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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Houston stays hot at the plate

Astros overpower White Sox in series opener

Abraham Toro made a loud return to the Astros' lineup on Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a two-game sweep of the struggling Rangers behind them, the Astros welcomed in a much fiercer opponent in the Chicago White Sox, owners of the best record in the AL, for an exciting four-game set. It was all Astros in this one, as their offense would once again propel them to a lopsided win.

Final Score: Astros 10, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 40-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dylan Cease (5-3)

Houston builds a big lead

Houston wasted no time in the bottom of the first, getting two on base on a single and an error to set up a three-run home run for Michael Brantley, putting them ahead 3-0 before Chicago and Dylan Cease could record an out. They extended the lead in the bottom of the fourth, putting two on base on a walk and hit batter before an RBI ground-rule double by Carlos Correa brought in one. That left runners on second and third, and Abraham Toro took advantage by scoring both on a two-RBI single, then with one out, Jose Altuve hit a sac fly to make it a 7-0 lead.

Urquidy brings the good stuff

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was cruising through Chicago's lineup. He allowed just one hit through the first five scoreless innings but would let the White sox get on the board in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double and two-out RBI single. They added one more on another single, making it 7-2 before Urquidy could get out of the inning.

Jose Altuve got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, hitting his fourth home run in three games to make it a six-run game at 8-2. Urquidy returned to the mound in the top of the seventh, getting a quick 1-2-3 frame to end his successful night. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 93 P.

Astros take the opener

In the bottom of the seventh, Houston pushed the lead to eight runs with a leadoff single, setting up a two-out two-run homer by Toro, bringing him to four RBI on the night. With Urquidy's night over, Brandon Bielak came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen, sitting down Chicago in order. Ralph Garza Jr. came in to get an inning of work to finish off the game with Houston's large lead. He made it a quick one, with Chicago going down in order one more time as the Astros took the opener and notched their fourth-straight win.

Up Next: Game two of this entertaining series will be another 7:10 PM Central Start on Friday. Carlos Rodon (6-2, 1.89 ERA) will try to help Chicago even the series, while Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.98 ERA) will try to put Houston up 2-0.

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