Errol Spence Jr. dominates Mikey Garcia for decisive decision victory, retains welterweight title

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In the end, it wasn't so much about the size difference between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia on Saturday in their welterweight title pay-per-view bout as much it was about the skills.

Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) made the fourth defense of his IBF welterweight title with a dominant unanimous decision win in front of 47,525 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, that went a long way in building his case among the pound-for-pound best in the sport.

Behind a powerful jab and a clinical effort outboxing the four-division champion Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), who was making the move up from 135 pounds, Spence took home wide scores of 120-107 and 120-108 (twice). CBS Sports also had it 120-108 for the native of nearby Desoto, just outside of Dallas.

How dominant was the 29-year-old Spence in preventing Garcia from ever truly being in the fight? He outlanded Garcia by a margin of 345 to 75, according to CompuBox. Spence also landed 51 percent of his power shots and limited Garcia to just 18.5 percent landed overall.

"From the whole training camp, the experts like Sugar Ray Leonard felt like [Garcia] was too smart and I couldn't box [with him,]" Spence said. "You saw today I could box and move my head and do all that if I want to.

"The game is to be smart, it's a sweet science. I had the size advantage and my reach. Why not use my jab and take something away from him that he likes to do which is use his jab too?"

While Spence's power advantage certainly played a role in disciplining Garcia away from taking reckless chances, it was his mastery of distance behind a four-inch reach advantage that won him the fight.

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Spence limited Garcia to just 18 jabs landed overall and never more than five in a single round. Even though the 32-year-old Garcia deserves plenty of respect for his chin in being able to go the distance and extend Spence to the 12th round for the first time in his career, he was never able to put together more than one punch at a time.

"All the credit to Errol Spence, he's a great champion," Garcia said. "He is the truth. He's for real. He put up a great fight and executed the game plan so well. He kept the distance at his favor. I wasn't able to really get my rhythm going. He did what he had to do; his reach, his height and the southpaw stance complicated things. I was trying to make adjustments but he was able to keep executing in his favor.

"He has power in the welterweight division, definitely. He is probably the strongest and has a lot of knockouts. But I was able to hold my own and felt good and felt strong. But he does have power."

Spence turned a tactical start to the fight into his personal showcase of just how well-rounded he can be. He boxed from the outside with a quick jab that he used as a weapon and worked behind feints to potshot Garcia to the body. Spence also pawed with his jab at times as a disguise for the left cross that came behind it.

The totality of punches systematically broke Garcia down. By Round 6, Spence visibly hurt Garcia with a left uppercut. But it was Round 9 where the size difference between the two looked the most evident as Spence showed off his impressive in-fighting abilities by battering Garcia from one end of the ring to the other with clean power shots.

After the round, Garcia's older brother and trainer Robert threatened to stop the fight. Garcia ultimately begged for and received one more round and came back with a more aggressive start to Round 10 that ultimately failed to blossom into anything more as Garcia relied on his defense and chin to go the distance.

"Look, my brother wanted to maybe stop the fight and doesn't want to let me get hit as much anymore," Garcia said. "I told him after Round 9 that I was fine. I tried and landed some good shots but it just wasn't enough. [Spence] could take a good punch. He probably felt the power but it just wasn't enough.

"We just went 12 rounds with a great welterweight champion. Me being a lightweight, that's respectful and I'm proud at what I was able to do. I don't know if I will stay at welterweight. I will probably come down to the lighter divisions."

Spence, who credited Garcia's toughness and willingness to fight him when the remainder of welterweight stars (including WBC champion Shawn Porter, whom he called out) did their best to avoid him, turned his attention to what's next immediately after the fight. He called current WBA secondary titleholder Manny Pacquiao up into the ring and challenged him to a fight.

"[Pacquiao] has been here before [at AT&T Stadium] and broke records here before," Spence said. "He's a legend of the sport and it would be an honor to fight him next."

The 40-year-old Pacquiao, who is fresh off a decision win over Adrien Broner on PPV, accepted the challenge, albeit it in a tone that wasn't completely convincing.

"Yeah, why not," Pacquiao said. "We can give the fans a good fight. I'm so happy to be here in Dallas and I'm hoping that I will be back here soon."

CBS Sports was with you for every punch from the bout in Dallas with our updating scorecard and live updates below. If you are having trouble viewing the results or want to refresh the scorecard, please click here.

Spence vs. Garcia card, results

Errol Spence Jr. (c) def. Mikey Garcia via unanimous decision (120-107, 120-108, 120-108)
David Benavidez def. J'Leon Love via second-round TKO
Luis Nery def. McJoe Arroyo via fourth-round TKO (corner stoppage)
Chris Arreola def. Jean Pierre Augustin via third-round TKO

Spence vs. Garcia scorecard, live coverage

Round123456789101112Total

Spence

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

120

Garcia

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

108

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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