This Saturday night, Errol Spence Jr. returns to the ring against Danny Garcia for Spence’s WBC and IBF welterweight belts at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Fox PPV.
Much has been made about Spence’s comeback to the sport after surviving a horrible car wreck last October. Although Errol looks to be in great shape physique wise questions remain to ensure he is all the way back and ready to continue an ever-rising career.
Danny Garcia is as tough as they come but falls short at 147 in the way of top-level stripes; if he comes away victorious, there’s no way he’ll be giving his just due.
Stylistically we should be in for an entertaining brand of boxing, and let’s hope that one or two of the undercard bouts pop off and deliver some great action.
The vast majority of the talk for fight week centers on the return of Errol Spence, and for a good reason. Not only is Spence a budding star within the sport, he’s slowly but surely gaining notoriety among the casual fans as well.
Late in 2019 and early in this wild 2020 calendar, many folks were wondering if and when Errol Spence would be back after a brutal car accident that somehow resulted in Spence not breaking a single bone. That said, he still did enough damage to his face, mouth, and body to keep him in the hospital for an extended stay. Spence lost some teeth when he hit the pavement after being tossed from his Ferrari, and his first time on camera during a PBC on FOX broadcast, it was apparent his mouth that was still healing. The more important stuff is the pain and aches Spence felt in his body for a long period post-accident and even admitted that he was still sore when he got back in the gym as he attempted a comeback.
This Tuesday, on my podcast, a great boxing mind John Einreinhofer stopped by the show and made several good points per usual. The one that stood out is the obvious concussion that Errol suffered and how that may affect his punch resistance and/or motor skills. It’s easy to get stuck thinking about whether or not Spence’s face will hold up without getting cuts, but it may be a much deeper issue mentally. That said, Errol has a great team around him, and it’s doubtful they would allow him to risk his health if they weren’t confident he’s ready to go. Then again, one more nice payday is hard to turn down if Spence isn’t the same guy. Time will tell, and lucky for us, we won’t have to wait that long now.
Moving over to Danny Garcia for a bit, this guy is super underrated as a boxer in his era. Many media and fans give Garcia grief for being a cherry picker, but once you really look at his resume, it amounts to just hate or retweets. Those same folks point to a 3-fight stretch between Lamont Peterson and Keith Thurman as he got comfortable to welterweight. And of course, they will never let him forget he fought Rod Salka or got the nod when many thought he lost to Mauricio Herrera in his homecoming event in Puerto Rico. People forget that he fought solid veterans as a prospect graduating to a contender. Not to mention his wins over Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse, both Danny came in as the clear underdog.
In 2017 he fought Keith Thurman, a year later Shawn Porter, and what would’ve been early 2020, Errol Spence, so let’s be honest when it comes to Danny in this “What have you done for me lately sport.” The key thing for Danny is his punch output and whether he is ready to behave like that hungrier fighter, we saw at 140. To his credit, the Garcia camp has owned up to that issue and addressed it by switching strength and conditioning coaches. His father and trainer Angel Garcia has made such a big deal about the lack of punching in his losses they will be grilled on a stake if Danny doesn’t come ready and willing to risk getting knocked out at some point.
Garcia has excellent timing as we’ve seen him land several thudding left hook counters and hard straight right hands throughout his career. His defense is not his strength, but the rest of his game is pretty solid, and often as his resume gets overlooked. What can’t be debated is Danny Garcia’s chin as it has held up under extreme fire over and over again. Garcia has made it known that he will have to get close to Spence to be effective, which makes sense giving away 3 ½ inches in reach and not being a great on the move outside boxer. If Spence comes to fight the way he did versus Shawn Porter, it would be a helluva action fight and give Danny the best opportunity to time Spence with a big blow.
Which brings us to the X’s and O’s part of this preview and prediction article. How will Errol Spence approach this matchup with Danny Garcia? Given the time off out of the ring and Garcia’s timing, this podcaster is assuming Spence takes his time on the offensive end in the early part of the fight. Not all that different than the way he fought Mikey Garcia in March of 2019. Spence used his length, a piercing jab, and boxing skills that we hadn’t seen much as a pro. In the second half of the fight is when ‘The Truth’ started to turn up the heat and attacked the body but couldn’t get Mikey to submit.
Not to sound like a broken record, but the jab per usual will be a key item for both guys in this 147-pound bout. If Danny can jab his way inside, it would help him set up his power punches and allow him to stay out of range instead of getting hit at the end of Spence’s punches. Both men are prone to working the body, so look for that to be another item that could begin to separate the rounds for Spence or keep Danny in the mix down the stretch. On the inside, Spence showed he can bang with the best of them with Shawn Porter and also ever so slightly take a step to the side/ or back to land flush hooks. If Spence is too reckless, obviously Danny would thrive not having to cut the distance and give him more chances to counter with the left hook.
As long as Spence is close enough to be 100% healthy, he will get the nod based on his overall skill, adjustments, and dog mentally able to bite down when the going gets tough. The two-way action will be featured throughout the 12-rounds but mostly, say, around 8 of them. Errol will be landing the telling blows and more of them as the fight drags on into the later frames. Danny’s iron-clad chin won’t allow me to predict a knockout, but he will get hurt and have moments of survival. That said, don’t be shocked if Errol tries to make a statement and ends up walking into a left hook or gets hurt in an exchange. This will play out to be in the 9-3 to 7-5 range so let’s meet in the middle 8-4.
My Official Predictions is Errol Spence by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: Keep an eye out for an all-action scrap between Josesito Lopez and Francisco Santana on the PPV undercard.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio