After surviving the threat of COVID-19 and the threat of a legal injunction, the Manny Pacquiao fight against Errol Spence scheduled for August 21 is called off. The reason? Pre-fight medicals found Spence had a tear in the retina in his left eye that will require surgery to repair it.
It’s another blow to boxing, which has struggled to lead its big fights across the finish line during the pandemic. WBC and IBF welterweight champion Spence will be replaced by WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas for the same date.
We have no doubt that Spence will be looking to return to the ring as soon as possible. His last fight earned him a career high of $ 8 million and he was set to earn over $ 10 million with the Pacquiao fight. So there are a million reasons for him to hurry up and go back while he is still a hot commodity. But a very good reason not to, as former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping recently shared on Twitter.
“He has to listen to doctors 100% for a full recovery,” Bisping writes. “I pushed too hard too soon and completely lost my vision. “
For those who don’t know, Michael Bisping is blind in one eye. The trouble began after suffering a retinal detachment during his fight against Vitor Belfort in January 2013. Just three months later, he was back in the cage against Alan Belcher. He won the fight, but eventually completely lost sight of his left eye and secretly fought with a glass eye for years.
Back-to-back losses to Georges St-Pierre and Kelvin Gastelum in November 2017 (yes, two fights in 21 days) almost cost him the sight of his other eye.
“I fight Georges St-Pierre, I lose this fight, and he knew I was blind in one eye – he targeted him,” Michael Bisping said in an interview with Submission Radio. “Then I fly to Shanghai a few weeks later to fight Kelvin Gastelum. I’m cracking up, I think I had a good run and that’s it. And then we go to an after-party afterwards. I’m sitting there in this club, and every time I look that way I get a flash of light. I was like, what was it?
“So I look again, another flash of light. And every time I looked to the left, I got a flash of light. I started to panic because I’m like, damn it, I can’t believe it, I have a peeled retina in my good eye. And I started to get emotional in a nightclub. I had a few drinks, but I’m like, fuck, I think I’m going to go blind.
“I see this doctor and I say, listen, doctor, I think I have a peeled retina in my good eye,” Bisping continued. “And he said, okay, well let’s take a look, I’m going to put a few drops in it, you won’t be able to see for a while.” I’m making a joke, I say, well, I guess I better get used to the sight, huh? He says, calm down, we’re not there yet. I was like, aren’t we fucking in there yet? Jesus christ. I was panicking. And anyway, it turns out I had a vitreous detachment.
So a good warning for Spence to take the time he needs to heal properly no matter how much money they offer him to get back ASAP.