By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Errol Spence Jr. would welcome a fight against Danny Garcia next.
Whether Garcia would even consider it is another matter altogether.
“I don’t know,” Spence told BoxingScene.com. “That’s something you’d have to ask him. I have no idea.”
Spence expects Garcia to beat Brandon Rios when they fight February 17 in Las Vegas. Since Garcia will box just four weeks after Spence’s eighth-round technical knockout victory over Lamont Peterson at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the former WBC champ would at least be on a similar schedule as the IBF welterweight champ.
Keith Thurman, who defeated by Garcia by split decision March 4 at Barclays Center, is the opponent Spence really wants. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), won’t fight Spence next, though, because he’ll face Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) in April and has said he doesn’t think he and Spence will square off until sometime in 2019.
Garcia told BoxingScene.com recently that he would prefer to fight just twice this year. That could eliminate him as an option to fight Spence when Spence returns either in May or June.
But assuming Garcia defeats Rios, who’s a big underdog, Spence would “consider” fighting Garcia next “if he’s available.”
Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) discussed during the post-fight press conference early Sunday morning that he was conscious of beating Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) much more impressively than Garcia did in April 2015.
Garcia’s 12-round, majority-decision defeat of Peterson at Barclays Center was considered controversial. Spence overpowered Peterson, dropped him in the fifth round, broke down the former two-division champion and stopped him at the start of the eighth round.
“I think about that,” Spence said. “I seen the Danny Garcia and Lamont fight. I seen it was a close fight. It could’ve went either way, so I wanted to make it look easier than that fight and I wanted to put on a better performance than Danny did.”
Spence thinks Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) will put on a good performance against Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs), yet anticipates a more competitive fight than most people.
“I think it’ll be a good fight,” Spence said. “Brandon Rios looks like he’s in shape. It looks like he’s down in weight and he’s taking it seriously. Danny Garcia’s not really a boxer. He’s not a guy who moves around the ring. He’s a guy that sits there and counter-punches, so I think it’ll be a good fight if Danny doesn’t catch him with one of those no-look left hooks that he catches people with and knocks him out. So I think it’ll be a good fight while it lasts. I think it’ll be way better than people expect.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.