Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 August 2020

Errol Spence Jr targets Manny Pacquiao after beating Shawn Porter in fight of the year contender

American extended his unbeaten record and added the WBC title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split decision win

Errol Spence Jr immediately called out Manny Pacquiao after the American extended his unbeaten record with a thrilling split decision victory over compatriot Shawn Porter in a welterweight world title unification fight on Sunday morning.

Spence (26-0-0) was given the win by two ringside judges who both scored the bout 116-111, while the third judge awarded the fight 115-112 to Porter (30-3-1). The victory at the Staples Center in Los Angeles ensured Spence retained his IBF world title while adding Porter's WBC strap to his collection.

In a contender for fight of the year, Spence turned what looked to be shaping up as a close bout in his favour by flooring Porter in the 11th round. While the fight only produced one knockdown, it was a war of attrition as both fighters landed hard shots throughout a thrilling contest.

With two of the four world titles secured, Spence quickly turned his attention to the remaining two belts not in his possession. Filipino superstar Pacquiao currently holds the WBA title, while fellow unbeaten American Terrence Crawford is the WBO champion.

Appearing on Fox Sports PBC post-fight, Spence made clear his intentions of unifying the division and becoming the undisputed welterweight world champion.

Asked if his win over Porter cemented his status as the man to beat in the division, Spence replied: "I think so. I'm the only unified champion and the next fight I want is Manny Pacquiao."

Spence said another option for his next fight could be against former champion Danny Garcia, whom he was sat next to during the interview on Fox Sports.

"I've told my team, you line them up, I'll knock them down," Spence added. "I'll fight Danny Garcia or anyone else at the top of the welterweight division."

Commenting on the fight, Spence paid tribute to Porter, who played his part in an exciting spectacle despite being considered a huge underdog before the bell rang for the first round.

"It feels good to win. This is a lifetime dream. It shows hard work pays off," Spence said. "Thanks, Shawn Porter, my whole team and all my Texas people for coming out. Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter. I didn't get off what I wanted to. He's a true champion. He made it tough."

Porter, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat after suffering the third loss of his career. He will now aim to become a three-time world champion having previously held the IBF strap in 2014.

"He's a strong kid. We both came in to do the job," Porter said. "I think I had a little more than what he expected, but he handled it. Congratulations to him and his team. We're proud of what we did."

Updated: September 29, 2019 05:57 PM

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