By: Waqas Ali
IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr produced a masterful performance following his 12-round decision win against former world champion Mikey Garcia (39-1).
The bout took place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in front of over 47,000 fans in attendance.
Spence (25-0) executed his craft, cynical and crisp jab right from the start of the first round and kept using that for the entire round.
Garcia, a former four-division titlist did very little in terms of the activity level. The 31-year-old did step up his tactical style in the second round. Arguably that was his best round and close round to give him.
Spence, who was in the third defence of the title, stepped up his pace and landed devastating hooks in the third round that shook Garcia in his position.
The 29-year-old mixed up his punches in the middle and later stages of the fight with sharp left hooks to the head and body.
Garcia doing very little to fight back.
In round nine, Spence aka ‘The Truth’ cornered Garcia to the ropes and landed blistering body shots.
Much of the later rounds were repetition to the previous one and despite Garcia not landing any more than 10 punches per round, he showed great heart and devotion to the ring.
According to Compubox, Spence landed 345 of 1082 punches (32%). This was the most ever punches he had thrown as a professional.
This was also the most punches ever landed on Garcia.
Garcia landed only 75 of 406 punches (20%). His previous five bouts, his power punching accuracy was at above 40%. However, against Spence, he landed at a low 28%.
Spence won every single on all three judges scorecard. Reading at: 120-107 and 120-108 (twice).
The question remains: who is next for Spence and can he conquer the welterweight division?
According to a poll conducted by well-known boxing page on Twitter called Editinking, out of over 5,000 voters, 47% of them chose Terence Crawford for Spence to fight next, 28% chose Pacquiao and 15% picked Keith Thurman.
🤔 Who next for Errol Spence?
— EditinKing Boxing 🥊 (@EditinKing) March 17, 2019
In a post-fight interview of the bout, Spence instantly called out Pacquiao, who could be in the works of fighting him in July.
“Manny Pacquiao would definitely be a good fight,” Spence said.
“I’ll definitely give him that retirement check that he needs. I’m ready in July,”
Pacquiao in response stated: “Yeah, why not? We’ll give the fans a good fight. I’m so happy to be here in Dallas and I’m hoping I will be back here soon.”
For Pacquiao, this is a unique fight for him – considering the fact that he would a huge amount of money from this and to end his career on a high note would be big for him and a learning curve for Spence.
A much bigger financial award for the Filipino could be fighting the bigger fighters in the middleweight division such as Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin or the Charlo brothers.
But that is highly unlikely considering the huge weight advantage they would have over the 40-year-old veteran.
Terence Crawford, as boxing fans in the poll above, voted the most to fight Spence, is the main fight that has been going on for over two years.
He’s got great styles and variations in his arsenal of weaponry. His style of artilleries consists of footwork, speed, restricted and defensive guard, height and accuracy.
According to Compubox review, Crawford throws around 48 punches per round and connects with a rate of 35%. That’s five percent higher than the average welterweight.
In the power punching department, Crawford throws around 22 with a connect rate of 48%. That is 11% higher than the average welterweight.
Crawford opponents landed just 7 punches per round- 10 fewer than the welterweight and just 5 power shots per round.
Another fighter that could be a challenge for Spence is former two-weight world champion, Amir Khan.
Khan is always up for a challenge and has never been backed down from any competitor. He’s fought the likes of Marcos Maidana, Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Paul McCloskey, Paulie Malignaggi, Luiz Collazo, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez.
Khan is known for his immense speed with blistering combinations which has always been his strongest asset throughout his amateur and professional career.
He would certainly be a great matchup for Spence in late 2019.
Whatever the case may be for Spence, the names listed above and in the poll are no easy target to take on. He possesses great talent and has proved it in the Kell Brook fight and even against Garcia. He is a fighter to watch out for and definitely a star of the future. Spence deserves to fight the big names in his division and boxing fans both casual and hardcore will no doubt be supporting him.