The stars appeared to be aligning for Errol Spence Jr. after he successfully defended his IBF welterweight title against Mikey Garcia in March at AT&T Stadium.
Manny Pacquiao was ringside with his wife observing the fight between two of boxing's best. After the contest concluded, Spence invited Pacquiao into the ring during his postfight interview and tried to make a fight.
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Unfortunately for Spence, it didn't come to fruition. Pacquiao is facing Keith Thurman on Saturday night for Thurman's WBA (Super) welterweight championship.
Even as the sport's only eight-division world champion entered the ring, the 2012 Olympian had a notion a match wasn't going to happen.
"I think it was just posturing," Spence told Sporting News on Saturday after his press conference to announce his welterweight title unification bout vs. WBC titlist Shawn Porter on Sept. 28. "I kind of knew that before the fight it wasn’t going to happen and he was going to choose somebody else."
Pacquiao has faced the cream of the crop during his illustrious career. He has taken on the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez. Spence knows it's not about Pacquiao being reluctant to a fight; it's just a matter of where the 40-year-old Filipino icon is at this stage.
"Pacquiao’s a guy that’s not scared," Spence said. "For him, at his age and at his career, he’s trying to make the most money and take the easier route."
The fight that boxing fans want to see is Spence vs. WBO titleholder Terence Crawford to determine who is the best welterweight in the world and, perhaps the best fighter in the sport. If Pacquiao beats Thurman and gets by Porter, then Spence believes they will meet each other next.
"If Pacquiao wins, Pacquiao is the biggest fight out there, period," Spence said. "I just got to see what’s on the table. The guy is a Hall of Famer and all-time great. I definitely want that fight.
"It’s going to happen for sure (if Spence and Pacquiao win)."