At first glance, it is very easy to believe Mikey Garcia has lost his mind after hearing how serious he is about making a fight with IBF Welterweight champion Errol Spence. There is a sense of purpose and conviction in his challenge, not like the will they/won’t they garbage we’re in the midst of between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, but Garcia wants to climb two divisions to face off against a fighter who many experts are considering to be a once in a generation talent.
The task is seemingly insurmountable. While Spence doesn’t enjoy the same height and reach advantages that Robert Easter Jr. did, he is a strong Welterweight who has knocked out his last 11 opponents and may not even be in his prime. There is an outside chance that Spence could very well move up to the loaded Junior Middleweight division and run the table there, mostly because all of the other top Welterweights in the division are not warming up to the idea of squaring off against him.
While the saying does go “No guts, no glory,” this is an incredibly stupid move from all angles. If Garcia wants to win a Welterweight title, he’d have a much better chance doing it against Danny Garcia should he beat Shawn Porter or an inactive and injury riddled Keith Thurman should he return. Garcia versus Spence is not a can’t miss attraction, it is an oddity that people would tune in expecting a freak show KO to the smaller guy like we saw in Saul Alvarez vs. Amir Khan.
If it is glory Garcia wants, the going thought is that he doesn’t have to go anywhere to find it. After all, he and Vasyl Lomachenko are in the same division and if all goes according to plan, the two could face off next year to be crowned the undisputed champion at Lightweight. What most don’t understand is that the animosity between Garcia and Top Rank is very real, and Bob Arum isn’t going to risk his companies top attraction against him unless he’s sure he’ll get the last laugh. With Lomachenko also exclusive to ESPN and Garcia fighting for Showtime, there is simply going to be so much red tape to cross that the bout is honestly not worth bringing up outside of starting flame wars on message boards.
A far more realistic option would be making concessions with Manny Pacquiao for the passing of the torch fight he was teased with when he was at Top Rank, and it’s still a fantastic fight to make now. While it would sound the doomsday horn if Pacquiao were to show up on a PBC or Ringstar event to fight Garcia, that fight is actually easier to make now than it was two or three years ago and would be bigger than Garcia/Spence or Garcia/Lomachenko.
As an outlier, Garcia could stay busy until Regis Prograis wins the WBSS at Junior Welterweight or Gervonta Davis eventually moves up to Lightweight. All in all, Garcia is not without options to achieve what he wants, but he doesn’t seem to believe it.
This is a man who has won titles in four weight classes, established himself as a top talent to casual and hardcore alike and has done so while remaining undefeated. On his current course, he will be a first ballot hall of famer when his career does come to an end and he’s done this and is still only 30 years old.
Maybe Garcia/Spence does happen, but both fighters deserve better than a heavily hyped mismatch that leaves both men stuck in the mud instead of carrying them to greater heights. If Spence batters Garcia like he should, Garcia will just go back down to 135 or 140 none the lesser for taking a huge risk and Spence just became the Welterweight bully whose biggest win was his easiest challenge.
All in all, we can’t hate Mikey Garcia for chasing greatness. There just has to be some other way to do it.