T’is the silly season raining down upon us for 2019 when Little Man Mikey Garcia challenges Big Man Errol Spence Jr for a whole lot more than his IBF bauble in Jerry’s World@Cowboy Stadium, Texas this Saturday, March 16th. To paraphrase a noted American political leader best forgotten, “It’s the legacy, stupid!”
Note the planned pose here when a surprise presser announced this unexpected fight. Mikey being out in front enhances his size while also reducing the comparative size of Spence.
Could it be fortuitous for Mikey and Boxing to duck that fateful Ides of March day when Brutus was fatally stabbed in the back by young lean and hungry Cassius?
Or more probably piling on disastrous? After all, they will conduct the weighin on the Ides of March where Mikey officially debuts his SNAC enhanced body for the literati and illiterati alike to carefully inspect so as to further shape their odds of winning.
And, yes, I must confess that I remain skeptical of Mikey’s chances, but I must applaud his reach. “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?” Or perhaps “How sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet,” both courtesy of that great bard Robert Browning who was blessed with much wisdom before our times. Four division champ Mikey has been dancing around with lesser talents between lightweight and juniorwelterweight, but in both talent and size wise, the still untested southpaw Spence would appear a bridge too far, or at least so say I in conjunction with most everyone who follows the sport.
My biggest regret of this fight is to see a super savvy family pro boxing team now headed by former champ Roberto Garcia spanning several decades of top level experience fall for the disgraced shaman of the notorious BALCO PEDs scandal, Victor Conte. The miscreant heads the physical training facility of the modern science of weight gains, strength, and speed enhanced with his VADA sponsored SNAC PEDs and high tech training routines, ie intermittent hypoxic training to simulate high-altitude conditions without the drawbacks of dangerous high-altitude climates. A hypoxicator mask pumps low levels of oxygen into Garcia’s lungs, literally starving him of oxygen before immersing him in yet another chamber infused with extra oxygen to rebuild him. There’s also the SNAC Dome, a huge structure capable of approximating altitudes as high as 20,000 feet for him to work out in. The idea is to artificially increase increase production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the body.
Used to be athletes could steadily draw their own blood for storage, and then centrifuge a dense cluster out and inject their own blood back into their bodies, but athletes using their own blood is considered cheating, yet using VADA approved PEDs and a multimillion dollar facility to get the same is perfectly legal, I mean go figure how these modern scammers get away with this right in front of the public eye?
It’s sorta like, “When is cheating not cheating?”
Answer: When cheating laundered through Uncle Vic’s SNAC supplements and training program sad to say. Poor third world boys need not apply, but rock and movie stars are always a welcome bonus in the off hours, especially when they come bearing grrls…only in boxing!!!
Win, lose, or draw, Spence will be the loser in that it’s already been near etched in stone that he will win the fight in a dominant way. In the Ring Poll of experts though, Mikey got surprisingly strong results, 15 for Spence, mostly by KO, with 8 for Mikey, and one Draw. Spence probably got more money to go to England to dethrone Kell Brook for the IBF belt, and although this will be another stellar payday and his biggest exposure of his career, the average American will be wondering. “Why is Spence picking on a little guy?”
Answer: The little guy aggressively clamored for the challenge and brings the $$$$$$$$, so of course Spence has to take the money or look foolish for ducking the little tyke. On a P4P basis, they are oddly juxtaposed mirror images of each other in Ring and Boxrec P4P ratings with Spence being 10th and 7th respectively, and Mikey 7th and 10th.
Also interesting to note that Spence ain’t signed onto WBC’s clean boxing program that was alleged to be mandatory for champs and contenders, meaning that since he already owns the IBF belt, he falls into that gray area of WBC rules. According to Conte he’s got strict implementation of drug testing for Mikey who is signed on, but presumably Spence falls under a different set of rules, and none of this is what the boneheads in the media used to screech about when TUE 50-0 and Golden Boy first made false claims of wanting to do “Olympic Drug Testing” to clean up boxing, so this fight is not only highlighting their own ignorance of the science of drug testing, but that of the media and fans becoming so dumbed down these days they have to rely on illicit punch monkey stats to bolster their speculations.
An unknown to me, Derrick James, is the Spence trainer, so given the level of success they have had, he must be developing into a good trainer, but definitely as a larger team, Mikey has a massive advantage. I don’t know if Spence carries a physical trainer and nutritionist through his training camps to offset that Mikey advantage.
One of the better developments in boxing is the ongoing development of Ring’s new female wunderkind, Cynthia Conte, here interviewing the B side of this promotion in this youtube clip. She has a breathless, zany kind of disarming feminine charm to to draw out sometimes reticent fighters into the limelight for a good personality profile.
So, with Spence expected to win, just how does Mikey go about his craft to wrest the title from him?
I would suggest Mikey keep the action fast and furious inside to negate as much power as he can. He’s most open to being picked apart by power shots at distance. If he can aggressively make Spence move in reverse for some good punching space, that might look like Spence is running from the smaller fighter. Duran managed to carry a lead on the cards after 12 rds with Hagler that forced Marv into a furious rally the last 3 rds that pulled out that fight for him. Most were giving Duran no chance before the first bell, so sometimes the herding instinct in the boxing media to gather around the obvious can betray them. Yeah, on paper it’s all Spence, but Mikey ain’t gonna be reading no damn paper, so I don’t discount his chances no matter how slim they may look.
And 50,000 screaming yahoos bouncing off the roof in Jerry’s World may well have some say so too!!! This fight could well set the stage for more big stadium fights.
How about some fun with some Mugshots? Spence looks like a lazy country boy ready to fall asleep on the job at the first lull, and Mikey looks like a serial killer destined for Death Row.
Regardless, both seem to have a high degree of respect for each other and for the art and the craft of boxing, so I expect no lowbrow monkey business between them at the weigh in, but of course the pressure dynamics of such a big fight as this may disrupt their tranquility for some unsavory outbursts, so we shall see.
We the people wish to pray for a fairly officiated boxing classic, so let’s see if our reach and their grasp can exceed that of the new boxing normal currently in derelict disarray to show us what God is for…