Dallas Cowboys

Errol Spence Jr. is the king of boxing; Manny Pacquaio, others afraid to fight him now?

The Errol Spence Jr. era in boxing has begun.

It’s his time and his sport now.

Floyd Mayweather is retired.

Though still a top draw, Manny Pacquaio is a shell of his former self.

Spence is now known as the best boxer in the world, a point that was hammered home relentlessly Saturday night as remained undefeated and retained his IBF World Welterweight title before 47,525 at AT&T Stadium, including Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Jaylon Smith

In addition to Mayweather and Pacquaio, there was a who’s who boxing at ringside — Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Roberto Duran, Deontay Wilder, Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner — in what proved to a great showcase for boxing in North Texas.

Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) delivered a severe beating to four-time division champ and formerly undefeated Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), who moved up two weight classes. He also outclassed him with a display of power, movement and skills that left the boxing world in awe.

And, it appears fearful.

“He is not just the best welterweight. He is the best fighter in the world,” Ringstar promoter Richard Schaefer said after the fight. He didn’t win that fight with size and power. He won that fight with skills. It was absolutely beautiful to watch. I have hardly seen anything like it. Spence is pound for pound the best fighter in the world. That is a signature win for Errol Spence.

“Spence didn’t make it easy on himself to find opponents. If you think Spence had problems getting guys to fight him before, he’s really going to have a problem now.”

Pacquaio is the man Spence wants to fight next and is seemingly the most logical opponent from a purse standpoint, especially if they can do it at AT&T Stadium where Pacquaio has fought twice before.

But when Pacquaio stepped in the ring after the fight and was asked if he wanted Spence, he was not so convincing with his answer. Not after witnessing the beat down Spence put on Garcia.

“Why not?” Pacquaio said hesitantly. “Yeah, why not? We’ll give the fans a good fight. I’m so happy to be here in Dallas and I’m hoping I will be back here soon.”

Pacquaio’s trepidation wasn’t lost on Spence or Schaefer.

“He never seemed definite (about fighting me),” Spence said. “But a guy like Manny Pacquiao, he’s all blood and guts. He’s a real fighter and I doubt if he’s scared of anybody in any division. He’s proven and fought everybody in his way. I think he’ll take the challenge and it’s a big money fight.

“I can give him the retirement check he’s been looking for.”

Said Schaefer on Pacquaio: “He didn’t say yes. He didn’t say no either. It was sort of like a maybe. It’s not going to be easy to find an opponent. Who is going to want to fight him next?”

No one might be running to jump in the ring with Spence but, at this point, they are going to eventually have to, whether it is Pacquaio or unification bouts with WBA Welterweight champ Keith Thurman, WBC Welterweight champ Shawn Porter or WBO Welterweight champ Terrance Crawford.

Spence is the new king of boxing with possibly AT&T Stadium as the home of the big fights thanks to his relationship with Jones, who has chosen Spence as his boxer and wants his stadium on the boxing schedule.

“We have a new era started,” Schaefer said. “We have the Errol Spence era. It has officially started. He has established himself with Fox Sports behind him, with the Jerry Jones behind as a pay-per-view star. And he has dance partners. He just hasn’t fought them yet. People are going to want to fight him because he is going to be where the money is. He has a bright future. I wouldn’t bet against Errol Spence.”

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.