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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Errol Spence vs. Garcia, the top welters and the hall of famers)

Errol Spence Jr.'s (right) stiff jab and thudding body work were key weapons in his UD victory over Danny Garcia. Photo by Ryan Hafey / PBC
07
Dec

SPENCE WAS IMPRESSIVE VS. GARCIA

Hey Doug,

How are you, hope everybody’s doing good over there with your family. Covid’s running wild here in San Diego, so we gotta stay safe.

I decided to watch the Spence-Garcia this weekend. I was a little hesitant about paying for the ppv, it didn’t seem like this fight was worth it then a group of friends decided to get together and each put some money to watch it but I opted to listen on the radio as I wasn’t feeling 100% and wasn’t sure I wanted to be in a group. That being said, I thought the fight was a good competitive entertaining one-sided fight.

I was engaged for the full 12 rounds and it was mainly because I was waiting to see what would happen once Garcia hit him cleanly. As it turned out, nothing happened. Spence was Spence and that was it. Because Errol wasn’t affected by the accident the fight turned out to be what a lot of people thought would’ve happened if the fight would’ve taken place with no questions on Spence’s ability to take a punch. I kinda knew Spence (well really nobody) had the power to KO Garcia so it was going to be a punishing systematic beatdown.

First let me talk about what impressed me the most about both guys. Spence’s jab was obviously the star of the night. He reminded me of GGG vs Lemieux in which he threw it even when it seemed that he didn’t need to. He used it to keep Danny off rhythm and just make him think twice about what he needed to do. He also used it as a distance measuring tool which is something that a lot of people don’t understand about a jab like that. It’s used for positioning and it was clear Spence knew Garcia’s chin was rock solid so he wanted to open up the body and possibly KO him going there. Which takes me to the body shots. Both men did a great job landing south of the border. As it turned out, Garcia felt the impact a little bit more as he looked to have less in the tank in the championship rounds which he desperately needed to make it close. Both men were also in supreme condition btw. These kind of punches to the body would fold a lot of guys and they kept going hard till the end.

I had it pretty wide for Spence, 9-3 and could easily see a la 10-2. I was surprised to hear my friends say they had it 6-5 going into the 12th which made me question myself but then I realized they were drunk, had bet on Garcia and the whole Twitter universe had it closer to what I was seeing. Makes you think how much who you’re watching and how you’re watching influences the score and perception of what’s going on.

Finally, I still see some cracks on Spence’s armor that I feel Crawford would exploit and use them to beat him. He also doesn’t seem to be the fastest guy on the block but I know looks can be deceiving. I don’t know about you but I also felt some fragility in Spence that I didn’t see in Garcia. Every time Garcia would land, it felt stronger while Spence’s punches felt weaker but more consistent. I never felt Garcia was in any danger of getting KO’d while I felt that the two or three hard punches Garcia landed to the head felt heavier and shook Spence much more than whatever he landed. Maybe it was just me buying way too much into the accident narrative.

Anyways, it was an impressive performance that doesn’t change anything I thought about Spence pre-accident. I still think Crawford would beat him and I still think that’s by far the best fight boxing has to offer today.

Thanks Dougie! – Juan Valverde, Chula Vista

Spence vs. Crawford is indeed one of the five best elite-boxer matchups that can be made, but I think its shelf life is close to expiring. If it doesn’t happen in 2021, I’m going to get sick of talking about it (I already am kind of tired of it) and fed up with hearing about it from fans and media, the same way I was with Mayweather-Pacquiao post-2011/2012 (and as a result I really wasn’t into them or their fights vs. others during “The Neverending Story” period).  

I was a little hesitant about paying for the ppv, it didn’t seem like this fight was worth it then a group of friends decided to get together and each put some money to watch it but I opted to listen on the radio as I wasn’t feeling 100% and wasn’t sure I wanted to be in a group. That being said, I thought the fight was a good competitive entertaining one-sided fight. Yo, if you opted to “listen on the radio” but you thought the fight was competitive and entertaining, don’t you think you owe the PBC $75? Come on, Juan, do the right thing! Stealing is wrong. I’ll tell you what, send me a check for 75 bucks and I’ll deliver it to promoter Tom Brown’s office in the Valley (and I trust that the big man will get your hard-earned honest dollars to Uncle Al). I’m serious!

