused to promote the fight, showing that you are a star in boxing and sports media.”

Spence(24-0, 21 KOs) has only gone the distance three times in 24 fights, and one thing that he has shown is a killer instinct, which enjoys showing in his fights.

“If you know me and you know my boxing style, you know I’m never in a boring fight,” Spence said. “Even if it’s just me beating up my opponent, or them just being hurt, I’m always going to try to stop my opponent and put on a spectacular performance.

“I put that pressure to look great on myself, not just because I’m undefeated or because everybody says this about me, I do it for myself to put on a great performance and a great show. I want to do that so great guys can look at me and think about if they want to fight me or not. That’s why a lot of guys don’t want to fight me.”

Garcia won’t be an easy night for Spence on March 16, and the pressure is on Spence because he is the bigger guy and the fight is in his own backyard. However, if Spence is who many say he is, he must win these type of fights.

Photo/Credit: Renato Rimach/TGB Promotions

Garcia: ‘A lot of people underestimate the power when they face me’

Mikey Garcia hosted a media workout in Riverside, CA. on Tuesday as he prepares to battle IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. on the first Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event Saturday, March 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The undefeated Garcia(39-0, 30 KOs) is a four-division champion, but this by far is the biggest challenge of his career, and while Spence is the bigger guy, Garcia believes that people should not sleep on his power.

“A lot of people underestimate the power when they face me,” Garcia said. “They don’t see my physical size as a threat. But you know they feel the power once we’re in the ring and definitely change their minds.

“(I wanted to fight Spence) because he’s the best right now in the (welterweight) division. I want to make a statement. I want to make a mark, and you know I have to do that against the best.”

Not only does Garcia believe he has the power to hurt Spence, but the 31-year-old Garcia thinks he is the more skilled fighter.

“I believe I’m a better fighter overall,” Garcia said. “When it comes to footwork, I think I have the better footwork. When it comes to speed, I think I have better speed. When it comes to defense, I have better defense. With timing, I have better timing. All of these things are what will help me win this fight. The only thing that he has going for him that’s apparent is the size, height, weight and reach.

“I’ve always said I’m better than him. Not by a lot, but just enough to beat him. He also reminds me of myself in a lot of ways, the way he fights, the way he is. He does everything well, good footwork, good speed, controls the fight at his distance that he likes… In a lot of ways, it resembles the way I fight. But I still feel that I’m better in every one of those ways and that’s what I’m betting on.”

This is an intriguing fight, but no matter what happens, you have to give Garcia a lot of credit for trying to beat a guy that many are reluctant to fight, but, in the end, Garcia is willing to risk it all to be great.

Photo: Don Alexander/Dallas Cowboys

Spence on top fighters at 147: ‘Whoever ends up on top from this group, will end being a Hall of Famer’

IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is considered, by some, to be one of the best welterweights in boxing, but to be considered the best, he is going to have to beat some of the top guys in the division.

Some of those top guys include WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter, and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman. While those guys are belt-holders at 147, there a few other names out there that are tops in the division, including Manny Pacquiao and Danny Garcia.

According to Spence(24-0, 21 KOs), who will battle four-division world champion Mikey Garcia(39-0, 30 KOs) on March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the best at 147 need to fight each other.

“The welterweight division has always been one of the strongest divisions in the sport, and it is like that now,” Spence said on Saturday at a press conference to promote his fight with Garcia.  “We just need to fight each other. I’m ready to fight any of them. Whoever ends up on top from this group, will end being a Hall of Famer. That’s how you become an all-time great.”

Credit should go to Mikey Garcia for his willingness to fight Spence; credit should also go to Amir Khan who is stepping up to fight Crawford in April.

Sadly, the politics of boxing might prevent Top Rank’s Crawford from fighting PBC’s Thurman, Spence, and others. However, not many PBC fighters have been willing to step up and face Spence, which is why what Garcia is about to do should be applauded.

Ultimately, the top guys at 147 do need to fight each other. It’s good for the sport, and it according to Spence, it could mean a spot in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

 

Spence on Garcia: ‘I thought he was just chasing my name when he was calling me out’

Unbeaten welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. and undefeated four-division champion Mikey Garcia previewed their upcoming showdown and faced-off live on FOX at a press conference in Los Angeles Saturday as they near their battle for pound-for-pound supremacy that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, March 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Spence and Garcia were joined on stage at the press conference by a living legend, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns, who won titles in five weight divisions and fought Sugar Ray Leonard in one of the most memorable welterweight fights in history.

Many were surprised that Garcia was willing to face one of the most feared fighters at 147 in Spence, including the IBF welterweight champion.

“At first, I thought he was just chasing my name when he was calling me out,” Spence said. “Once it became real, I saw how serious he was. At that point, I was very confident it would happen.

“I’m not the bully here because Mikey really pushed for the fight. The other champions weren’t available at the time, plus Mikey is the only top fighter who called me out. I knew this was a fight I wanted.”

While Spence believes his size advantage will help him fight night, he also believes his skills will be a factor as well.

“Mikey is undefeated, has a great skill set and has won a title at 140-pounds,” Spence said. “I don’t see him as that small a fighter. He has a technical style that’s very traditional. He likes to use angles to set his opponent’s up.

“Size always matters, but when you get in there, at the end of the day, it’s about skills and intelligence. I’m not going to rely on size. I’m going to focus on my talent. If I can roll through him, then I’ll show my killer instinct and try to get him out of there. I’m going to use my ability to break him down.”

