Errol Spence remains unbothered by losing out on a dream fight.
A retinal detachment in his left eye discovered during a pre-fight medical examination forced the unbeaten IBF/WBC welterweight champion out of a planned superfight with former eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39KOs). The bout was to have topped an August 21 Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in which Spence was a healthy betting favorite to prevail.
A win would have skyrocketed Spence’s already established boxing superstar status. However, it would have never been worth the potential ramifications of entering a fight unaware of the existing injury.
“I don’t regret it at all,” Spence told reporters during a recent media workout, of losing out on a Pacquiao fight that never made its way back around. “Everything happens for a reason.
“If I would’ve fought him, I probably would have been blind in my eye and lost my career. Everything happens for a reason. I just got to take the punches and roll with it.”
Taking the punches in Spence’s place that night was Yordenis Ugas, who secured a career-best win in a twelve-round, unanimous decision over Pacquiao. Ugas (27-4, 12KOs) validated his WBA welterweight title reign with the victory, which he has since parlayed into a three-belt unification bout with Spence (27-0, 21KOs).
The bout tops an April 16 Showtime Pay-Per-View event from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, just outside of Spence’s Desoto hometown. It will mark Spence’s third time headlining at the state-of-the-art home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, coming as he’s received a clean bill of health following surgery to repair the detached retina.
A rescheduled fight with Pacquiao would have served as a blockbuster event, though chasing more fame was never the end game for Spence. The stakes of the April 16 fight—adding another welterweight strap to his collection—were the driving force behind his first fight back in more than a year.
“I’ve been looking forward [to this fight] since I dropped out of the Pacquiao fight,” insisted Spence, who last fought in a December 2020 points win over former two-division titlist Danny Garcia at this very venue. “I knew I’d be looking at either Pacquiao or Ugas. It’s Ugas now.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox