IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr 24-0 (21) believes victory over Mikey Garcia 39-0 (30) will establish his credentials at the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
The duo will clash at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in Spence’s homestate.
“This win makes me pound-for-pound number one,” the 29-year-old Spence said this week. “Mikey has a great record and a big fan base and I feel like winning this fight turns me into a star.
“Everyone wants to take Floyd Mayweather’s place as the face of boxing and this puts me on the right track to become the face of boxing and the best fighter in the world.”
Still, Spence is acutely aware that even in victory there will be naysayers who claim he simply did what he had to do against a naturally smaller man. Garcia has been campaigning as a lightweight prior to this fight.
“They’ll say he’s too small,” Spence said. “If I beat him up throughout the whole fight, they’ll say, ‘He has amazing heart for a little guy. Errol Spence is supposed to do that, he’s the bigger welterweight.’
“So even if (Garcia) looks good, they’ll say, ‘The smaller guy looked good, he just couldn’t hold up the weight.'”
Garcia meanwhile believes he is the better all-round fighter.
“I have all the tools and all the skills needed to beat Errol Spence Jr,” Garcia said. “When it comes to timing, speed, reflexes and defense, you name it, I’m better.”
The 31-year-old Californian said he is happy to go the full twelve rounds but if the opportunity for the knockout comes, he will be taking it.
“We can go 12 rounds for sure,” Garcia said. “But, if I get a chance to hurt my opponent, I’m definitely going to jump on him and get the knockout.
“Saturday night, Errol is going to find out why I picked this fight. All of my opponents say they don’t see anything special when they watch me, until they get into the ring.”