Bryan Armen Graham2019-03-17 02:48:05
Well, that was quick. Lindolfo Delgado improved to 9-0 with nine knockouts after a one-round destruction of James Roach in a wildly lopsided mismatch. Delgado, who hardly broke a sweat, outlanded his opponent by a 33-3 margin before finishing it with a couple of big shots upstairs.
Next up: David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) v J’Leon Love (24-2-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight fight.
Then? The fight we’re all here for.
Arreola and Nery win on undercard
In the pay-per-view opener Chris Arreola (38-5-1, 32 KOs), once billed as America’s next big thing at heavyweight, rolled back the years with a third-round knockout of the previously unbeaten Jean Pierre Augustin (17-1-1, 12 KOs). The 38-year-old Arreola buckled his opponent with a straight left jab early in the third before dropping him with a barrage of shots in the corner. Augistin managed to beat the count, but Arreola quickly pounced and referee Neal Young waved it off at the 2:30 mark. With Arreola recommitted to his fitness and looking as trim as ever and the heavyweight division looking awfully grim beyond the big three, don’t be surprised if the Californian fights his way into another title shot … even though it’s been nearly a decade since his doomed bid against Vitali Klitschko.
In the second TV bout Mexico’s Luis Nery (29-0, 23 KOs) surged to a fourth-round knockout of Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo (18-3, 8 KOs) in a matchup of former bantamweight champions. Nery dropped his overmatched opponent in the second, the third, then twice in the fourth before the Arroyo’s corner refused to let him continue into the fifth. A smashing US debut for the Tijuana puncher.
The final preliminary fight before Spence and Garcia was supposed to be a 10-round super middleweight clash between David Benavidez and J’Leon Love. But instead we’re being served … a scheduled six-round swing bout between lightweights James Roach (5-1, 5 KOs) and Lindolfo Delgado (8-0, 8 KOs)? Uh, OK. Fox trying to juice those pay-per-view sales, it seems.
Welcome to the Lone Star State for tonight’s showdown between Errol Spence Jr and Mikey Garcia. They say everything’s bigger in Texas and tonight’s main event is just about as big as it gets in boxing: two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world putting their undefeated records on the line at the 100,000-seat home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), a former title-holder at 126lbs, 130lbs and 135lbs and the current lineal champion at 140lbs, is scaling yet another division to challenge Errol Spence Jr for the IBF welterweight strap that he’s owned since knocking out Kell Brook at Bramall Lane in 2017. It’s a mission impossible in the eyes of many as Spence is no ordinary welterweight: he’s a large man for the division with knockout power in either hand who falls in or around the top five of most credible pound-for-pound lists.
So it’s no surprise that Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) is about a 4-1 favorite in the third defense of his welterweight title, but Garcia from the start has insisted he’s seen something in the bigger man’s game. There’s also the allure of daring to be great, say nothing of the larger payday such challenges afford: both men will bring home career-high $3m purses for tonight’s event.
“Getting this victory will forever leave my name in the history books,” Garcia said at Wednesday’s final press conference. “No other fighter is daring to do what I’m doing. I’m here to make history and this fight does that. This fight is about big challenges and obstacles.”
He added: “I have to fight the best fight of my life. If I don’t, then I can’t overcome the challenge. You don’t win a fight with size and weight. We fight smart, we fight intelligently and pick our shots. There are a lot of factors. That’s how I win this fight.”
One more undercard bout awaits before Garcia and Spence walk in about an hour’s time.