The BE team has submitted its picks for Saturday’s big boxing match between IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (24-0, 21 KOs) and WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs). Unsurprisingly, even though Spence isn’t a gigantic favorite, everyone is going for Spence to defend his title against the much smaller Garcia, who’s never fought at 147 lbs before.
This is the only fight we’re predicting, as the PPV undercard is predictably unappealing.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Errol Spence Jr vs. Mikey Garcia
Mookie Alexander: One thing I don’t expect this fight to be is boring. Garcia is exciting, Spence is exciting, the crowd will be sensational thanks to the pro-Garcia Mexican contingent. Will it be competitive? I have my doubts. We might see an intriguing chess match play out over the first few rounds, but it’s just so hard to look past the physical mismatch this figures to be. Make no mistake about it, Garcia is an excellent boxer. Terrific combinations, sharp punches, and he can cut such favorable angles for himself. But Garcia is not going to have the power to hurt Spence, he’s not going to outmuscle him on the inside, and he doesn’t have elite lateral movement to effectively deal with Spence’s pressuring and that stinging jab. Also be on the lookout for Spence’s body punching, which is among the best in the business. He keeps a consistent body attack in his fights, and with Garcia bulking up to a division he’s never fought in before, it may have a significant effect on his cardio (among other things). I predict that Garcia is reasonably in the bout for about four rounds before Spence steadily piles on the punishment and gets a stoppage. Errol Spence Jr by TKO, round 9.
Connor Ruebusch: This fight is probably going to be thrilling for as long as it lasts. Who doesn’t enjoy a classic scrap between a pressure fighter and a skilled counter puncher? Tactically, however, Spence seems to have the right answers for Garcia’s style of counter punching. Mikey likes to block and parry a lot of his opponent’s punches, and Spence delights in jamming up his opponent’s hands with his jab before digging to the body with his left. Then there is the simple fact of size. Spence cuts to welterweight from about 160, and has demonstrated crushing power in that division. Garcia, on the other hand, has only recently begun fighting as high as lightweight and junior welterweight, and has experienced notable difficulties as his opponents get larger. The pick is Spence by 10th round KO.
Fraser Coffeen: I both love and hate that this fight is happening. That’s because both of these fighters are very high on my list of personal favorites. I distinctly remember the first time I saw each of them fight, and thinking to myself “this is someone special.” And neither has let me down yet (well, Mikey’s ridiculous hiatus let me down, but I’ve forgiven him). I’ve never picked against either, and I hate that I have to do so now. My big fear here is that Spence is going to be way too big and too strong and he’s going to make this a rout. I could definitely see him coming on strong, going to the body, and scoring about a 3rd round body shot KO. But I certainly hope not, because, as Connor said, if Garcia doesn’t get outmuscled, they could match up very well for a chess match kind of fight, with some explosive bursts mixed in. The other X Factor here will be Garcia’s size - if he’s bulking up with Conte, will that potentially limit his movement and slow him down? Or will it give him the power to keep Spence honest? Regardless, I think the combination of skill, power, and size tilts the scales too much in Spence’s favor. I hate picking against Garcia, but it is what it is. Errol Spence, KO R10
Tim Burke: Don’t tell my girlfriend, but size matters. And it’s the simple story of this matchup - Mikey is gonna have to pull off the fight of his life to overcome the weight/reach/power difference. I really, really hope he can do it. But I think it’s just too big of a hill to climb. Errol Spence, decision.
Stephie Haynes: I love that Garcia is willing to go up and take the Pepsi challenge, but Spence isn’t going to be beaten here. Every advantage is in Errol’s favor, and much like Tim just said, size does matter. Forget that “it’s all about the motion of the ocean.” That’s bullshit. Size queens unite! That said, I love both fighters and look forward to what I anticipate to be one helluva fight. Errol Spence, (T)KO Round 7
Staff picking Spence: Connor, Mookie, Fraser, Tim, Stephie
Staff picking Garcia:
Staff picking draw:
This poll is closed
Spence by KO
Garcia by KO
Spence by decision
Garcia by decision