Saturday night, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. will defend his belts from the assault of Danny Garcia. For Spence it will be the return to the international scene after the terrible car accident that in October 2019 saw him catapulted out of his Ferrari while driving under the influence of alcohol. The fight will be broadcast for a fee in streaming on the Fite Tv site.
Here we are. Saturday 5 December, the long wait will be over when the WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr. will lock horn against Danny Garcia in Arlington, Texas. Let’s have a look on what to expect from those two great boxers.
Although the physical damage reported by Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KOs) after the terrifying impact of his Ferrari was modest compared to what could have happened to him, many expected Spence’s career to slowdown, if not an abrupt stop. Although Errol Spence Jr. suffered no fractures, the talented American athlete had to deal with facial abrasions and tooth injuries, so much so that for a few months after the accident he was unable to do any sparring. As a result, many boxing commentators were expecting Errol Spence Jr. to take on a mid-range opponent, perhaps not very powerful, just to resume gradually and test his performance after the break before throwing him back into the fray at the highest level. However, Errol Spence Jr. has made clear that a soft commitment would not give him the answers he needs and so Spence has chosen a real top fighter in the welterweight category, regardless of the risks related to such a decision. A superb demonstration of confidence in his own means or a gigantic gamble? Soon, we will find out.
Danny “Swift” Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) belongs to the category of boxers who struggle to express themselves at their best when the event in which they are protagonists is not a massive challenge. When Danny Garcia entered the ring as a great favorite, without the spotlights, he has repeatedly offered average performances, struggling to impose himself on good but not excellent boxers like Mauricio Herrera (24-9, 7 KOs) and Lamont Peterson (35-5-1, 17 KOs). In the great fights, however, Danny Garcia has always shown character and talent: Garcia’s KO against Amir Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) was a marvelous one, and his unanimous decision victory over the ferocious Lucas Matthysse (39-5, 26 KOs) was magnificent. Even when he lost, Danny Garcia was never overwhelmed, so much so that the verdicts that condemned him against Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) first and Shawn Porter later, were marked by minimal margins and not everyone agreed with the decisions. The counter-punching skills of Garcia together with timing, defense and solidity are his best weapons. On the contrary, his workrate has been slightly deficient so far and Garcia will necessarily have to show progress if it wants to keep at bay a puncher with a mad pace like Errol Spence Jr.
Trying to predict what will happen on Saturday night between these two formidable athletes is made particularly difficult by the big car accident of Errol Spence which may or may not have affected his psycho-physical conditions. Will we see at work the same boxer we were used to? In this case, we are all in with Errol Spence Jr. But, if somehow the car accident and the related inactivity has affected him, it would be impossible to provide a meaningless prediction. What will happen when Garcia’s first hard shots hit his face? Since it is impossible for any of us to answer these questions, we have no choice but to conduct the analysis assuming that the only variables intended to determine the course and outcome of the challenge are related to the value of the two fighters.
In terms of the comparison of styles, Danny Garcia could be facilitated by the fact that he is in the presence of an attacking boxer who will not force him to take the initiative and who could expose himself to his fearsome blows. On the other hand, in the course of his career Spence has proven several times that he is much more than a rough assault attacker and all-out attack strategy may not be the only way to achieve victory. Emblematic was what happened when Spence Jr. was challenged by the youngest Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs), who climbed from light to welter to try to make history: although many believed that Spence Jr. could have used only his physicality to impose himself, Spence Jr. outclassed his rival on all fronts by making a masterful use of jabs and unleashing his two-handed combinations only in the last few rounds. A reasoned pressure made of small steps, profitable use of jab and gradual increase of rhythms would seem to be the ideal recipe for Spence Jr. to defend his throne, but it will be extremely interesting to find out to what extent the challenger will dare to take his risks after twice in the past the judges have declared him a loser, leaving him the regret of not having believed in himself all the way. So, in my opinion, Spence Jr. is favorite and somehow he should be able to bring home another victory, most likely by unanimous decision.