By Keith Idec
Whatever Manny Pacquiao does, Bob Arum just hopes he avoids Errol Spence Jr.
A Pacquiao-Spence fight would become a realistic possibility if Spence defeats Shawn Porter in their welterweight title unification fight September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Pacquiao is fresh off a split-decision defeat of previously unbeaten WBA welterweight champ Keith Thurman on July 20 in Las Vegas, but Pacquiao’s former promoter feels Spence is just too big, too strong, too young and too good for the 40-year-old Filipino legend.
“He won’t take that fight and shouldn’t take that fight, because there’s only one winner and he can get hurt,” Arum told BoxingScene.com following the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell press conference Thursday in London. “He’s 41 years of age. Now, he looked great with Thurman. But he took punches like he’s never taken before.
“A guy that age, who wants to be president of a country, doesn’t wanna end up punch-drunk. If he can’t get Mayweather, he should retire. If he gets Mayweather, great. They do [the rematch], nobody gets hurt. But if he doesn’t get Mayweather, my hope would be that he retires.”
The rejuvenated Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) wants what would be a very profitable second fight with Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs), who beat him by unanimous decision in their welterweight title fight four years ago in Las Vegas. The retired, 42-year-old Mayweather has expressed little interest in boxing Pacquiao again, however, which likely will leave Pacquiao to face another significantly younger opponent in his next fight.
Pacquiao, a full-time senator in the Philippines, is not expected to return to the ring until sometime in January at the earliest.
The 29-year-old Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) stands at least four inches taller than Pacquiao and the IBF welterweight champion is a dangerous puncher. The DeSoto, Texas, native is consistently listed as at least a 9-1 favorite over Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs), a Las Vegas resident who owns the WBC 147-pound championship.
Spence-Porter will headline a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View show four weeks from Saturday night.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.