The unified welterweight titles are on the line in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday
On Saturday night, Errol Spence Jr. will return to the boxing ring for the first time since his horrific car accident in October 2019. Spence will put his WBC and IBF welterweight world titles on the line against former two-division champ Danny Garcia in a Fox pay-per-view main event.
Spence (26-0, 21 KO) is one of boxing’s brightest stars and biggest talents. A combination of his one-vehicle accident and the global COVID-19 pandemic has kept him out of the ring after a thrilling fight with Shawn Porter that stood out as one of boxing’s best in 2019. With the boxing world hoping to see a unification showdown between Spence and Terence Crawford, Spence will first have to get through a talented former champion in Garcia.
Garcia (36-2, 21 KO) started his career 33-0 before losing two of his next three fights, decision defeats at the hands of Porter and Keith Thurman. He has since got back in the win column with wins over lower-tier opposition to place himself back in position to battle for a world championship. He is a former WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion and also held the WBC title at welterweight.
It seems the only person associated with the welterweight title bout on Saturday who isn’t pondering whether unified champion Errol Spence Jr. will still be the same some 14 months removed from a scary car accident is his opponent.
Danny Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs), a former two-division champion, is very much expecting to see the best of Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) when the two face off inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET). Instead, he has spent his time figuring out how to beat Spence and believes there was something to learn from his opponent’s last outing.
How to watch Spence vs. Garcia
Just two weeks before he rolled his Ferrari and was thrown from the vehicle while driving drunk at high speeds in Dallas, the 30-year-old Spence unified his IBF title with Shawn Porter’s WBC belt in a thrilling split-decision win that contended for fight of the year honors. The fight was action packed throughout and Garcia believes that Porter ultimately exposed flaws in Spence’s game.
“[Spence] was getting hit a lot and his defense [was exposed],” Garcia told “Morning Kombat” last week. [Porter] forced him into a tough fight.
“I have a different style than [Porter] but I’m also more dangerous than him. He has that awkward timing and rushes you and tries to throw you off your game but I’m more of a dangerous fighter with better counter punching and better skills.”
Garcia, 32, has only lost twice as a professional and both have been disputed decisions against Keith Thurman in 2017 and the following year against Porter. Garcia proved able to discipline Thurman over the second half of their unification bout by using his power to lower his opponent’s output, which is something he proved unable to do against Porter, whose jerky-jerky style gave the flat-footed Garcia fits.
Spence vs. Garcia card, odds
- Errol Spence Jr. -450 vs.Danny Garcia +350, WBC and IBF welterweight championship
- Eduardo Ramirez -440 vs. Miguel Flores +340, featherweights
- Sebastian Fundora vs. Habib Ahmed, super welterweights
- Josesito Lopez -330 vs. Francisco Santana +260, welterweights
- Isaac Avelar vs. Sakaria Lukas, super featherweights
- Frank Martin vs. Tyron Luckey, lightweights
- Fernando Garcia vs. Juan Tapia, featherweights
- Burley Brooks vs. Marco Delgado, super middleweights
- Vito Mielnicki Jr. vs. Steven Pulluaim, welterweights