Can Garcia upset Spence Jr.?
By John J. Raspanti
Some are appropriate and require no explaining.
The Manassa Mauler, The Brown Bomber, The Brockton Blockbuster, The Greatest, are just a few that come to mind. They fit figuratively and literally.
And then there’s Danny Garcia, who fights Errol Spence Jr. this Saturday night on pay-per-view. His alias, “Swift” has always baffled me.
Swift is speedy and ready. Think the two “Sugar Rays,” Robinson and Leonard, Hector Camacho and, Gary Russell Jr.
But Garcia? No. He has a rhythm for sure. He’s solid, tough, perhaps even a little sneaky, due to his counterpunching ability. Not swift though.
More Ford Focus than Maserati.
I like "Ready." Garcia is always that. He’ll need to be at his best to defeat the favored, and undefeated, IBF and WBC welterweight champion Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tx.
The fight will be Spence’s first since miraculously surviving a high-speed car accident last year. It’s a miracle he’s here and the 30-year-old gets it.
“I don’t know how or why I got saved, but thank God,” Spence wrote on his Instagram page. “The thought of leaving my lil’ girls and them growing up without me still f—ks with me, but I’m triple blessed and must be here for a reason.”
Two-division former champion Garcia, loser of only two of 32 fights, had his mind set on fighting Spence earlier this year. He attended Spence’s hard-fought win over Shawn Porter.
"After the Garcia and Porter fights, I saw some holes in his game and I knew it would be a good opportunity to become champion again,“ said Garcia during a virtual interview last week.
Many wonder what version of Spence will appear December 5. I’m pretty sure he’ll look good. As good as before? Hard to say, but, and this is important, I doubt he’d be fighting if injuries from his accident were still lingering. Between the ears? It’s possible he could be more determined now.
I expect “Sneaky” Garcia to be the best that he can be. His losses are against two ex-champions. And they were razor-close. He looked spectacular last year knocking out rugged Adrian Granados, but only OK defeating Ivan Redkach. The “lay-back-and-wait” Garcia was nowhere to be seen. He bashed the Chicago native from pillar to post. Most observers were surprised, as was Granados, based on the look on his face. Garcia said after the bout that his aggressive style was the way he would be fighting from now on.
Nope. The “old” Garcia returned a few months later against Redkach. But, as almost always, he won. Garcia will have to fight better to defeat Spence. Much better.
He’ll have to be clever and, wait for it, swift.