Following Errol Spence’s dominant title defense against Mikey Garcia this past weekend, the titleholder showed up to the post-fight presser to talk about his thoughts on the fight. Check out some excerpts of what he had to say below with the full video above.
Spence on his thoughts about the fight:
“...a lot of so-called experts were writing me off, saying ‘Mikey’s a smarter boxer’ or I can’t box, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. So tonight I just wanted to show that I do have boxing ability, I can box, I can use my jab, I do have a high boxing IQ. It’s a reason why I was an Olympian and had over 30 international competitions and had success on the international level as a amateur. So I just wanted to prove that tonight and I think I did that.
“I did hear that they was planning on stopping the fight — his brother was — but Mikey wanted to keep going. Mikey has a lot of heart. I think he prides himself on being a tough Mexican fighter. They’re born and bred just for big hearts. So he didn’t want a stoppage. I was kind of surprised he was taking the shots, but then again, he’s a veteran. He done sparred since a little kid with top guys — Edwin Valero and other guys. So I knew that he had good composure, good fundamentals, and he has good abilities so his defense was on point.
“So a lot of shots he started picking off and I think in the later rounds he kind of went in survival mode and kept doing enough to stay in the fight a little bit.”
On where he rates Mikey compared to all the other opponents he’s faced:
“I feel like he wasn’t difficult at all. I gotta credit my coach, you know, just great game plan. Like I told people, they were gonna see a different side of me. They were gonna see a guy that did have high boxing IQ. I just felt insulted — just throughout the whole training camp — while people were saying he’s smarter than me. And I felt insulted that a lot of the reporters here were agreeing with him.
“And a lot of these Hall of Fame fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard and other guys was going for Mikey Garcia when his own ethnic group was going for him. And top guys like Marquez and other people like that, Marco Antonio Barrera, was going for Mikey Garcia but you got guys like Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson going for Mikey Garcia or saying Mikey Garcia was gonna win. So that kind of rubbed me wrong too.
“But Mikey’s still good. Mikey still can go down [in history], he’s a great fighter, he showed a lot of heart, you know, just for taking this fight and staying in the fight too. So it’s nothing but respect for Mikey Garcia. I just felt throughout the whole press tour and things like that they were a little bit too arrogant.”
On if he always knew he’d be able to dominate Garcia using his jab and maintaining distance:
“It’s something we worked on. It’s just naturally — I had the longer reach so the fastest way to get to your opponent is a straight punch. So it’s the jab, and that’s my lead hand so we wanted to work off the jab. I been having a great jab and we wanted to work off the jab and then break him down from there so that’s what we did...
“A lot of times he jumps in with his punches, or he loads up with his right hand. So easy step back with a jab can offset that, and that’s something that we just broke down and learned in camp and my coach [brought] it to my attention and we just followed the game plan and it worked out well.”
On if Garcia’s confidence heading into this fight gave him any concerns about the outcome:
“It didn’t concern me at all. It actually put a chip on my shoulder. If he wasn’t so arrogant he might’ve caught my off guard a little bit. But, you know, with his arrogance and his brothers and everybody else — and I watch everything on YouTube when I’m fighting my opponents — so when I see people saying different things and how he’s gonna beat me and how he has more power than me and he’s stronger than me, he’s faster than me, his footwork is better than me, his boxing IQ is better than me, it put a big chip on my shoulder and made me really lock-in in training camp and do what I did, basically outclass him.”