After his thoroughly dominant win over previously undefeated IBF lightweight champion Robert Easter Jr. on July 28th, Mikey Garcia took the opportunity to call out the former’s counterpart in the welterweight division: Errol Spence, similarly undefeated with 24 wins and 21 knockouts.
Already a four weight World champion with his lopsided unanimous decision win over IBF light-welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets in February, Garcia elected to move back down to lightweight and unify against Easter, prompting hopeful speculation among boxing fans regarding an eventual showdown with pound-for-pound superstar Vasyl Lomachenko.
Lomachenko, incidentally, is the division’s WBA champion following his sensational tenth-round stoppage win over three-weight king Jorge Linares in May at Madison Square Garden, and is expected to unify later this year against WBO counterpart and promotional stablemate Reymundo Beltran.
A successful unification against rugged veteran Beltran leaves the division’s two remaining belts in the possession of Garcia, following the latter’s outstanding performance against Easter at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Indeed, the prospect of Oxnard native Garcia meeting former two-time Olympic gold medallist Lomachenko for the undisputed lightweight championship would undoubtedly represent one of the biggest fights of this year, if not the decade.
However, for political reasons, such a superfight appears unlikely to materialise in the current climate; especially now that Garcia is planning another audacious venture upwards: this time, at welterweight, against one of the best fighters in the world, in a fight where virtually no one thinks he can win. It is, for all intents and purposes, an impossible ask.
Even Robert Garcia, Garcia’s trainer and a former super featherweight World champion in his own right – has expressed a distinct reluctance on a number of occasions when questioned about the possibility of Errol Spence fighting his younger brother.
Nevertheless, like any fighter, ‘The Truth’ probably has vulnerabilities that presumably Garcia feels he can capitalise on, but this does not mean necessarily mean he will be able to.
Ultimately, in fighting Errol Spence – someone who is considered big even for a welterweight – it is generally accepted that Mikey Garcia will be punching above his weight, literally and figuratively.
This is because Errol Spence is widely thought of to be one of the most spiteful southpaw punchers in the sport, and his devastating assaults to the body have felled many fighters bigger and stronger than Mikey Garcia.
Although last year’s World title fight against Kell Brook demonstrated that skilful, slippery fighters may be able to enjoy a degree of success in the early rounds against Spence, it must be noted that Brook – at the time probably the biggest and strongest welterweight champion – was eventually ground to a halt as he succumbed to Spence’s relentless pressure and power, before ‘no-massing’ in the eleventh on home soil.
It is hard not to get the impression that a similar – if not a significantly more brutal – fate awaits Mikey Garcia, should his desire to make history supersede his instinct for self-preservation.
Article by: Navi Singh
Follow Navi on Twitter: @hombre__obscuro