Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia Fight Pick

Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, March 16, 2019
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: PPV
Weight Class: Welterweight
Titles: IBF World Welterweight Championship
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Errol Spence, 24-0 (21 KOs), DeSoto, Texas
Vs.
Mikey Garcia, 39-0 (30 KOs), Moreno Valley, California

Betting Odds: Errol Spence (-490), Mikey Garcia (+390)

Errol Spence battles Mikey Garcia in an IBF Welterweight title bout on March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. It’s a big-time fight, between two champions who enter the ring with a combined 63-0 with 51 knockouts. Spence, 28, is a rising force, an unbeaten titleholder at 147 pounds who many feel is the best at welterweight. He is facing a smaller champion in Garcia, who rises from lightweight in what would appear to be a massive task against the best in the business two weight classes above him. Garcia, however, is a massively-talented boxer and 39-0 after winning titles in three different weight classes. Who can come out ahead in Spence-Garcia? Let’s take a look.

Garcia will be 31 by fight-night and is dead in his prime. He took a few years off a while back and has been on-point since his return. He has won titles at 126, 130, and 135 pounds, last beating unbeaten lightweight belt-holder Robert Easter. His resume has more of a ring of quality to it than Spence, as he has beaten some good fighters in his career. He will have his hands full with the 24-0 (21 KOs) Spence, a former Olympian who has fulfilled all the promise he showed as a gifted amateur. His win over Kell Brook for the title was a quality win and he looked lethal in two title defenses, one coming against accomplished Lamont Peterson, who was stopped in the 7th round.

A quick look at the odds infers that weight is a major issue. Spence has four inches of height and reach on Garcia. But Spence is a big welterweight, a fighter who might end up at middleweight some day. Garcia is a fighter who spent most of his career at 126-130 pounds, only recently moving up to lightweight. He’s more or less a blown-up lightweight now trying his hand at welterweight—against an unbeaten champion who is being steered toward superstardom. One can understand how the size difference will be the most-compelling factor in this matchup for many observers.

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I feel fairly convinced that despite that, Garcia will be Spence’s most-difficult opponent. It’s true that Spence has size on Garcia, but length-wise, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Spence doesn’t utilize his length to much affect, as a fighter who likes to get close and wield that heavy hook to both the body and head. And let’s face it—Spence’s body-work is among the best at or around his weight. Perhaps Garcia’s smaller stature, however, will offer Spence a smaller target. Let’s also not forget that it was Garcia who sought out this matchup. He could have just minded his own business, calling out any number of fighters that would have seemed easier. It tells me that in Garcia’s mind at least, he sees a path to victory. And so do I.

Spence is no slow-poke, but speed is a good way to trouble him. Garcia will be the fastest fighter Spence has fought by a fairly substantial margin. Spence needs to set and reset to launch those heavy shots to the body. It’s just that Garcia is so shifty and quick, even within the pocket that it doesn’t figure to be an easy task by any measure. Garcia simply won’t be an available target. That’s Spence’s wheelhouse on the inside and at mid-range, but Garcia is pretty sharp in those areas and has the speed and presence-of-mind to make Spence pay for any sloppiness.

It would be foolhardy to make light of the weight element of this fight. And that should be rephrased as the size element, as their weigh-in numbers should be fairly close. But in essence, Spence is a medium-sized guy and Garcia is a small guy. Spence has been at welterweight forever and could be close to middleweight poundage by fight-night. Garcia has weighed in the 120’s for most of his fights. He is adding some natural girth as he ages, but is simply the smaller fighter. Garcia may walk around at 145, while Spence might see north of 180 pounds between fights. And he’d still be in shape. To be jumping 2 divisions to fight another fighter who had moved up in weight might not be that big of a deal. To jump up two classes to take on a fighter who is at the low-end of his career weight-trajectory is something quite different. You have a guy who was a featherweight not that long ago taking on a guy who might be a middleweight in a few years.

Therefore, this looks to be a punishing fight in many respects for Garcia. Whether or not he can handle the power and strength of Spence is a major consideration. But maybe in some way, the size-differential will help. Again, it makes Garcia a smaller target, particularly to the body. Garcia will be able to use his speed to get under Spence and do some damage of his own. To do so, Mikey will need to be in great shape, as he will be expending a lot of energy. He has some of the best legs in the game and in this fight, he will need to use them overtime.

Garcia is one of the sport’s more-versatile fighters. For me, it seems he is at his best with an opponent who wants to take the lead. And as the bigger man, Spence is almost trapped into playing that role. He won’t win any fans coming out and getting on his bike against the much-smaller man. He is going to come after Garcia, which suits the Californian fine. It enables Garcia to showcase more fully the entire spectrum of his considerable skills. It will allow him to take advantage of Spence’s miscues. It is simply a better stylistic matchup for Garcia to unfurl his natural style where he makes people pay for mistakes. Garcia’s game is defense and speed. He has a better overall game and is the more-refined boxer. Not that Spence is some lumbering slugger where punching power is his only redeemable trait. But he relies more on brawn than anything else and this is the type of matchup where the shortcomings in other parts of his game might come clearer into view.

Again, the size—I get it. Believe me, I do. It just flies in the face of certain conventions to think a fighter can just jump all the way up to the toughest division in the sport and beat the prohibitive top-dog. That doesn’t even sound right when it hits the ear. I just keep getting this vision of Spence hooking away with his big shots, both to the head and body, while Garcia is faster, throwing straighter shots, and keeping a much more-viable defense. I see the style matchup offering more promise to the cause of Garcia than the odds indicate.

This might seem disrespectful against Spence. He’s unbeaten and one of the best young fighters in the sport. But Garcia is something special and to be getting him at these odds in any kind of reasonable matchup is hard to pass up, especially when that matchup actually has some wrinkles in it that favor him. It won’t be easy. On top of the size and power gap is a fighter in Spence who has a winning fighting spirit and won’t be easy to dissuade. I just see the judges giving Garcia a good shake in this fight, as it’s hard to not push for the little guy. With Garcia hanging in there and having his share of moments, I see a very-realistic path to victory. I’m taking the number on Garcia.

Loot’s Pick to Win the Fight: I’m betting on Mikey Garcia at +390 odds. Did you know… that you could be wagering on the Spence vs. Garcia fight at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds on fights with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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