SportsMap Weekend Boxing Rewind

Spence embarrasses Garcia in one-sided show

Errol Spence lands a jab in his unanimous decision victory over Mikey Garcia. (Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions.)

Errol Spence put the entire welterweight division on notice Saturday night in in a one-sided beatdown of former four-division title holder Mikey Garcia. All three judges scored every single round for Spence. The first two scored it 120-108, with the third scoring the fight 120-107. SportsMap.com also scored the fight 120-107 in favor of Spence. Spence retained his International Boxing Federation welterweight title in front of nearly 48,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

The fight was sold as Spence (25-0, 21 KO,) the bigger and stronger fighter versus Garcia, the better boxer. But from the opening bell it was clear that Spence was superior to Garcia (39-1, 30 KO) in all categories. Spence started the fight happy to stay on the outside, peppering Garcia with a rangy jab that the shorter fighter had no answer for. As the fight wore on Spence moved to the inside, landing heavy body punches that opened up brutal headshots. Garcia's trainer and brother Robert Garcia threatened to stop the fight before round 10, but Mikey and his corner elected to continue. By the end of the night Spence had outlanded Garcia by 270 punches.

Spence, a 29-year-old native of DeSoto, Texas, has quickly risen up the welterweight rankings before claiming the IBF title by traveling to the UK to defeated Englishman Kell Brook on his home turf. His unique blend of size and speed at the 147 pound division makes him a tough matchup for any welterweight, let alone Garcia, who was fighting two weight classes above his natural class of 135 pounds.

The victory opens up the chance of a summer unification fight with World Boxing Association welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao also fights under the Premiere Boxing Champions banner but thus far has been reluctant to unify with one of the young stars in the division. A fight against Spence would be a big payday for both fighters, but would be a tall test for the 40-year-old Pacquiao. Both fighters expressed interest in making the fight on Saturday evening. Pacquiao and his family were sitting ringside for the action.

As for Garcia, he will be best suited to return to the super featherweight division, where his mixture of reach and power is more suited for success. A potential showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko is still one of the best fights that can be made in the sport despite the loss to Spence.

The fight was the first time for both Spence and Garcia to headline a fight on pay-per-view. A potential matchup between Spence and Pacquiao would likely appear on pay-per-view as well.

SUNDAY IN NEW YORK: CONLAN CRUISES TO WIDE DECISION ON PATTY'S DAY

Irish national and top boxing prospect Michael "Mick" Conlan (11-0, 6 KO) cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Ruben Garcia Hernandez Sunday evening at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The fight was a part of Conlan's now annual tradition of fighting on St. Patrick's Day weekend at Madison Square Garden.

Conlan used his superior skills to confuse Hernandez (24-4-2, 10 KO) early in the fight. He repeatedly and fluidly switched from southpaw to conventional stances, winging jabs and hooks with both hands. All three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Conlan. SportsMap.com had the same score.

As the fight wore on, Conlan looked content to cruise to a unanimous decision victory rather than close the show. Despite not having a knockout, the thousands of Irish fans in attendance erupted into cheers once the final scorecards were read.

After the match Conlan expressed a desire to fight for a world title on St. Patrick's Day 2020, at the big room in Madison Square Garden.

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Keep an eye on Kevin Harvick. Photo by Wiki Commons

It's been a season of surprises as the NASCAR Cup Series begins its West Coast swing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This is one of NASCAR's many mile and a half tracks, but this one is different as it is much more bumpy and when this track gets in the sun, it gets slippery as well. The track is a lot more narrow than the other mile and a half tracks as well, so there will be a lot more close quarter racing.

Last week at Homestead, William Byron pulled away from the field and went on to claim his second career victory. The Charlotte native battled back from early tire issues and ran as low as 31st until he was able to claw his way back to the front around stage 2 when he drove around the two JGR teammates of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin to take the stage victory. There has been a lot of expectations and hype around this young phenom but in his first three years, it took him a while to grow into a race winner. It wasn't until last year when Byron claimed his first win at the Daytona fall race. This year he was paired with crew-chief Rudy Fugle. This pair amassed tons of success when they worked together in the Truck Series back in 2016 when they won seven races. It seems now that the pair could be back to their winning ways. This looks like this could be a good pairing down the line.

As we all know, this has been the season of surprises and those surprises continued last week as Michael McDowell went on to his third consecutive top ten finish as he finished eighth. McDowell has been sort of a journeyman driver. He has raced for teams such as LeaVine Family Racing and the now defunct Michael Waltrip Racing where he got his start. While it has only been three races, he's in the midst of a career year beginning with a victory in this year's Daytona 500. Many thought that victory was a fluke and that he was "wasting a playoff spot," but since then he has proved his haters wrong as he currently sits fourth in the points. Will this streak continue? I think it can. His string of good runs puts him in an advantageous position as he gets to start up front each week and knowing how important qualifying was, he has really been able to take advantage of this. Look for the #34 Loves Ford Mustang to build on this.

The favorite for this week's race has to be Joey Logano. In the fifteen races Logano has started in here, he has ten top fives and two victories including last season's spring Vegas race in February. He hasn't got off to the best start as it's been three up and down races for him. From finishing second at the Daytona road course to following that up with a twenty-fifth last week at Homestead. This week though I believe he can get everything back on track with a good run or a victory.

The driver that I am picking to win this week is Kevin Harvick. The future Hall of Famer has been stout this season with a 6th and 5th place finish. The speed for Harvick and his team have been there, but they just haven't been able to get the win. But this week he's going to a track he has excelled at big time. He will start from the pole this Sunday and that should really scare the whole field. He has two victories here and twelve top tens since his beginning back in 2001. I look for him to get his third victory here and begin another run for his second championship.

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