Max Warren on the spartan like training camp of Mikey Garcia as he prepares for his fight with Errol Spence on March 16.
In preparation for the toughest fight of his career, Mikey Garcia has been training with Victor Conte of Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning (SNAC) in order to gain the necessary strength and physicality before moving up two weight divisions to challenge the always-dangerous Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr.
Garcia believes that the obvious size factor that everyone points out will not play a role in the outcome of their pay-per-view match-up on March 16 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
He says, “I’ve got a lot more in my arsenal to overcome that size and strength that everybody looks at and everybody sees.”
Garcia is a top-five pound-for-pound talent and desired the challenge in order to cement his legacy as one of the best of this generation. Yet, to take on this obstacle, he’s had to change his training methods drastically.
The regular regimens that have allowed him to succeed thus far may not be enough to prepare for Spence, as Garcia has never been this big of an underdog in his career. Garcia says, “It’s been one of the toughest camps for all of the training that I’m doing. I’m working on different methods. We’ve done other training techniques to get bigger, but not lose the speed, not lose the explosiveness, not lose that reaction time. It has been tough. It’s been tougher than most. But, I always put in a lot of work when it comes to training. I always put in a lot of time in sparring, a lot of time on the mitts and everything else. Now we’ve included a lot of this other exercise program. It makes it a little tougher.”
Despite all of the strength and conditioning work Mikey has had to do, he truly feels that it has all been worth it.
“The training definitely helped," said Garcia. "We are going up in weight obviously so we needed to do a different type of training. I couldn’t just sit back and do my regular routines at the gym. We wanted to make sure that we can gain a little bit of mass by working out different parts of my body so that I will be able to hold off Errol Spence’s weight and strength. But, I don’t want to lose my strength. I don’t want to lose my reaction time. I don’t want to lose my explosiveness. That’s where that SNAC team and Victor conte’s methods come into play.”
For the most part, the most daunting fight of a boxer’s career tends to call for the most grueling training camp they have ever endured. Garcia is a fighter who usually has a similar training camp no matter who he faces, and typically focuses on standard boxing training rather than implementing a lot of strength and conditioning.
Yet, the Spence fight requires drastic measures. He must bulk up and become more explosive to cope with the intensity Spence will bring. The Texas native loves to work the body from the opening bell, and no fighter yet has been able to withstand the devastating body attack. Even several top natural welterweights are not eager to get in the ring with Spence. Regardless of what ends up happening on March 16, Garcia will never be criticized for avoiding competition again. If Garcia wins, he will undoubtedly be considered the best fighter pound-for-pound on all boxing publications. If Spence wins, many will say that it was inevitable and the difference in size and physicality was far too much for Garcia to deal with.
Errol Spence, Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia is arguably the most compelling match-up of the year. Regardless of the size differential, Garcia is going to be the best technical fighter that Spence has faced. The fight is also a true test of how skillful Garcia may be. Rarely do we see a fighter move up two weight classes in order to face one of the best in that division. Despite the immense challenge, there are still a lot of people backing Garcia to beat Spence.
“The Truth” has shown some vulnerabilities at times, as he is not a skilled counter-puncher. Spence puts his high guard up when his opponent begins to fire a combination, and rarely trades punches at the same time. He likes to set the tone, and he has to be the one to start and finish a combination. Garcia will try to throw him off his game and press the action in order to freeze up Spence. Mikey will inevitably have to take risks, but that is what makes the fight so intriguing.
This March 16 pay-per-view bout is a must watch, and it will prove to be a career-defining fight for both men.