Undefeated IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr 24-0 (21) will defend his title against multi-weight world champion Mikey Garcia 39-0 (30) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas live on FOX Sports PBC pay-per-view on March 16.
The 30-year-old Garcia of Moreno Valley, California shocked the boxing world when he announced he planned on moving up two weight classes to tackle one of boxing’s brightest lights. Spence claimed the IBF 147-pound crown from Brit Kell Brook in an 11-round war in May last year and has since defended the strap against Lamont Peterson and Carlos Ocampo.
“It’s a dream come true,” said the 28-year-old Texan southpaw in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “I’m going to have a lot of great fans in Texas. He has a lot of big fans, too.”
Garcia spoke of his desire to face Spence after his July victory over Robert Easter Jr in a bout that saw him unify the WBC and IBF lightweight titles.
“There is no-one else that excites me, motivates me enough and who can challenge me other than Errol Spence,” said Garcia at the time. “And I’m willing to take the challenger all the way up to 147 because tat the fight I want and [that] will motivate me the most.”
Spence was equally enthusiastic about the fight and the challenge that Garcia will bring to the ring.
“He will be pound-for-pound number one if he beats me, but it’s not going to happen,” he said. “There are weight classes for a reason.”
Spence will have a four-inch reach advantage over Garcia, who began his career at featherweight, and almost the same advantage in height.
Garcia won his first world title at 126-pounds when he defeated veteran Orlando Salido for the WBO strap by technical decision in eight rounds in 2013. He became a two-division champion the same year when he won the WBO super featherweight title against Roman Martinez and lifted the WBC lightweight title from Dejan Zlaticanin in January last year.
The popular Californian outpointed Adrien Broner in July last year and outclassed Sergey Lipinets over 12-rounds in March to claim the IBF 140-pound championship before returning to lightweight for the Easter fight.