Not so fast. Long before Covid-19 or before Danny Garcia wore a mask to the ring, a young Tom Hanks starred in “Philadelphia”, where he was not allowed to hide behind a mask. He was forced to fight without any concealer, while hoping “The Truth” would set him free with a cost.
The former unified super lightweight world champion and former WBC welterweight world champion will challenge reigning WBC/IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr in a PPV showdown that clarifies the star-studded division. DSG will hope to unmask the naturally bigger Spence Jr while giving away almost 4 inches in reach and 2 inches in height. To do this, Garcia would have to plod his way to victory over a man determined to erase the memory of poor preparation against a Shawn Porter that dragged him into deep waters and nearly drowned him.
Enjoying the trappings of fame and fortune, Spence Jr drained himself to make weight for Porter while facing the best version of “Showtime” we’d ever seen. Chances are, DSG will now get the best version of Spence Jr, beset by a freakish motor vehicle crash and a failure of his own expectations. In the mind of Spence, the Porter fight was a loss, making Garcia a fight of redemption and atonement.
I sat ringside in Dallas to watch Spence chop down on a smaller Mikey Garcia, whom he was unable to stop. Mikey is a better overall ring general than DSG, who is that much more resilient and resourceful. Those attributes served him well in losses to Porter and Keith Thurman, but he’s still the same fighter who had problems with Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson. In fact, it’s the Peterson bout that still resonates with me now. Once Lamont figured out that he could physically impose himself on DSG — he did just that — and if there was an old school 13th round, I’m not sure Peterson doesn’t stop Garcia.
Conversely, Spence was able to showcase the full range of his abilities against Peterson in January 2018, because he was dealing with a fighter of heavy legs and feet. Similarly, DSG shares those attributes, and will fight inside of Spence’s wheelhouse, which involves a punishing body attack and a mid-range game among the world’s best.
Bouyed on by Terence Crawford’s massacre of common foe Kell Brook, “The Truth” will reduce the ring into geometric fragments to cause a ring claustrophobia due to relentless pressure. If he’s anything like the fighter who mauled Peterson, a rested and rejuvenated Spence should start fast and finish furious, stopping a gritty and game Danny “Swift” Garcia in 10 brutal rounds.