Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia Early Preview – Is Spence the Same Fighter?
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Danny Garcia is expected to go down on November 21, 2020, at a venue yet to be announced. It will be the biggest fight in the welterweight division this year, for many reasons.
Spence puts his WBC and IBF championship titles on the line against the former two-weight king, Garcia. It’s an intriguing contest, not just because of the quality, but on account of the uncertainty surrounding the physical condition of the champ.
In October 2019, Spence was involved in a single-car traffic accident in Texas. The outstanding boxer was thrown from his Ferrari 488 Spider at a significant speed before being rushed to a Dallas hospital. Miraculously, he escaped intensive care with just a broken jaw and a few other minor injuries.
Although Spence will still be the favorite against Garcia, it’s unclear whether he will be the same fighter. This could give a significant advantage to “Swift,” meaning an upset could be on the cards.
Join me as I take an early look at Spence vs. Garcia, starting off with an analysis of the latest odds.
Early Spence vs. Garcia Odds
Spence comes in at -316 with BetOnline, which are the best odds for Spence I have seen with any of the top sports betting sites.
It’s safe to say that handicappers will be factoring in Spence’s accident to any odds they offer for the fight. However, if you are confident about backing Spence now, this might be the time to move.
If not for the accident, Spence’s odds would have been a little lower. I would have expected them to open at anywhere between the -450 and -550 range. Last year he opened at -550 against Shawn Porter, who beat Garcia in September 2019. Before that fight, he opened at -400 against Mikey Garcia.
Danny Garcia’s odds are decent right now. I still expect some growth over the next few weeks, as Spence is a very popular fighter with US-based gamblers. The uncertainty surrounding his accident might put some bettors off, but he will be heavily backed in this fight, nonetheless.
Against Porter, he went from opening odds of -550 to closing north of +1100. I don’t expect that much movement, but I can see the odds for this fight settling at around the -750 to -850 mark.
Why This Fight?
Garcia was expected to fight Spence in January, with Spence’s crash in October 2019 ruling him out of action.
The former champion instead fought Ivan Redkach at the Barclays Center in New York in what was billed as a WBC title eliminator. Garcia overwhelmed the mismatched Ukrainian by unanimous decision to get his shot at his old WBC strap, to nobody’s surprise.
Garcia is behind Spence, Terence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter as the best welterweight on the planet. The Philadelphian has fought Thurman and Porter in his last five, losing to both men.
The money fight in this division is either Spence or Pacquiao. Previous campaigns by Garcia for a lucrative match with “PacMan” have thus far fallen on deaf ears. And if recent news of a Pacquiao vs. Conor McGregor bout is true, he will be preoccupied for the time being. Still, Garcia has landed a golden opportunity against Spence, so he won’t mind one bit.
As for Spence, it’s unclear whether he if the DUI he was slapped with following the crash has tied his hands here.
If there was a hypothetical scenario where let’s say, the WBC suggested he would be stripped unless he fought Garcia, then perhaps he couldn’t say no. After all, we have seen the organization fold in the past when it came to other high-profile champions skipping past mandatories. But that’s conjecture now.
What is clearer is Garcia’s hunger to win here. I am expecting him to be a dangerous fighter for Spence to take in his return to the ring. Surely the idea of a tune-up would have been high on the agenda here, so I’m a little surprised that this fight is happening next.
The Potential Outcomes
A loss for Garcia means slipping further down the pecking order at 147-pounds. At 32, it’s very unlikely, but not impossible, that he could look at dropping back down to 140, where he was highly successful.
The odds are against that happening. But what is the alternative for the Philadelphian? To hang around for top bills on Premier Boxing Champions cards until he retires? Perhaps.
Needless to say, a win over Spence relegitimizes his status as an elite welterweight. It opens the door to highly plausible bouts with Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao, as well as a lucrative rematch with Spence. The downside for fans is that it could give Swift the license to cherry-pick weaker opponents and put the division in another Philadelphian chokehold at a time when it really needs to breathe.
A loss for Spence would be interesting, as it would, even in the circumstances, be a huge shock. Depending on how he loses, there will be questions regarding if the same guy that walked out of the ring against Shawn Porter last year.
Of course, a win for “The Truth” would make it even harder to avoid a super showdown with the other great, undefeated fighter at 147. That’s if Terence Crawford beats Kell Brook the week prior.
Perhaps most importantly, if Spence wins in style, he will allay fears that the trauma his body took in that car accident hasn’t affected his ability to box. If that happens, Spence will probably start to look at moving up to light-middleweight, regardless of his result against Crawford.
How Do Spence and Garcia Matchup?
First, let me point out that I floated the unlikely idea of Garcia moving down to light-welterweight if he loses. Then, I pointed out that Spence is likely to move up to light-middleweight in the future. This is something to consider if you are betting on Spence vs. Garcia.
Errol Spence is a big, strong welterweight that should thrive at 154-pounds, perhaps even at 160, while Garcia was at his best at 140. This should tell you a little about one of the advantages he holds over his opponent. But does he have any others?
Well, the power is certainly is Spence’s favor. He is a slick southpaw with proven pop, but his footwork is also pretty good. Garcia does struggle with fighters who move, cut good angles, and can control the range. Even as a flat footer with great counters, especially his trademark left hook, it’s unlikely that Spence is going to play into his hands and allow him the chance to set up.
Spence also enjoys an advantage in reach, with 72″ to Garcia’s 68.5″. This could be a problem for Garcia, especially since his opponent is a sweeter technical boxer with a better grasp of all ranges. It’s harder to land counters against a longer, rangier, and smarter guy.
Still, Swift will be looking to test everything there is to test about Spence on the night. Can he catch a rustier version of Spence with that left hook? Is there a chance to throw that overhand right when feinting the no-look left? More importantly, can he feed off his inactivity and land a huge opportunity to resurrect his career?
Will Spence Beat Garcia?
I’m keeping mum about my Spence vs. Garcia prediction. For now.
This thinking behind this piece was to give you some idea of what to expect in this fight. I’m happy that I have covered everything that I set out to, including the early odds for Spence vs. Garcia, why the fight is happening, the potential outcomes, and, of course, how these boxers match up.
I will be back with a full betting preview for Spence vs. Garcia soon. But If you’re looking to bet on matches coming up, perhaps my Lomachenko vs. Lopez betting preview will do the trick.
Let me know who wins between Spence and Garcia in the comments section, below. Otherwise, I’ll catch up with you soon!