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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Errol Spence Jr targets Manny Pacquiao after dominating Mikey Garcia in Dallas

Unbeaten American retains his IBF welterweight title with a wide points win over his Mexican opponent who moved up two weight classes for the fight

Errol Spence Jr, right, dominated Mikey Garcia over 12 rounds in their IBF world welterweight title fight in Dallas. AP Photo
Errol Spence Jr, right, dominated Mikey Garcia over 12 rounds in their IBF world welterweight title fight in Dallas. AP Photo

Errol Spence Jr said he is targeting a fight with Manny Pacquiao next after dominating Mikey Garcia over 12 relentless rounds in Dallas on Saturday.

Spence, 29, easily beat Garcia by a unanimous decision to retain his IBF title in a welterweight homecoming bout in front of 47,500 fans at the AT&T Stadium

Spence controlled the fight throughout, relying on a stinging jab and a barrage of combinations and using his size and reach advantage to put on a boxing clinic.

"My motivation was fighting in front of my hometown crowd," Spence said. "This is where I started it from a pup. From the amateurs all the way up. This is my core fan base. I felt good and I wanted to put on a great performance."

The fight was hyped as a showdown of two unbeaten boxers but it didn't turn out that way with one judge scoring it 120-107 for Spence. The other two had it 120-108 and 120-108.

Garcia never landed more than 10 punches in a single round. Spence landed 375 total punches to just 75 for Garcia, who was fighting for the first time as a welterweight after moving up two divisions.

Spence has been avoided by most of the top fighters in the division but this victory appears to have set up a future showdown with Filipino superstar Pacquiao.

Pacquiao appeared in the ring after the final bell and said he was willing to face the much younger Spence.

"I am looking at the winner of this fight. Spence wants to fight me," Pacquiao, 40, said. "I am hoping to be back here, soon."

Spence said he also wants to fight Pacquiao. "He is a legend of the sport. It would be my honour to fight him next."

Spence improved to 25-0 but failed to get the knockout he wanted against Garcia in his third defence as his KO streak was stopped at 11 fights. This is just the fourth time in his career that the former 2012 US Olympian didn't knock out his opponent.

"People said I couldn't box," said Spence. "You saw it today. I can box, I can move my head. I can do it if I want to."

Garcia, who was trying to win a title in his fifth different weight class, dropped to 39-1 with 30 KOs.

"He is the truth. He is for real. He came out with a game plan, kept his distance. I couldn't make adjustments," Garcia said.

Updated: March 17, 2019 02:55 PM

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