I was engaged for the full 12 rounds and it was mainly because I was waiting to see what would happen once Garcia hit him cleanly. As it turned out, nothing happened. Spence was Spence and that was it. I agree. Spence looked good. His pre-crash form was there, he seemed strong and sturdy, and most importantly, he didn’t seem hesitant to let his hands go whenever he was in range. Garcia’s form was also on point, and the Philly veteran was his usual durable self, but he wasn’t able (or wasn’t willing) to get in range enough to get off with regularity. So, while he had his moments here and there, he was outworked in every round.

I kinda knew Spence (well really nobody) had the power to KO Garcia so it was going to be a punishing systematic beatdown. I think Garcia has one of the best chins in boxing.

Spence’s jab was obviously the star of the night. He reminded me of GGG vs Lemieux in which he threw it even when it seemed that he didn’t need to. They way Spence uses that fundamental punch makes him very hard to beat (especially if you’ve got shorter arms like Mikey and Danny Garcia). He’s got every other punch in the book, too, and he delivers everything with leverage. Spence’s balance is really special. It complements his accuracy, physical strength and punching power.

Both men did a great job landing south of the border. I agree. I wanted to see more of it from Garcia, but easier said than done.

Garcia felt the impact a little bit more as he looked to have less in the tank in the championship rounds which he desperately needed to make it close. Both men were also in supreme condition btw. Agreed, and I thought Garcia boxed well throughout the fight. I noticed his footwork, positioning and blocking ability more in this fight than I have when he’s faced lesser opposition. He just wasn’t able to mount a consistent offense, but that’s because Spence wouldn’t allow him to.

I had it pretty wide for Spence, 9-3 and could easily see a la 10-2. I didn’t bother to score it any more going into the late rounds (the fight became somewhat monotonous to me after the halfway point), but 117-111 or 118-110 for Spence seemed fair to me. I wouldn’t argue much with those who scored it 116-112, but I also think they were bending over backwards for Swift.

I was surprised to hear my friends say they had it 6-5 going into the 12th which made me question myself but then I realized they were drunk, had bet on Garcia and the whole Twitter universe had it closer to what I was seeing. Your friends shouldn’t bother to score fights. People who bet on fights have no business scoring fights. The “Twitter universe” is the a__hole of the multiverse.

Finally, I still see some cracks on Spence’s armor that I feel Crawford would exploit and use them to beat him. Mikey and Danny thought they saw cracks in Spence’s armor, too.

He also doesn’t seem to be the fastest guy on the block but I know looks can be deceiving. Especially from outside of the ring.

I don’t know about you but I also felt some fragility in Spence that I didn’t see in Garcia. Spence looked sturdy as ever to my eyes. I’m putting the “fragility” talk to rest along with the “horrific car crash” story line. He’s over it. He proved it. It’s time for us to move on.

 

ERROL SPENCE / TERENCE CRAWFORD

So Dougie,

Do you think Errol answered all the questions last night and if so, how do you like his chances with Bud? – Rodemeyer

Spence vs. Porter. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Spence answered all the questions I had for him going into the fight (regarding his chin, reflexes, stamina, confidence/aggressive, etc.). As far as I’m concerned, he’s 100% recovered from his car accident injuries. To these eyes, the version of Spence that faced Garcia was no different than the one who battled Porter last September (he just wasn’t in as tough).

I think his chances against Crawford is just as good as Bud’s against him. It’s a 50-50 fight. If I have to make a pick, I lean toward Crawford because I view him as the more versatile of the top two welterweights. However, we know that Bud’s a slow starter and that spence is a tireless buzzsaw who I’m sure can take the Nebraskan’s power a lot better the shopworn versions of Kell Brook and Amir Khan or second-tier contenders like Egidijus Kavaliauskas. The showdown will likely go 12 rounds if it happens, and Spence’s style is hard to outpoint. I can’t fault anyone who gives the IBF/WBC titleholder the edge.

