Trainer Angel Garcia says Errol Spence Jr was stealing the rounds by fighting hard in the final minute of each round to impress the judges last Saturday night in beating challenger Danny Garcia.
Angel wanted to see more punch output from Danny (36-3, 21 KOs), and that was the game plan going into the fight against IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Garcia’s past came back to bite him on the backside, as he reverted to the way that he’s always fought by failing to throw a lot of punches, says Angel.
Team Garcia had the perfect game plan for Danny to win, but he failed to follow it to the letter the way he needed for him to dethrone Spence.
Angel says the only time Danny finally fought the way he wanted him to was in the final seconds of the 12th when he unloaded on Spence with combinations and worked him over.
Only Garcia knows why he chose not to fight that way the entire contest because he would have had an excellent shot at winning if he would have let his hands go similarly throughout the 12 round fight.
Errol was stealing rounds
“I saw him buckle a little, and then he let him get back into the fight. Spence was stealing the rounds too; he would get busy with a minute left in the rounds,” said Angel Garcia at the post-fight news conference
Spence likely wasn’t trying to steal rounds as part of his game plan for the fight.
It was probably a case of Spence taking advantage of Danny not letting his hands go, and it made it seem like Spence was trying to steal the rounds by being busier than Garcia.
When a fighter isn’t throwing punches, it’s easy to outwork them in the final minute of each round. In this case, Angel sees something that wasn’t there.
Instead of viewing it as a grand scheme by Spence, Angel should have recognized that his son Danny wasn’t throwing enough shots. Garcia was fighting like a sparring partner for all intents and purposes by taking shots and throwing back an occasional punch.
Angel wants Danny to be busier.
“Well, it was up to Danny; he had to let his hands go,” said Angel in explaining what went wrong in the loss to Spence.
“You know, you can’t enforce it. You can tell them what to do, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to do it. You can have a plan, and Danny should have gotten busier.
“We learned. As I said before, that was the past that he got back. That was what was happening in his other fights; he wasn’t busy enough.
“That’s the only thing. He took the shots well, he dipped, and he slipped, and he countered. If he had done a little bit more countering when he was dipping and slipping, that was the game plan.
“He took shots well, and he gave them back, and one time I thought he hurt Spence a little bit. He didn’t drop him, but he hurt him,” Angel said of Danny hurting Errol.
It might not have helped Garcia if he had thrown more punches last night because he probably wouldn’t have been able to retain his power on his shots.
Without power, Danny would be like anyone else and not nearly good enough to compete against a talented fighter like Spence.
With that said, Danny should have tried to throw more punches for a limited period to see how well he would do against Errol.
I didn’t see Garcia even try to throw more punches in the contest other than in the final seconds of round 12. He wasn’t going to do what Angel wanted him to by throwing more and taking the fight to Spence.
Danny is plagued with the counter-punching mentality, which a lot of fighters have. Counter-punchers are reactionary fighters, and they don’t know how to be first, and you change who they are.
Terence Crawford is the same way. He doesn’t throw a lot of punches typically, and he focuses on countering his opponents.
Thus far, it’s worked for Crawford, but he also has never fought anyone with any degree of talent. Hence, he’s still unbeaten.
Garcia fought well in the final seconds of 12th
“What he could have done better was to get busier because it’s not about punching, it’s about landing,” said Angel.
“It’s not about looking pretty slipping and dipping. You got to counter that. You can’t slip and dip and not counter. The judges don’t give you points for that.
“You win rounds by landing, you have to land punches, and that’s what Danny did tonight. He didn’t land enough.
“If he would have done what he did in the 12th, the last round, the last couple of seconds of the last round, that was the fight that he was supposed to give him.
“You saw how he held, but he just didn’t let his hands go,” said Angel about Garcia not throwing enough punches.
Angel needs to put Danny in with a couple of tune-up opponents to change his fighting way before he moves him back into contests against the elite at 147.
The way that Danny is resistant to change is troubling because he had an entire training camp to work on his punch output, and it should have been second nature to him to let his hands go.
What we don’t know is what the reason was for Garcia to hold back with his shots. Was he worried about gassing out and getting stopped by Spence? It’s possible.
Garcia gassed out in his fight against Lamont Peterson in 2015, and he was lucky to get a 12 round majority decision. Even back then, Danny showed vulnerability against a fighter who could be busier than him and put in more effort.
Last night, Spence wasn’t the more powerful of the two fighters; he was just busier, which was the difference in the fight.
This was the third time he lost a fight because he was outworked by his opponents at 147. It’s safe to assume that this is a problem that won’t go away no matter how much Angel preaches to Garcia to change the way he fights.
Danny needs to decide whether he wants to make as much money as possible by being the opponent for guys like Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter, and Vergil Ortiz Jr or possibly move to another weight class.
Although Garcia has already said he won’t return to the 140-lb division, he needs to reconsider because he’s too small to fight at 154.
If you threw Danny Garcia in there with a large junior middleweight like Jermell Charlo, he would likely take a beating and stopped due to eye swelling or a cut.