Spence confident heading into Garcia fight

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia, two of boxing's top fighters pound-for-pound, are low-key guys not known for a lot of talk, preferring to let their fists do the talking in the ring.

But while their respect for each other was mostly on display Wednesday at their final prefight news conference at AT&T Stadium, where they will meet Saturday (Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET) for Spence's welterweight world title in one of the year's biggest fights, Spence was a bit pricklier than usual.

When Garcia, a lightweight world titlist who called Spence out and is moving up two weight classes in an attempt to win a belt in a fifth division, told him that he was "just another opponent," Spence shot right back.

"We'll see," Spence said. "Keep that same energy you've been having. I'm really tired of doing these press conferences and seeing him. I'm ready for fight night."

This was the third and last news conference before they meet inside the ring, and just moments after Spence said he thought it would be a hard fight, he apparently changed his mind.

"If he really feels like he's going to take this title back to California, it's not happening," he said. "I feel like I'm the best fighter in the world, and we're going to show it come Saturday night. They've been real cocky, talking a lot of crap, him and his brother [trainer Robert Garcia].

"It will be a one-sided massacre. I promise you that, and I'm gonna punish him. He's going to wish he took his brother's advice not to take this fight."

Indeed, Robert Garcia said before the fight was made that he thought his brother should look elsewhere for an opponent, but Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), 31, of Moreno Valley, California, was steadfast in calling Spence out, and Spence was happy to oblige him in a fight that he is heavily favored to win.

Garcia, of course, said he sees things differently.

"I have all the tools and all the skills needed to beat Errol Spence Jr. When it comes to timing, speed, reflexes and defense, you name it, I'm better," said Garcia, who has won belts at junior welterweight, lightweight, junior lightweight and featherweight. "I've got to go in there Saturday night and show why I picked this fight. I want to make history, and this is the one that will get me there. I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to win this fight. We trained very hard. We can go 12 rounds, for sure. 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 flashy, they don't see anything special when they watch me -- until they get into the ring."

Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), a 29-year-old southpaw who is from the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, said his size advantage, while stark, won't be the difference.

"The size difference won't matter. Skill for skill and talent for talent, I'm more dominant than him in every aspect," he said. "I'll beat him at anything he wants to do. On paper, he's the toughest opponent to date, but once we get in the ring, we'll find out. I don't think anyone has the power to knock me out. We don't allow that kind of mentality into training camp. I hope he tries, though.

"Mikey is supposed to think he's going to win this fight. He's a four-division champion for a reason. He has a great corner. He called me out, so they obviously think that they see something. I like a fighter as confident as I am. I hope he keeps that same energy inside of the ring."

Said Derrick James, Spence's trainer: "We're going to go in there and show him why we're better. Ring intelligence is definitely one of Mikey's best attributes. But he's never been in the ring with Errol. Errol has been in the ring sparring with Floyd Mayweather before, and I don't think Mikey has the same ring intelligence as him."

TV lineup for the Errol Spence Jr.-Mikey Garcia fight on Saturday (Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas:

  • Welterweights: Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) vs. Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), 12 rounds, for Spence's world title

  • Super middleweights: David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) vs. J'Leon Love (24-2-1, 13 KOs), 10 rounds

  • Bantamweight: Luis Nery (28-0, 22 KOs) vs. McJoe Arroyo (18-2, 8 KOs), 10 rounds

  • Heavyweights: Chris Arreola (37-5-1, 32 KOs) vs. Jean Pierre Augustin (17-0-1, 12 KOs), 10 rounds