The consensus from boxing fans and pundits is that IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) will wipe out WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia in their highly-anticipated battle on Saturday night. They feel Garcia is biting off more than he can chew by jumping up two weight classes to face Spence, who is perhaps the top guy at 147 pounds.
Even though the majority are discounting Garcia's chances, Spence doesn't subscribe to that narrative.
"I think he definitely brings a lot to the table," Spence told Sporting News during his conference call. "People who say that he doesn't stand a chance, I feel like don't really know anything about boxing or don't know the history of boxing, just to say he doesn't have a chance. He does have a title at 140. That's just one weight up from 147. So, he does have experience fighting at 140. So, I mean everybody has a chance. He does have a chance. He does have a lot of skills and he is fundamentally sound. He comes from that boxing pedigree. So, he definitely has a chance."
A year ago, a Spence-Garcia clash was nothing but a pipe dream. But hints started to surface heading into the Mexican-American's fight with Robert Easter Jr. in July, when he told SN that he wanted to make the trek to 147 pounds and take on Spence.
Like many people, the Texan initially didn't give the comments too much thought. But the more Garcia talked about it and when it was brought to Spence's attention that the mega fight could possibly be at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, the 2012 Olympian started to change his tune.
"At first, I didn't really care too much for fighting him," Spence admitted. "It got to a point where he started talking a lot more and a lot of other welterweights. I was pretty much busy, like Shawn Porter, like Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia — they all had their dates. Manny Pacquiao too. They were the obvious options for me. Then, when I found that I could be fighting at AT&T Stadium, then it just made sense."
Garcia is ranked No. 5 and Spence is No. 6 in SN's pound-for-pound rankings. A win for either guy will vault him toward being the best fighter in the world. Spence goes a step further, saying if he goes out there and puts on a breathtaking performance, then he sits on top of the mountain.
"Like I always say, it's not just about winning," Spence said. "It's about your performance and it's how you win. So, if I have a spectacular performance, then I do rate myself as pound-for-pound just the best fighter in the world, too."