Tickets for the March 16 event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now and can be purchased at SeatGeek.com, the Official Ticketing Provider of AT&T Stadium.

Photos from Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
 

 

Mikey Garcia on Spence: ‘This is a match that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time’

Mikey Garcia is striving to put together a legendary career and is aggressively pursuing that goal. He has won world championships at featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, and junior welterweight.

The 31-year-old Garcia first reached the championship ranks by blitzing through the featherweight and junior lightweight division, defeating Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez, Roman Martinez, and Juan Carlos Burgos to establish himself as a star in the sport. Garcia has been on a fast track since ending a nearly 2-1/2-year hiatus with a knockout victory over Elios Rojas in 2016. After the win over Rojas, Garcia scored a KO victory over Dejan Zlaticanin for the WBC lightweight championship in January 2017, before defeating four-division champion Adrien Broner in July and then captured a title at 140-pounds by dropping and defeating Sergey Lipinets last March.

Garcia unified the IBF and WBC Lightweight World Championships in his last bout by scoring a unanimous decision victory over Robert Easter, Jr. on July 28.

However, what Garcia is going up against on March 16 is going to be the biggest test of his career. Garcia will battle IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and will be televised on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View.

“In my career, I’ve always sought to fight the best in boxing, and this fight against Errol Spence Jr. is just that,” said Garcia. “I want to be known as one of the all-time greats and what better way to do that than to win a welterweight title and become a five-division world champion. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Errol and what he’s accomplished, but I fully expect to leave the ring at AT&T Stadium with the welterweight world title. This is a match that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, and I plan on giving the fans a performance they’ll never forget.”

Is Garcia biting off a little more than he can chew? Maybe, however, greatness requires risks, and Spence is a risk Garcia is willing to take on March 16.

 

Loma: ‘After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey(Garcia)’

WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko was at home at the Boxing Laboratory as he prepared for his next challenge. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who has won world titles in three weight classes in just 12 pro fights, will seek to unify titles for the first time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs), Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden (ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET).
Lomachenko worked out for the media Tuesday, showing off his assortment of training tricks. This is what the pound-for-pound great had to say.

On the Pedraza fight

“I had a long rest {following shoulder surgery}. I am looking forward to seeing how I feel and taking on a tough opponent like Pedraza. I haven’t had much time to watch his fights.”

On potentially unifying the titles

“I can’t wait. After this fight, a lot of doors will be open. Title unification fights are good for the sport of boxing.”

On future opponents

“I love challenges. That’s what motivates me. I want all the top fighters. I’m open to anyone.”

On the Jorge Linares fight

“It was the first time I was knocked down as a pro. After the knockdown, I came back and finished the fight. It was a tough fight, but I showed the heart of a champion.”

On whether he’ll remain at lightweight

“I believe I’ll stay at 135 and focus on 135 because when I fought against Linares, I felt like he was bigger than me. So I’ll stay at 135 because I think 135 is not my {ideal} weight category right now. After one or two years, it will be my {ideal} weight.”

On a Mikey Garcia fight

“I hope {it will happen}. We can see in the future because my next fight is against Pedraza. After Pedraza, we can talk about fighting Mikey.”

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Photos from Garcia’s victory over Easter

Mikey Garcia became the 10th lightweight champion to unify the division with a unanimous decision against Robert Easter Jr. Saturday on SHOWTIME, and immediately afterward set his sights on boxing’s best, namely Errol Spence Jr.

Full fight highlights here: https://s.sho.com/2LzlnJ6

All three judges scored the fight in favor of Garcia, 118-109, 117-110, 116-111, in an electrifying fight in front of 12,560 fans at STAPLES Center in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The four-division world champion Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) – who was fighting in his native Southern California for the first time in seven years – keeps his 135-pound WBC title and also claims Easter’s IBF Lightweight belt

“I’m here for the biggest challenges,” said Garcia, 30, who unified a title for the first time in his career. “I don’t know if there is anyone that is a bigger challenge than Errol Spence. I know he’s up to fight everyone so let’s make it happen. I think it can be made. I think that’s the next big fight coming up.

“I feel I have the power and the skillset to compete in any division up to welterweight. He’s the toughest guy at welterweight so I want to face him.”

Garcia scored a knock down in the third round against Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio, who was sent to the canvas for just the second time in his career. A strong right jab put Easter out of position, immediately followed by a devastating left hook sent him down with 24 seconds remaining in the round.

Garcia got better as the fight progressed. In the final four rounds Garcia out-landed Easter 95-34 in total punches and ended the fight being the more active fighter throwing 555 punches to Easter’s 507. He connected on nearly 40 percent of his power shots while Easter landed at a 24 percent clip.

Here are photos from Garcia’s victory:

Mikey GarciaMikey Garcia vs Robert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_14221_Garcia vs Easter_2984Mikey Garcia vs Robert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_3082Mikey Garcia vs Robert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_13311_Garcia vs Easter_197Mikey Garcia vs Robert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_437Mikey Garcia vs Robert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_29671_Garcia vs Easter_2671_Garcia vs Easter_3091Mikey Garcia vs Robert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_25111_Garcia vs Easter_3491_Garcia vs Easter_109Mikey Garcia vs Robert Easter JrRobert Easter Jr1_Garcia vs Easter_7201_Garcia vs Easter_1109