We have not seen this kind of jeopardy since Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran went up to face Marvin Hagler at middleweight.

Both were naturally bigger specimens than Mikey Garcia, so you could argue he is taking one of the biggest risks in the modern era against Errol Spence.

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather went through the divisions but never took as big a jump as Garcia against a naturally bigger man approaching what could turn out to be a formidable peak.

Garcia started at featherweight. Spence is a career welter and has the potential to become an era-defining fighter. So my hat is tipped.

It is just what boxing needs, a crossover contest that fires the imagination beyond the natural habitat. Casual sports fans are understandably all over this.

Mikey Garcia celebrates

This is Garcia’s third crack against an unbeaten champion in a third different weight division. The others ended the same way, with his hand raised.

All but three of Spence’s 24 unbeaten fights have ended early. Ultimately size will be the defining factor, Spence rehydrating to 10lb heavier than the 147lb limit by the time the first bell goes.

To his credit Garcia is not in the least fazed by the size discrepancy. He is banking on speed, accuracy and timing as well as spiteful power to present Spence with problems he can’t solve.

Don’t be surprised if Garcia gets out in front, or that Spence ends up on the deck in the early rounds.

Spence is proud. He does not walk away. He attacks. Garcia knocked out unbeaten Dejan Zlaticanin to win the WBC lightweight title then went up again to see off undefeated Sergey Lipinets at super-lightweight.

a
Errol Spence against Kell Brook

Though he couldn’t get Lipinets out early, he had him down, demonstrating his ability to punch above his weight.

Spence is hitable because he takes chances. But down or not, Spence will come into the fight at some point and start to turn the tables.

All credit to Garcia for stepping up. It will be a spectacular occasion in Texas and most likely end violently.

Spence is not just a puncher, he has quick hands, good feet, finesse and a terrific engine. He also takes a shot.

That adds up to superstar material in my book, plus nature is on his side. I expect that to make the difference.

Follow Barry on Twitter

@ClonesCyclone @McGuigans_Gym@CyclonePromo