By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. was just a few weeks away from taking on Manny Pacquiao in what he described as his “dream matchup.” Now, after a recent trip to the doctor, Spence Jr. will be forced to the sidelines.
What seemed to be a routine visit to the doctor’s office, turned out to be anything but as Spence Jr. was given devastating news.
“Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed to get surgery on it asap and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition,” said Spence Jr.
Originally, Spence Jr. was elated when he was given the news that Pacquiao, a former eight-division world champion, was interested in fighting him. From there, both sides hammered out a deal that would see them face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With Spence Jr. officially on his way to the surgical room to repair a torn retina in his left eye, the unified welterweight titlist will have to bide his time on the sidelines as he recovers from his injury. As for Pacquiao, the 42-year-old future first-ballot Hall of Famer will still appear on the card. While he had hoped to take on Spence Jr., he will now face current WBA welterweight champion, Yordenis Ugas.
The 35-year-old Cuban native will be fully prepared as he was scheduled to make an appearance on the card in the co-main event against Fabian Maidana. With a victory, Pacquiao could regain the belt he once held.
After defeating Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao snagged his WBA title in the process. The Filipino native’s championship status, however, was revoked recently as he failed to step back into the ring in over two years. Pacquiao was then placed as “Champion in Recess” while Ugas, who won the WBA “Regular” title against Abel Ramos, was elevated to full titleholder.
Although Spence Jr. was left devastated by the news, the unified welterweight champion looked on the bright side. In October of 2019, the Dallas product was flung from his high-powered sports car during a horrific wreck. While the vehicle itself was totaled, Spence Jr. left the scene with minor injuries.
Considering that he was able to bounce back from what appeared to be a fatal accident and went on to hand former two-division world champion Danny Garcia a one-sided beating during their December 2020 showdown, Spence Jr. is seemingly unfazed over his latest setback.
“I’ll be back,” said Spence Jr. “We’ve come back from worse.”