Errol Spence Jr is a master at his craft and the unified world welterweight champion with good measure, with his victory against Danny Garcia providing the answers to all the previous question marks over his status.
Much of the build-up to Spence’s showdown with Garcia in Texas last Saturday November 21 had centered around the champion’s condition, following his near-fatal car accident just over 13 months prior.
Garcia, a two-weight world champion and former 147lbs world title holder appeared a precarious assignment following a 14-month ring absence and recovery process which required surgery and months out of the gym.
‘The Truth’ insisted there would be no signs of rust or let-up and the 30-year-old backed up his words with a vintage display, showing tremendous movement, speed and accuracy, peppering his foe with hooks to head and body and his piston-like jab, keeping Garcia at range for large periods inside the AT & T Stadium.
Two scores of 116-112, and a third at 117-111 reflected the home favourite’s dominance against his game rival, as he defended his WBC and IBF titles in style.
Spence was coy over his next move in the immediate aftermath, although there are a few clear options in play for what would be a voluntary, after overcoming WBC mandatory, Garcia, one of who was ringside:
Spence has already stated on record his desire to face Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao before moving up to 154lbs.
A showdown with Crawford remains undoubtedly the most sought after fight by public demand.
The WBO Welterweight champion was in attendance in Arlington and is considered the number one in the division according to some, with his fourth round destruction of Kell Brook a statement of intent.
It is a super-fight between two men firing on all cylinders and in their primes and a clash that by all accounts should happen sooner rather than later. For years Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao talked about facing each other, but ultimately met five years after they should have, in what proved a drab affair.
To avoid a repeat scenario, Crawford and Spence must be made realistically happen in the next year, but if it’s next then even better.
At the moment, however, a fight seems some way away with Spence promoted by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions and Crawford tied to Bob Arum’s Top Rank, with the two companies rarely doing business with one another.
Bud’s affiliation with Top Rank has reportedly reached a crucial point with the champion unimpressed with his opposition and failure to secure an elite name.
Nevertheless, matters are complicated with Spence standing firm on his own value, insisting he deserves the bigger purse, which Crawford has dismissed.
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“I definitely should get the bigger share,“ Spence told the Pug and Copp show.
“The proof is in the pudding who’s the bigger draw, but I feel 60-40, right around that, is the right price.”
At 40-years-old, Manny Pacquiao remains a huge draw in the division and a worldwide star.
The eight-weight world champion proved he is still a force and can mix it with the younger contenders with a split decision victory over Keith Thurman last July, to become WBA ‘Super’ world champion.
The 147lbs division are all hopeful of a legacy-defining fight against the Filipino future Hall of Famer, who publicly congratulated ‘The Truth’ on his victory over Garcia on Twitter.
Thanks buddy https://t.co/1P4OEs40cD
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) December 6, 2020
Spence has gone on record laying out his ambitions to face Pacquiao back at AT & T Stadium and with the Filipino’s illustrious profile, this may prove his most lucrative option.
‘Pacman’ is still on course for a crossover fight with UFC star Conor McGregor, with the pair’s manager Audie Attar, confirming that they are in ongoing talks.
A victory would also make a potential Crawford showdown even bigger, in what would be an undisputed clash.
Following their fight of the year contender, a rematch with Shawn Porter would also prove an enticing option and a relatively straightforward fight to make, with Porter also with PBC.
Spence’s eleventh round knockdown proved crucial on route to a split decision victory at the Staples Center last September.
Porter will be eager to regain his WBC title and is ranked as the number one contender, although he has also said he is open to facing Crawford, where he is also ranked at number one.
‘Showtime’ eased to a unanimous decision victory over Sebastian Formella in August and the two-time world champion continues to be a tough night for anyone in the division, although whether Spence would alter his plans to face Pacquiao and Crawford before moving up to 154lbs remains to be seen.
If Spence is unable to secure a clash with any of the above men, Keith Thurman is the next standout option.
Former unified world champion, Thurman has been vocal on his desire to face his PBC stablemate, in what would be another relatively simple fight to make.
The 32-year-old has already beaten Porter and Garcia in succession, however Spence appears to have no desire to face his compatriot.
“He’s just one guy I’ve just never liked,” Spence said on The Last Stand Podcast.
“There’s a lot of boxers out there I really don’t care for, but him, I just don’t like him. I feel like he’s fake. Everything about him. I just don’t like him.”
‘One Time’ has a sole defeat to Pacquiao and believes he could cause his rival a different skillset to overcome.
“Spence has fought Porter, and now Garcia – guys I already handled a long time ago – so he’s fighting in my shadow,” Thurman told the PBC podcast.
“Keith Thurman can be aggressive, counter and show movement and power, so I’m someone he’s never been in the ring with.”