Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: Fight Odds, Time, Date, Live Stream, TV Info

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistMarch 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 16: Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia wave to the crowd during the Errol Spence v Mikey Garcia Press Conference at Microsoft Theater on February 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Mikey Garcia is making his move. The pride of Oxnard, California, is recognized by boxing fans as one of the best in the business, but widespread fame eludes him.

In a bid for greatness, Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) is taking a risk rarely seen in modern boxing, moving up two weight classes to challenge Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) for the latter's IBF world welterweight title on Saturday night at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

Garcia isn't just fighting in Spence's territory when it comes to weight class. Spence grew up in Texas, and he is sure to have the crowd behind him for the pay-per-view card. 

It will be a defining fight for both men. They are both undefeated and ranked in Ring's top-10 for pound-for-pound fighters.

Expectations from fans are sky high. Garcia has won titles in four weight classes, while Spence holds a world title at welterweight, boxing's most talent-laden division. Losing a belt at 147 pounds means you will have to beat a great fighter to get one back.  

Can Garcia's speed and technique propel him to an upset win against Spence's power and intelligence? Saturday night we will find out. Here's how to watch. 


Spence Jr. vs Garcia Fight Info

When: Saturday, Mar. 16 at 9 p.m. ET

Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

TV: Fox pay-per-view ($74.95), ITV4 (UK only, free)

Live Stream: FoxSports.com pay-per-view ($74.95)

Odds: Spence -1100 (bet $1,100 to win $100) Garcia +650 (bet $100 to win $650)


Garcia heard the warnings, but he didn't care.

"My father and I were against it at first," said Robert Garcia, a former boxer and Mikey's older brother, per Ring's Ron Borges. "We told Mikey there were so many other fights he could take and still make a lot of money."

Perhaps money, but not prestige. Garcia had already beaten the likes of Robert Easter Jr, Adrien Broner and Dejan Zlaticanin. With contracts and TV obligations shuttering any chances for a megafight with Vasiliy Lomachenko at lightweight (for now), the 31-year-old Garcia got it in his head to do something radical.

Forget fighting at 135 pounds, 140 pounds. Put it all on the line. Welterweight is where all the big names are at, so Garcia landed on Spence, a southpaw who hasn't gone to the scorecards in nearly five years.

"No one else is willing to do what I'm doing. After this fight, everybody will really recognize me as the top fighter. My dad and brother wanted me to take someone else, but anyone else coming off a loss or a has-been doesn't do it for me," said Garcia, per Borges. 

Spence is certainly no has-been. He's very much right now, in his athletic prime at 29 years old and looking to defend his IBF title for the fourth time. His last three opponents, Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson and Kell Brook, are all skilled boxers who were unable to survive to the final bell. Spence mixes up his punches, works the head and body, wearing people down until they cave from pressure or are flat up against the canvas.

"I think I'm a passive-aggressive fighter," Spence told DMagazine.com's Matt Goodman. "I kind of mentally break down my opponents, and physically, so if you're not 100 percent there, if you're not willing to quote-unquote ‘die in there,' then it's going to reveal itself."

When the two step in the ring on Saturday, Spence is going to have a formidable size and strength advantage. He's the natural welterweight and has a bigger frame, 5'9½", with a 72-inch reach, per BoxRec. Garcia is much smaller, 5'6" with a 68-inch reach. He started his career fighting under 130 pounds. 

Knowing he will need to do something truly special to win—Spence is a huge favorite among bettors—Garcia decided to change up his normal training regimen.

Per ESPN.com's Steve Kim, Garcia has enlisted the help of Victor Conte, the infamous athletic trainer who spent time in prison for his role in the BALCO steroids scandal of the early 2000s.

According to Kim, a reformed Conte and Garcia have been focusing on modern training techniques:

"During one particular training session at the SNAC gym, Garcia hit the heavy bag, something he has done thousands of time before in his life. This time, however, he did so while wearing a mask that was hooked up to a hypoxicator, which pumped air with a level of 14.5 percent oxygen into Garcia's system. Mike Bazzel, one of the staff trainers, explained that a normal level of oxygen at sea level is about 20.9 percent, with the mask simulating a much lower percentage, along the lines of what would exist at high altitude."

This training approach suggests Garcia is going to try to use stamina and speed to outwit Spence. It's the right approach given he will be putting himself in immense danger if he tries to go toe-to-toe with "The Truth."

Garcia will likely have to win this fight by moving around, jabbing and countering when appropriate. For Spence, landing some good power shots to the body early will sap Garcia's legs and lungs. There's no training that can save a fighter from a good assault to the midsection. 

For Spence, a win over Garcia on his headliner pay-per-view debut will only make it harder for the other welterweight stars to ignore him. Keith Thurman or Terence Crawford would likely be the next names on the docket. 

If Garcia defies the odds and pulls out the win, well, he might just step into Spence's role and get the fights the latter has been clamoring for the past couple of years. Or maybe he will slim down again and chase Lomachenko. It would be a fairly historic upset, and one might hope it encourages other fighters to imitate his refreshing bravery. 


Odds are courtesy of OddsShark and updated as of Thursday, Mar. 14, at 7 a.m. ET.