 

SPENCE STOPPAGES

Doug –

Who in The Ring welter top 10 would you pick Spence to KO? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

Interesting question, Kevin.

As strong and dominant as Spence is, I don’t see him scoring many knockouts among the legit 147-pound contenders ranked by The Ring. Apart from a fellow elite boxer (Crawford) and a living legend (Pacquiao), there are grizzled veterans (Porter, the Garcias), difficult stylists (Thurman and Ugas) and tough nuts (Abdukakhorov and Lipinets).

Luis Collazo eats a left hook from Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. Photo by Mikey Williams / TOP RANK

If Kudratillo Abdukakhorov were to get a shot at Spence, I might favor the Texan to win that one by late stoppage. But as green as Abdukakhorov is, he could be difficult. He’s gangly, awkward and moves around a lot, and he lets his hands go at odd angles (and moments). However, the Uzbekistan-born contender often swings wide and a bit wild, plus he keeps his chin up when he lunges in, which is bad news vs. a sharp-shooter like Spence. I think Spence could walk him down and drown him late. It wouldn’t shock me if Spence did the same to Lipinets, who’s as tough as nails but might walk right into the talented Texan’s fire.

Could Spence stop Porter or either Garcia in return bouts? I doubt it. Maybe Mikey if he really goes for it. I think he could hurt Thurman to the body (who doesn’t do that?), but Keith is so experienced and savvy, I’ve got to figure he could survive. I think Thurman would be up for that fight and at his best, which means he’d be punching on the fly for most of the fight but dangerous because of his speed and power. And who knows when Pacquiao finally gets “old”? Still, I’d favor the Fightin’ Senator to last the distance.  

SPENCE MYTHICAL MATCHUPS

Spence definitely looks to be every bit the fighter he was pre accident and I and the rest of the world hope they figure out a way to get him in the ring with Crawford next year.

Who wins the Texas all-time welterweight shootout (first to 2 wins)?

Curry-Spence

Cokes-Spence

Cokes-Curry

Also, Spence vs.

1999 De La Hoya

2007 Mayweather

1995 Whitaker

Rob – Westbury, NY

Who wins the Texas all-time welterweight shootout (first to 2 wins)?

This is a tough choice, all three are sensational boxer/athletic talents. Curtis Cokes is a hall of famer, as is Donald Curry, who was the most naturally gifted and technically proficient welterweight of the 1980s after Sugar Ray Leonard (yes, I’d place him above Thomas Hearns in terms of pure talent) and Spence is a beast, as we know.

Curry (left) jabs to the body of Jun-Suk Hwang.

I’m going to go with the prime version of the Lone-Star Cobra (the cool boxer-puncher who outpointed defensive craftsman and future two-time titleholder Marlon Starling twice, stopped tough Welsh contender Collin Jones, and blasted fellow undefeated beltholder/Kronk product Milton McCrory between late 1982 and late 1985).

Curry-SpenceCurry by UD (and I think Curry scores a knockdown)

Cokes-SpenceCokes by UD

Cokes-CurryCurry by SD (toss-up fight, really)

Also, Spence vs.

1999 De La HoyaOscar by close UD (unless judges Jerry Roth, Bob Logist and Glen Hamada are working that night)

2007 MayweatherSpence by close MD or UD (Errol just outworks Money)

Pernell Whitaker lifted the WBA 154-pound title from Julio Cesar Vasquez on March 4,1995, in Atlantic City. Photo: The Ring

1995 WhitakerSweet Pea by close UD (Whitaker wouldn’t be much of a physical threat but the version that stood up to reigning junior middleweight champ Julio Cesar Vasquez, dominated competent Scotsman Gary Jacobs and stopped former 140-pound titleholder Jake “the Snake” Rodriguez with body shots could get in and out when he wanted to vs. Spence, exchange in the pocket when he needed to and, of course, avoid getting tagged enough to win the slight majority of rounds)

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Periscope or Dougie’s IG Live every Sunday.

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