Spence-Garcia Final Presser

By Robert Ecksel on January 2, 2020

The smart money is on Spence, despite the lingering questions about his state of mind.

In the final presser before Saturday’s pay-per-view showdown at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, between WBC/IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) and two-division champion Danny Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs), the fighters spoke about their highly anticipated bout.

 

The fight will be Spence’s first since wrecking his Ferrari a year ago and how he performs is of as much interest as the ultimate winner of the bout. He could have chosen a less skilled opponent than Garcia. But Spence is taller, with a longer reach, a higher KO percentage, and is a southpaw to boot, suggesting his opponent, a natural super lightweight who has twice lost to elite welterweights Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, may be in for a long night. But Garcia won’t go down without a fight.

 

“Nobody forced me to fight Danny Garcia,” said Spence. “But I wanted to face someone dangerous who would keep me focused and in the gym training hard. Fighting someone who’s a great fighter like Danny pushes me to another level. That’s the level I’m supposed to be at.

 

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work and showed the discipline I had to in order to get back to this position. I made sure there were no outside distractions stopping me.”

 

It sounds as if Spence, who is 30, has seen the light, and the indiscretions which contributed to his car crash are behind him and hopefully for good.

 

“We’ve been in the gym since February grinding hard and now we’re back. I’m ready. I have a renewed focus. I’m back focused on the things that got me to the top of the mountain. That’s really about being back in the gym every day no matter what. I’m not just going to be in the gym when it’s fight time. We’re grinding hard every day. That’s what got me to being unified champion in the first place.”

 

Until the opening bell sounds, doubts persist that Spence, no matter how hard at work he is in the gym, may have lost a step, if not physically than psychologically.

 

“I’m going to prove that I’m still the same Errol Spence Jr. I know that people have a lot of questions. Those questions need to be answered. I don’t think I would have answered them against lighter competition. People who haven’t been in the gym are going to see those answers on Saturday.”

 

When asked if he had a prediction for this weekend’s fight, Spence replied, “This fight is ending with me winning. Life has taught me that this world isn’t perfect. It might not be perfect, but I’m going to get the victory.”

 

Not if Danny Garcia has any say on the matter.

 

“I called Errol out a year ago and we were going to fight in January. But boxing is a sport of timing and the time is now. I feel great and had a tremendous camp. I did everything I was supposed to do. I just have to go out there Saturday night and do what I do best.”

 

The smart money is on Spence, despite the lingering questions about his state of mind.

 

“I’m not worried about being the underdog,” Garcia said. “I know that I’m a great champion and a great fighter. We definitely know what’s at stake. We pushed ourselves to the limit every day. This is a big stage, but I’ve been here before. I’ve been headlining fights on the championship level for eight years. I’ve always been a top level fighter.”

 

There’s nothing that Garcia doesn’t do well.

 

“We’ve worked on all kinds of things in the gym,” he said. “We can box or bang on the inside. We can move around or walk him down. At this level, you have to be able to do everything.

 

“There’s no feeling like winning, and winning a world title is the best feeling in the world. I’ve taken it for granted before, but in this world you learn off of your mistakes and become a better man.

 

“You can say what you want to say at this point. I’m here for the fight of my life. Come Saturday night, I will be victorious.”