There are few if any independent rankings that don’t already recognize Errol Spence as the best welterweight in the world.
The unbeaten WBC/IBF titlist from Desoto, Texas is also regarded as among the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters, including number three according to BoxingScene.com. There is an opportunity for Spence (27-0, 21KOs) to improve on or cement his position—depending upon the viewpoint—as he next faces legendary former eight-division champion Manny Pacquaio (62-7-2, 39KOs).
It has been suggested by many that a win by Pacquiao will render the Filipino southpaw high among the greatest in boxing history. Spence is still in the process of leaving his mark from a historical perspective, though with each win he leaves less doubt as to his standing in the current market.
“[A win over Pacquiao] will show everybody why I am one of the best fighters in the world,” Spence told Showtime’s Brian Custer while in San Antonio to cheer on stablemate and lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo in his undisputed showdown versus Brian Castano. “And it will show everybody why I am the best 147-pounder in my division.”
Spence has enjoyed the top slot at welterweight for the better part of his current title reign dating back to his sensational eleventh-round knockout of Kell Brook in May 2017 on the road in Sheffield, England. Five successful defenses have followed, including his thrilling twelve-round, split decision win over Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17KOs) to unify the WBC and IBF titles in their September 2019 war at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Next up for the 31-year-old southpaw is a superfight with Pacquiao, which takes place August 21 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Spence will not commit to the manner in which he intends to beat the 42-year-young Filipino southpaw, other than guaranteeing he will be the last one to do so.
“I think he’ll definitely retire,” Spence believes of Pacquiao’s next steps. “I think he’ll definitely retire after this fight.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox