Errol Spence Jr desperate to face Manny Pacquiao but says 'living legend' has earned right to pick Conor McGregor fight

ERROL SPENCE JR is desperate to face Manny Pacquiao before the 'living legend' retires.

But the unified welterweight champion admits the Filipino icon has 'earned' the right to instead fight UFC star Conor McGregor.

Spence, who returns to the ring on December 5 against Danny Garcia, is already targeting a unification with Pacquiao.

He told SunSport: "After this fight, of course I would like to fight Manny Pacquiao. He's on his way out so I'd love to have that fight. 

"He's a living legend, and I've never fought someone of that calibre. He's big and not just a boxing star, he's an icon, a mega-star. 

"That would be different and it would send me somewhere else popularity-wise. 

"Pacquiao has been in the sport 20-something years, he's an icon even outside the sport. Everybody knows who Manny Pacquiao is.

"That would be a great fight for me."

WBC and IBF title holder Spence, 30, has long called to share the ring with eight-division champion Pacquiao, 41,

But the unbeaten Texan could be beaten to the punch by McGregor, who lost his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather, 43, in 2017.

With Pacquiao already holding talks to face the Irishman, Spence's dream fight has been dealt a blow.

But the American holds no ill-will towards the veteran, as PacMan's years of taking on all comers at all weights justifies a lucrative payday against McGregor.

Spence said: "I don't blame him, Manny Pacquiao earned that right. 

"He's earned his right to make his money and fight whoever he wants to fight, because he fought whoever was lined up to fight him.  

"I'm not mad at it at all, if I was 40-something and was offered that kind of money to fight Conor McGregor, I'd take the fight too, I don't blame him."

McGregor had announced his next fight would be against Pacquiao, but now appears to have committed himself to the UFC.

It comes as the 32-year-old accepted a rematch against Dustin Poirier – who he beat in 2014 – on January 23 and hopes to fight in Spence's home of Texas.

But then he will focus his efforts on a return to boxing.

McGregor tweeted: "I accept, Jan 23rd is on! My goal is to see this fight take place in Cowboy stadium. Proper Style!

"Jerry Jones is a friend and the stadium can hold our crowd. I will be ready for Texas and Texas will be ready for my fans! Then Manny."

The UFC is yet to headline at the Dallas Cowboy's 80,000 capacity home.

But over 47,000 fans filled into the AT&T Stadium in March 2019 to watch Spence dominate 32-year-old Mikey Garcia.

His next fight, which comes a year after the boxer was hospitalised following a horror car crash, has been moved to accommodate a limited crowd.

Spence will now defend his titles against two-weight champ Garcia, 32, back at the Cowboy's stadium, and has a point to prove to his home supporters.

He explained: "I fought at the Cowboy's stadium before, but to be fighting again, especially after my accident, this is a great homecoming. 

"I'm very excited, because I know people are watching me closely thinking I won't be the same Errol Spence as I have been. 

"I'm just focussed to prove everybody wrong and go out there and be victorious."

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