One of 2020’s last big fights will crown a new welterweight champion, and set him up mega fights and mega paydays in 2021.
Errol Spence Jr. (26-0-0 21 KOs) is returning to the ring after a 14-month layoff to defend the WBC and IBF welterweight titles against former 2 division champion Danny Garcia (36-2-0 21 KOs). They square off on FOX PPV starting at 9 pm Saturday night from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Spence Jr. is a Texas native and will enjoy a small home-field advantage over Philadelphia’s Garcia, who retains the edge in the overall experience.
Garcia (+333) is an underdog, but one of the more compelling ones in recent memory. Despite Spence Jr’s undefeated run and impressing in almost all of his fights, the action outside of the ring is what has boxing experts and the odd gambler worried able this fight. Spence (-455) is returning from the longest layoff of his career, and a serious car accident in October of 2019.
Before that, Spence had been on a tear, with back to back wins over Mikey Garcia (not related) and Shawn Porter helping push him into the top pound for pound fighter conversation. After the Porter win the fight was all but made and then the accident occurred. DG was coming off of a loss to Porter and then a win blistering KO win over the tough never before stopped Adrian Granados. After the accident left Spence Jr. on the shelf Garcia added a win over the southpaw Ivan Redkach, in preparation for Spence Jr.
How To Win The Fight
Spence has the easier path to victory, as a champion usually does. With his size, speed, and power the southpaw fighter is a matchup nightmare. He’s got good movement in the ring and you saw a lot of heart and grit in his win over Shawn Porter. He dropped Porter late in the fight and was able to seal the split decision win for himself. Garcia could be in for a long night if Spence is himself. Therein lies the rub.
After a major car accident and pandemic lead to 14 months away from the sport, can you be ready to go? How much ring rust will be there? He is saying the right things and looks to be in fantastic shape but we won’t know where he really is until he’s in the ring and gets tagged, which might not be immediate. Does he jump out too aggressively to prove he’s back, or will he be too tentative? Right now it’s all in Errol Spence Jr’s head, and we’ll find out for ourselves Saturday night.
Garcia’s strategy is more simple. He just has to be first. He’s left to title fights up to the judges and suffered through narrow losses, in fights some argue he won. This seems to come from Garcia preferring to be a counter-puncher. His left hook is one of the more talked about punches in boxing and it’s the real deal, but it can’t be his sole offensive weapon. Since Garcia is not as fleet of foot as Spence he’ll need to use his jab and set traps. Garcia can’t wait on Spence to come at him and counterpunch. He’s got to go get him, get him early, and hurt him. If Garcia can draw Spence into exchanges it sets up the fight Garcia would rather fight. Garcia has to be the guy throwing the first punch though.
The experts have mostly picked Spence in this fight, but have all cautioned to be wary of Garcia and his ability. A fight of this magnitude of two elite fighters in the division seems to happen too rarely in today’s game. Don’t miss this fight.