Errol Spence Jr Interview Transcript – Spence Jr vs Garcia

R. Schaefer – We are ready to move on to Errol Spence Jr. Saturday March 16. I call it the coronation in Dallas. Boxing fans, sports fans, and thanks to FOX, the general public will witness who will be crowned as boxing’s new pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.

As we all know, there are two sayings in boxing. The first one is, a great big man always beats a great smaller man. If that holds true, Errol Spence Jr. will be crowned in Dallas. But there is another saying, made famous by none other than Floyd Mayweather, that skills pay the bills. And if that holds true, Mikey Garcia will be crowned.

When the fight was announced, I would say that 98% of the boxing media, boxing experts and fight fans, picked Errol Spence to win the fight. Last week I made some calls and was checking around a bit, and it seems now we are getting close to a 50-50 fight. This is evident as well in how the odds have changed and dropped in Las Vegas.

It’s pretty simple. This is the fight to see. How often do we see two undefeated world champions, two world champions in their prime, two world champions universally recognized among the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world?

In almost 20 years promoting the biggest events, I do not remember a single one event which delivered an undefeated in their prime and top five pound-for-pound fighter. It’s a fascinating match up. And that’s why I think, as I mentioned before, with all the support from FOX and the excitement building, we will have an unbelievable pay-per-view come March 16.

Both of these young men are an asset to our sport. They are great ambassadors for boxing, and all of us involved in the sport of boxing, can be proud that we as an extension of it, are involved in a sport which has two such amazing young men.

Errol Spence is clearly the man at 147 pounds. He’s undefeated. He’s the king of his division, and he is today without any question, pound for pound, one of the best fighters in the world. It’s an honor to introduce now the undefeated IBF world champion, Errol Spence Jr. Errol?

Errol Spence Jr.
Hi. How is it going? Happy to be on this conference call. It’s been a great training camp and I’ve been 100% focused and hungry and can’t wait to put on a great show March 16.

Q
Errol, I am curious if you have noted, like Richard Schaefer said, that more and more pundits are seeing that it’s possible that Garcia beats you. Have you noted that? Have you heard people, more people saying, no, I give Mikey a good chance to beat Errol? And if yes, why do you suppose that is?

E. Spence
That’s not something I pay attention to, it’s tight enough from what I’ve seen. I can’t worry about that. I’ll just worry about what my camp thinks and how our preparation is going and my focus is 100%. I’m just ready to put on a great show. So I don’t care if that changed in his favor for all I care. It just means he’s going to get in the ring and fight.

Q
You’re up in DeSoto, right, not actually Dallas?

E. Spence
Yes, but I grew up in Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and I grew up in Dallas. So I went first kindergarten all the way to fourth grade in Dallas, and then I went to Cedar Hill and then I went to DeSoto for ninth grade all the way to 12th.

Q
You said you went to two high schools. Could you list those two high schools for me?

E. Spence
Cedar Hill High School and DeSoto High School.

Q
I know when you and Derrick first met, I know you guys talked about how you kind of were in the ring against each other. Do you remember the name of that gym and the city where located?

E. Spence
Vivero Boxing Gym. It’s the same gym that Vergil Ortiz started at too.

You and Derrick often talk about your big sparring partners, sparring middleweight, sparring heavyweight, things like that, just wondering if you guys took a different approach to this fight, if you aimed for smaller, faster sparring partners, and if there are any you can name specifically?

E. Spence
We have added some lighter spars, 140 pounders and guys that fight at my weight. One of them is Amon Rashidi, and he’s fighting out on the undercard and he’s 5-0. He’s pretty much the same height as Mikey Garcia. But we’ve been still adding in bigger guys, just for the physical approach and just getting good work out of those guys.

Q
When Mikey first started talking about fighting you, what was your inclination about wanting to fight him?

E. Spence
At first I didn’t really care too much for fighting him, it got to a point where he started talking a lot more and a lot of other welterweights. I was pretty much busy, like Shawn Porter, like Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, they all had their dates. Manny Pacquiao too. They were the obvious options for me. Then when I found that I could be fighting at AT&T Stadium, then it just made sense.

Q
If this fight wasn’t proposed to be at AT&T Stadium, would you have taken the fight still or would you have wanted to go in a different direction?

E. Spence
I don’t know. Everything happen for a reason. So it’s at AT&T Stadium. I don’t know what I would have decided if it wouldn’t have been at AT&T Stadium.

Q
If you do win, if you get by Mikey, that you are the best fighter in the world?

E. Spence
Like I always say, it’s not just about winning. It’s about your performance and it’s how you win. So if I have a spectacular performance, then I do rate myself as pound-for-pound just the best fighter in the world too.

Q
Do you subscribe to the theory that has been running out there since this fight that Mikey doesn’t have a chance? He’s the little guy. You’re the bigger guy. Do you subscribe to that David and Goliath theory? Or do you feel Mikey is a great fighter, he brings more to the table than people really think?

E. Spence
I think he definitely brings a lot to the table and I don’t – I mean people who say that he doesn’t stand a chance I feel like don’t really know anything about boxing or don’t know the history of boxing, just to say he doesn’t have a chance. He does have a title at 140.

