By Keith Idec
ARLINGTON, Texas – If July is the only month that works for Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. is more than willing to accommodate him.
Pacquiao’s senate schedule in the Philippines only affords him small windows within which he can fight. He attended Spence’s 12-round domination of Mikey Garcia on Saturday night for the express purpose of setting up his next fight.
Whether Spence (25-0, 21 KOs), the IBF 147-pound champion, or Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), the WBA “super” world welterweight champ, eventually is secured as Pacquiao’s opponent remains to be seen.
Unlike most welterweights, the 40-year-old Pacquiao at least appears willing to take on the figurative and literal huge challenge Spence presents.
“Yes. Why not?,” Pacquiao said during the FOX Sports Pay-Per-View broadcast Saturday night. “We’ll give the fans a good fight. I’m so happy to be here in Dallas, and I hope I will be back here soon.”
Pacquiao is intrigued by the idea of returning to the Dallas Cowboys’ home stadium, where he out-pointed Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito in successive fights in 2010. The card headlined by Spence-Garcia drew an announced crowd of 47,525 to AT&T Stadium on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old Spence, a native of nearby DeSoto, Texas, would love to return to that venue for a showdown with Pacquiao. As was the case with Garcia, the 5-feet-10 Spence would own a four-inch height advantage over Pacquiao and would out-weigh his smaller opponent by a sizeable sum once they enter the ring.
Spence still would expect a challenging fight against Pacquiao.
“Oh, it’s definitely a competitive fight,” Spence said. “Manny Pacquiao, he’s blood and guts. So that’ll definitely be a great fight. He’s a future Hall-of-Famer, and he’s on his way out. And I’ll definitely give him that retirement check that he been needing.”
The Philippines’ Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) soundly defeated Adrien Broner in his last fight. Pacquiao buzzed Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) in the seventh and ninth rounds and won a 12-round unanimous decision January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.