Errol Spence vs Manny Pacquiao could have been one of the biggest bouts of the decade. But due to a horrifying health scare, the American couldn’t fight.
The pair of elite-level welterweights were scheduled to square off on August 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. After years of terrorising the welterweight division with his electric speed and power, the legendary Filipino didn’t have much left in the tank. Therefore, it seemed the perfect time for Spence to strike.
But as much hype as the contest generated, there was a much bigger issue going on behind the scenes. A pre-fight medical examination revealed that the American had suffered a retinal detachment in his left eye. Despite the superstardom that would have come with a victory over Pacquiao, Spence had no choice but to pull out.
However, as he recently told reporters, he doesn’t regret this decision, as it might have saved him from an early retirement.
Errol Spence explains what could have happened had he fought Manny Pacquiao
Boxing is a dangerous enough sport if you’re fighting healthy, never mind if you have a serious medical problem. Although losing out on the opportunity to trade punches with a bonafide sporting legend must have been painful, Spence is aware that taking the time to recover was of vital importance.
During a media day, he explained why he didn’t have any regrets about the situation.
As per Boxing Scene, he said: “I don’t regret it at all. 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.”
Health is more important than sporting achievements, so Spence doesn’t spend much time wondering what might have been. But just because he pulled out doesn’t mean that somebody else didn’t get the opportunity to grace the ring with Pacquiao.
With Spence unavailable, the boxing icon had to secure a new opponent, in stepped Yordenis Ugas. The late replacement took the all-time great to school in a boxing clinic as he bamboozled him with his movement and laser-like jab. The Cuban made a massive statement and caught Spence’s attention in the process.
Errol Spence vs Yordenis Ugas
On April 16, live from the AT and T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Spence and Ugas will go to war in a battle for the ages.
With three of the four world titles on the line, the winner of this match-up will announce himself as the king of the welterweight division.
There’s no denying that Spence has all the talent in the world. He’s got a beautiful understanding of the ‘sweet science’ and the punching power to match. But he has a more than formidable opponent to beat if he wants to add another belt to his collection.
Ugas possesses a formidable boxing IQ, taught to him during his days as a student of the game in Cuba. He risked it all by defecting from his homeland to try and achieve his dreams, and now he has the opportunity of a lifetime.
He may have three losses on his record, but two were early in his career. Whereas the other took place against Shawn Porter and everybody in attendance thought he’d cruised the fight aside from the three judges at ringside.
In all reality, regardless of the official result, he produced a far better performance against the former two-time world champion than his rival did.
Spence vs Ugas has all the ingredients to make for an intriguing contest that combat sports enthusiasts can’t afford to miss.
Featured Image Credit: Getty