That’s just one weight up from 147. So he does have experience fighting at 140. So I mean everybody has a chance. He does have a chance. He does have a lot of skills and he is fundamentally sound. He comes from that boxing pedigree. So he definitely has a chance.

Q
Is this the biggest fight of your life? Bigger than the Kell Brook fight?

E. Spence
It’s kind of hard to say because without that win and especially going overseas and fighting someone considered one of the best welterweight in the world and beating the man in his hometown, that added to a lot of experience in different things that have led me to this point and led me to the victory I’m going to get next Saturday.

I think this is the biggest one, just where it’s at and it’s on pay-per-view and it’s been hyped up to be really big. I think this might be the biggest win of my career right now.

Q
What are some of the flaws you’ve seen in Mikey’s game between now and start of training camp?

E. Spence
Mikey is tough and I like that. It shows that he’s really coming to fight and it’s going to be a great fight. They can feel however they feel. So I definitely have a game plan to exploit my strengths. And me and my camp, we’re working hard.

My coach has been watching him and we have a game plan ourselves. In the ring we’ll find out if my reach and my size is going to be an advantage or not, or maybe I just have really good ability. So we’ll see.

Q
Fighting at AT&T Stadium, does that put any added pressure on it, or is it another day at the office for you?

E. Spence
Well, me personally, it’s another day at the office, but it’s definitely a huge fight just exposure wise and becoming the superstar that I want to be. So I mean this is a huge fight. But for me, that’s another day in the office. I don’t really think about that till after the fight and the magnitude of it till after the fight. So I don’t get caught up in the moment but it is a huge fight, especially for my career.

Q
Do you really expect Mikey Garcia to be able to go 12 rounds with you?

E. Spence
If he goes 12 he goes 12, but with me, my mentality is, I train hard for a hard 12 round fight, because I don’t want to not expect something and then something else happens. I always tell myself that to make sure that I’m fully prepared, not just physically but mentally for a grueling 12 round fight.

So even if I do get the knockout, all through camp we’re focused on training hard for a 12 round fight. If I get the knockout, then good, but it’s something in my mind that, I want to be prepared if I have to go 12 rounds.

Q
Do you admire Mikey Garcia for wanting to step up and fight you, taking on this challenge?

E. Spence
I respect him. I really respect Mikey Garcia and his skills and his talent. It’s apparent. But other than that, I’ll respect him after the fight depending on this whole game plan and things like that. I definitely respect him for taking the fight and now that he’s rising to the challenge, he challenged me.

I don’t know who I would be fighting or where I would be fighting at if he didn’t call me out. So this is a great fight and the magnitude of the fight is great too.

So I’m just grateful to have this big fight of this type of magnitude on FOX pay-per-view. So I’m happy to be at the here right now.

Q
Are you just as excited to be in this fight as we are to see this fight?

E. Spence
I’m definitely excited. I was excited as soon as I found out where it was going to be at and basically it was just an easy fight to make. I wanted to fight, and it made sense for it to happen here. I’m excited to be fighting at home again and especially because we’re fighting at AT&T Stadium.

Q
What concerns you in your game plan about Mikey Garcia the most?

E. Spence
Nothing really. I feel like I’ve seen every style there is to see. Especially a guy like Mikey Garcia who’s very traditional and has a good full body of work. But at the end of the day, he’s very traditional. I’m very familiar with his style and what he does, things like that. I’ll be prepared for anything that he brings to the table.

Cameron Buford: Thank for answering the questions. And man, you mentioned those names before. Are those some of the names or some of the guys you would be looking at fighting after you fight Garcia next weekend?

R. Schaefer
Okay. I’m just going to have Errol make some closing comments. But I just want to add something. Errol Spence is one of those throwback fighters, a fighter who we all know is going to fight anybody and everyone.

Being as good as he is, being pound-for-pound one of the best, being undefeated, there are not too many other guys calling him out. So for Errol Spence Jr. to be headlining, to have his opportunity to headline his first pay-per-view event, to headline a pay-per-view event from the AT&T Stadium.

He’s also headlining the first PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View, the first time that a free over the air network, television network is entering the pay-per-view space, and Errol Spence is there and they’re doing it with him. And then to have the opportunity to fight an undefeated fighter, one of the best fighters in the world as well, a fellow top five pound-for-pound fighter with Mikey Garcia.

You look at all of these opportunities, Errol Spence Jr. is perfectly situated to really become the face of the sport and be the face of the sport. He has the skills, he has the talent and he has an opportunity, and he knows all of that. So I can’t wait to see you next week, Errol, it’s going to be a big week, and it’s going to be an exciting week. Let’s start the journey to make history here. I’d like to turn it over to you again, Errol, to make some closing comments.

E. Spence
I thank everybody for coming on the conference call. This is a real boxing event, a real boxing match between two great fighters, two top 10 pound-for-pound fighters who are undefeated. So that’s rare to have in today’s time, especially in boxing. So I hope everybody tunes in. You can get your tickets on SeatGeek.com.

It’s going to be an amazing event. And I can’t wait to put on another amazing performance. I’m 100% ready. I’m in tip-top shape. I’ve been training hard. I’m on crazy focus and I’ve basically got tunnel vision, straight to Mikey Garcia March 16. So make sure you are tuned in. It’s going to be an amazing event. Thank you.

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