Errol Spence Jr to fight 2 to 3 more times at 147 before going to 154
By Jim Maltzman: Errol Spence Jr says he’s close to unifying the 147-lb division, and he still plans on moving up to 154 after two to three more fights.
Of the guys that IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is targeting, he says he’s interested in facing Manny Pacquiao, and possibly a rematch with Shawn Porter fights with Yorgenis Ugas and Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.
Spence’s 12-round unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia last Saturday night seems to have changed his negative outlook on a fight against former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman.
That’s a good thing because there would be a lot of fan interest in a Spence vs. Thurman contest, especially Errol isn’t able to get the Pacquiao fight that he’s hoping for next summer.
The fight that the fans want to see is Spence and WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford in 2021. Spence didn’t say anything about that fight, but he was complimentary of Crawford’s opposition he’s fought.
For Spence to be talking about being close to unifying the 147-lb division, it means that he’s going to face Crawford at some point, be it in 2021 or 2022.
Errol on the verge of unifying 147-lb division
“I like him, he’s smooth, his skills, he’s talented, and a switch-hitter, and he can belt,” said Spence to PBC Podcast about Jaron Ennis. “I should be [still at 147 when Ennis gets to his level]. I’m waiting for Jermell [Charlo] to move up to 160.
I want to fight the best fighters out there, and I want to be an undefeated champion. I’m on the verge of cleaning out the division. Probably two or three more then we’ll see,” said Spence about his timeline before moving up to 154.
For Spence to unify the 147lb division, he needs to beat WBA champ Manny Pacquiao and WBO belt-holder Crawford. Those fights won’t be easy to make, though because of various factors.
Crawford says he wants Pacquiao next, and when he does look to face Spence, he wants a 60-40 split. Spence can’t invest too much time trying to put together a fight against Crawford because it might not be possible.
Spence talks about Ugas, Porter, and Thurman potential fights
“I get tired of people asking me about him [Terence Crawford] when I got a fight coming up,” said Spence about what bothers him.”People aking me about Terence Crawford two days before I’m fighting Danny Garcia.
I feel like they’re being dismissive of Danny Garcia. When I don’t have a fight coming up, I don’t get tired of it. It comes with the territory. When you’re in the same weight class, you’re going to get those questions.
“As far as opponents, I feel like I’m over him in that category,” Errol said about him having fought better opposition than Crawford. “A Porter rematch may be good. The first fight was an exciting fight. The second one would probably be like the first one.
“I don’t know,” said Spence when asked if he’d be interested in fighting Keith Thurman. “I like Ugas, he’s a real fighter. He’s a guy that would fight anybody, and he’s on a winning streak now. I like him as a fighter, and that could be a good fight,” said Spence.
It would be a big letdown for boxing fans to see Spence defending against Shawn Porter in a rematch rather than Errol facing some new blood like Pacquiao, Crawford, or Thurman.
WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Yorgenis Ugas would be a good option for Spence if he can’t get one of the big names for his next fight. Ugas was arguably robbed last year in his fight against Porter.
There are good options for Spence if he doesn’t get the fight against Pacquiao in 2021, but we’ll have to see what his management at PBC has in store for him.
If Errol’s management Premier Boxing Champions wants him to wait until Crawford leaves Top Rank before making that fight, then we won’t see them fighting until likely 2022.
Crawford’s contract with Top Rank is up in October, and he won’t be able to immediately fight Spence in November or December.
Errol says it’s up to Pacquiao to decide
“I thought Danny was strong, a real technical fighter and a good counter-puncher,” Spence said to PBC Podcast.
“I had to be ready for every punch he throws because he can counter. You got to be on pins and needles all the time with Danny Garcia.
“I probably rank him #2,” said Errol when asked where he ranks Danny among all the guys that he’s fought as a pro. “I say Kell Brook #1. No,” Spence said when asked if he thought he was close to knocking out Danny Garcia.
“Danny is a tough, hard-nosed guy. Garcia has been in some real hard fights. I’m a real fan of boxing, so I didn’t need to watch any film on Danny Garcia. I’d already watched him throughout the years, so I’m already familiar with him.
“I know I stunned him a couple of times, but I know he wasn’t in super trouble. I felt a little bit,” Spence said about whether he felt the same as he did before his car accident.
“I could have felt sharper but I felt sharp. I felt good in there. Definitely, anytime you take that long out of the ring, something will have to give. I’m happy to have gotten through it, and happy I had the confidence in myself and my abilities to even fight a guy like Danny Garcia coming off a long layoff.
“I already started running a little bit,” said Errol. “And I ran a day after my fight. I don’t really know,” said Spence when asked how likely is it that he’ll fight Manny Pacquiao next.
“It’s really up to Pacquiao. I’m not going to stress out. I’m going to enjoy my time off, and keep working. When it comes time to get back in there again, I’ll be ahead of schedule,” said Spence.
The Pacquiao has got to happen next year if it’s to take place at all because Manny is about to turn 42, his age is too high for him to be waiting much longer to take the fight with Errol.
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