By Miguel Maravilla
Fight week is here as undefeated four-division champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) of Riverside by way of Oxnard, California returns for a showdown against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) of Dallas. Garcia takes on Spence this Saturday night March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas live PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event.
“I wanted this fight because he’s the best right now in the division. I want to make a statement and I’m ready. A lot of people are underestimating me and I will prove everyone wrong,” Mikey Garcia told Fightnews.com®. “I know I’m facing an undefeated fighter. This is the challenge I wanted.”
With camp wrapped up, Garcia is set to go as he held a solid training camp at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Riverside under his brother Robert and father Eduardo Garcia. The 31-year-old also teamed up with Victor Conte taking part in SNAC strength and conditioning program. Mikey also had solid sparring as he sparred with 2012 Olympic Brazilian silver medalist Esquiva Falcao to prepare for Spence.
“I did all the work and sparring to come in shape and come out winning,” Garcia on his preparation. “I’m sparring bigger guys and you couldn’t tell who the bigger guy is. There was days in camp that I was pushing the guys. Some days, I boxed. You’ll be surprised.
“Mikey is looking good. He’s sparring bigger guys and Mikey has been able to hang in there. That’s been the difference this camp,” Robert Garcia told Fightnews.com®.
Garcia won a unanimous decision over Robert Easter Jr. in his last fight, Garcia dropped Easter and dominated, opening up the door for a Spence match-up. Following his victory at the post-fight press conference, Garcia hinted on the possibility of fighting Spence.
The champ, Spence will be making the third defense of his IBF title he won over Kell Brook in May of 2017. Spence is coming off aa first round knockout over Carlos Ocampo in Spence’s homecoming at the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, the Dallas Cowboys training facility. The 2012 U.S. Olympian will be the biggest challenge of Garcia’s career.
“He is a great champion and reminds me of myself. He does everything well. He resembles the way I fight because he can box, use good footwork. It’s more than just strength and size.”
This will be Garcia’s first fight at 147 as he will be making the leap from lightweight to welterweight moving up two weight divisions to take on Spence. Garcia has fought two-times over the 135 pound lightweight limit with victories over Adrien Broner and Sergey Lipinets at super lightweight. His last fight against Easter was at 135.
“The first thing everyone sees is the size, weight, it’s possible to overcome this challenge,” Garcia said on the size difference.
“This is a big challenge with a bigger and heavier guy but he won’t be the smarter,” Robert Garcia said.
They say everything is bigger in Texas and this Saturday, Garcia will be fighting in the biggest venue in sports at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys often referred to as Jerry’s World, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stadium. Garcia will also be going into in Spence’s hometown looking to dethrone the welterweight champ. This fight marks Garcia’s second fight in the D.F.W. (Dallas/Fort Worth) area as he scored a knockout over Juan Manuel Lopez back in June of 2013.
“I believe there is going to be fans for both sides. I have fans everywhere. I have fought in Texas before and I have fans there too.” Garcia on fighting in the Lone Star State.
If all goes well this Saturday night for Mikey, with a win over Spence, Garcia will become a five-division world champion adding another title to his legacy. Winning titles in the featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, and possibly the welterweight division.
“A win over Spence will definitely give me the recognition to be one of the best,” Garcia said.
Mikey is simply looking to become one of the best as he has a challenge ahead of him in Spence.
“Spence is the best. He’s referred to as the best in his division. To be the best, you have to beat the best,” Garcia said. “I have to be prepared to do whatever it takes. I want to show everyone that I’m a bad ass!”
“Mikey wanted the best challenge out there. He wants to be recognized as the best,” Robert Garcia added.
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