Dallas, TX – The AT&T Stadium set the stage for hometown boxer Errol Spence Jr. (25-0, 21 KO’s) to defend his IBF Welterweight title against Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) this past Saturday.
There was a sea of over 47,000 fans with flags and headbands. If you turned right or left ringside, you also saw some familiar faces: boxing greats Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield and Manny Pacquiao, recently retired NBA player Jason Terry, and of course Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and owner Jerry Jones.
During the first four rounds, Garcia seemed to have trouble landing jabs. After making the jump from 135 pounds to 145 pounds to compete against Spence Jr., it looked that Garcia struggled to counter and shift his weight fast enough to catch Spence off guard. After the final seconds of round two, he managed to pack a few jabs to throw the champion off guard, though.
It became clear that at the end of the sixth round, however, that Spence Jr. had the best of Garcia. The Texas native threw more than four times the amount of punches the whole fight, and the whole stadium was on its feet to see if Garcia was going to fall. In an impressive showcase of Spence’s skills, he seamlessly boxed from the outside into a corner to switch body shots to a nasty uppercut.
Despite hanging on, it was clear that Garcia was in defensive mode after the sixth round. The mental battle that was waged was won by Spence after this point in that he managed to successfully impose his will on a former lightweight.
Garcia commented after the fight on how the ninth round really took a toll on him.
“Look, my brother wanted to maybe stop the fight and doesn’t want me to get hurt anymore,” Garcia said before adding “… Spence could take a real good punch. He probably felt the power but it wasn’t enough.”
It was also during the ninth round that a brawl erupted between fans on the floor close enough to the ring that intensified the round. While everyone was switching takes on the actual fight and the one in the stands, there was collective ‘Go Mikey’ screams and ‘EJ’ chants across the stadium.
In the end, the former lightweight went toe-to-toe with a welterweight for all twelve rounds. However each round clearly marked Spence a winner. The specific margins reflected that Spence landed 345 shots to Garcia’s 75. Spence’s domination of Garcia resulted in tallied score marks from all three judges: 120-107, 120-108, and 120-108.
After such a tremendous display of boxing and on a high from being a victor of a fight on such display in his hometown, Spence Jr. made sure to still show appreciation for his opponent.
“He showed a lot of heart just to take this fight and to stay in the fight, too,” Spence commented. “So it’s nothing but respect for Mikey Garcia.”
However, it would not be a successful boxing match if you weren’t already looking for your next matchup. Spence already had his eyes set on his, and it was none other than Manny Pacquiao.
“[Pacquiao] has been here before and broke records… He’s a legend of the sport and it would be an honor to fight him next.”
While standing in the middle of the ring, Manny joined Spence to answer his challenge.
“Yeah, why not,” Pacquiao said. “We can give the fans a good fight. I’m so happy to be here in Dallas and I’m hoping to be back soon.”