Mikey Garcia's jump up two weight classes wasn't as fortuitous as he would have liked.
Yesterday night, reigning IBF Welterweight Errol Spence Jr. defended his strap against a pound-for-pound threat several weight classes below him. Luckily, with Mikey Garcia agreeing to make the jump up from the Lightweight division, Errol Spence wasn't asked to alter his existing nutritional regimen, allowing him to focus on the way their styles matched up: Garcia a textbook boxer-puncher style, Errol Spence more of a pressure fighter.
On paper, you'd favor Errol Spence to win this bout - the variables fixed to suit his creature comforts: natural weight, translating to power/speed. Inevitably, that's exactly how the fight panned out, Spence dictating the pace in all 12 rounds, culminating in a unanimous decision victory scorecards of 120-107, 120-108 and 120-108 from the three judges sitting ringside.
"The motivation fighting in front of my hometown crowd made me feel great," Spence said in his post-fight interview. "These people have supported me since day one, and I wanted to put on a good performance for all of them. Throughout training camp, a lot of commentators thought he was too smart and I couldn't box as well as him. I showed I can box and I can move my head if I want to."
After closing out the interview process in the ring, Spence motioned to Manny Pacquiao sitting the crowd, asking him to join him for a word. Errol had it in mind to ask the 40-year-old for a unification bout, which he accepted. It's not in Pacman's character to sell a fight with histrionics, and to his credit, Errol Spence seems to be similar in that regard.
All signs are pointing to a Spence vs. Pacquiao showdown in July unless Welterweight Shawn Porter forces his way into the conversation prematurely. Mikey Garcia for his part will likely return to the Lightweight to resume his career, most will agree: it took great courage to make the jump, and he was a "game fighter" the whole way through 12 rounds.