Spence upset at missing out on Pacquiao fight, failing to take the torch
By Jim Calfa: Errol Spence Jr. is still upset at losing out on the opportunity to fight boxing legend Manny Pacquiao last year due to an eye injury he suffered training for their mega-fight in Las Vegas.
According to Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), that was his chance to take the torch from the 43-year-old Pacquiao to become a superstar in the sport.
Instead of Spence getting the fight, 35-year-old WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas came in on three weeks’ notice and soundly defeated Pacquiao by a 12 round unanimous decision, sending the Filipino star into retirement.
Sadly, the victory that would have transformed the 2012 U.S Olympian Spence’s life slipped through his fingers, leaving him with nothing but the fight against Ugas and possibly a future clash against the aging 34-year-old WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford to look forward to.
Next month, IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence will face WBA 147lb champion Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) in a three-belt unification fight on Showtime pay-per-view AT&T Stadium, in Arlington, Texas, U.S.
Unfortunately for Spence, many boxing fans don’t feel his unification bout against Ugas is a PPV-worthy fight, as they don’t view this as a compelling match-up that deserves to be sold for $80. Nevertheless, we’ll see if the event organizers made a mistake or guessed right by sticking it on pay television.
“I’m a way different fighter than Pacquiao, and at this point, I’m a better fighter. That was the passing of the torch for myself, but I missed the opportunity,” said Errol Spence Jr. on him missing out on his fight with the 43-year-old Pacquiao due to the eye injury he suffered in training for their clash last August.
“Ugas is a real warrior, but I’m hungry too. I’m not letting this opportunity pass by me,” said Spence.
It shouldn’t be a big deal to Spence that he missed out on the fight with Pacquiao because he was old, shot, and hadn’t fought in two years. If Spence is the guy that some boxing fans think he is, he should become a star without him needing to beat Pacquiao to get to that level.
What’s essential is that Spence stays active, as he’s NEVER going to become a star if he’s getting into car crashes and taking 18 months off between fights.
Ideally, Spence should be fighting three times a year, and he should be facing guys like Crawford, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, and Vergil Ortiz Jr. Even if it means taking lesser money, Spence should fight Crawford NOW.
“Ugas still has the hunger to want to be the best,” said Spence to Fighthype. “I feel like he’s a little bit more hungry than guys like Danny Garcia. He can ride off into the sunset now and retire. He won’t be bothered about it.
“I feel he’s a lot more hungrier than guys that I’ve fought prior,” Errol said of what Ugas brings to the table on April 16th.
“I don’t feel like I was fortunate catching it because I wanted to fight,” said Errol on him being upset about the eye injury that prevented him from facing Pacquiao last August.
“In one eye, but I got another eye, so that was my whole thing about it,” said Spence on him, still wanting to face Pacquiao despite having an injured eye. “When I had a patch on, I seen good with one eye.
“So for me, I wanted to fight, and I felt it was a great opportunity for me. It was kind of foolish too, but I’m a warrior, and I got to put it on the line at that moment. I’m grateful I didn’t, but at that moment, I wanted to fight.
“In training camp leading up to it, knowing how great fighter Pacquiao was, I wanted the opportunity, and it passed me by like that,” said Spence. “At the time, I really wanted it, but it was a blessing that it didn’t happen. The doctor didn’t let me fight.
“Most people that went through a car accident like I did, getting thrown from a car fifty feet, landing on concrete and still be able to talk,” said Spence.
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