Spence targets Pacquiao, Crawford in return

WBC/IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence said Monday he is hoping to return to the ring by September or October and would like to fight Manny Pacquiao or Terence Crawford.

Spence, 29, has been sidelined since he was involved in a horrific, one-car accident on Oct. 10. He crashed his Ferrari at a high speed in Dallas around 3 a.m. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car, which eventually flipped over several times. He was subsequently charged with DWI.

Spence, speaking Monday during a live Instagram stream on the Premier Boxing Champions account, said he was anxious to return and had originally hoped to get back in July or August, but that has been pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saying that he’s got a ”second chance at living,” Spence is now fully focused on boxing and ready to take on all challengers in the welterweight division.

“You can’t hunt the hunter,” he said.

Spence beat Shawn Porter last September, and his WBC mandatory challenger is Danny Garcia, whom Spence hopes to face in 2020 or next year. But there are two names he really wants — one of them being Pacquiao, who won the WBA 147 pound title last summer by defeating the previously undefeated Keith Thurman.

“I didn’t think he was going to look that good, I didn’t think he was going to look like that,” said Spence, who added the Filipino icon wasn’t that far off from being the Pacquiao of old. “I would love to fight Pacquiao, he’s a future legend, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a guy I would love to fight. He has a belt, too, I would love to get that belt.”

Spence has made it clear what his intentions are at welterweight before moving up in weight.

“My goal is to be undisputed welterweight champion of the world, so I have to fight [Pacquiao] to get one of those belts, unless he vacates or something like that, or somebody else beats him. It’s a fight I would love to have,” added Spence.

Should Spence get this assignment, he knows the perfect destination for it: “Me and Pacquiao would probably do 100,000 if we fought at AT&T Stadium [in Arlington, Texas]. I think Pacquiao would be the perfect opponent.”

The remaining welterweight title belongs to Terence Crawford, who holds the WBO belt. Unlike Garcia or Pacquiao, making this fight is a bit more complicated because he is promoted by Top Rank. But the recent success in promoting the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury (a co-promotion between the PBC and Top Rank that involved both Fox and ESP) gives Spence hope that this matchup can come to fruition.

“It’s big, it just has to make sense,” said Spence, “Just like Pacquiao and Floyd [Mayweather], it has to be all the money in the pot and everybody has to get their fair share. So as long as it makes sense money-wise, if it’s big enough, then I think the fight will happen.”

As usual, it will come down to money, as Spence reiterated, “You’ve got to pay us our worth, because me and Terence are going to get in there and try to kill each other.”

Spence says he has had numerous discussions with his adviser, Al Haymon, about this particular fight. No matter what is said on social media, the hard-hitting southpaw wants this particular matchup.

“There’s definitely no ducking in our situation, at all,” Spence said. “I’m not the type of guy that’s going to duck anybody. So it’s going to happen. It’s definitely going to happen.”

In his view, this is a ”legacy-defining fight,” one that will shape his place in history one day.

“We both have the skillset, we both have the talent, both have the will,” said Spence. “But a the same time, at the end of the day — I feel I’ll wash Terence Crawford. I feel I’ll beat him, out-punch him.”

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