ARLINGTON, Texas -- Welterweight world titlist Errol Spence Jr. had just finished with his one-sided domination of Mikey Garcia when he went to the postfight news conference in the bowels of AT&T Stadium in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
It was there where Ringstar Sports promoter Richard Schaefer declared what many in attendance were likely thinking.
"We have a new era that started today -- the Errol Spence era. Just like we had the (Floyd) Mayweather era, this is the Errol Spence era," Schaefer said.
Indeed, Spence (25-0, 21 KOs), 29, had put a stunningly one-sided beating on Garcia as he retained his 147-pound world title for the third time before an announced crowd of 47,525. It was a big-time pay-per-view main event that matched two of boxing's elite pound-for-pound fighters, both undefeated and in their primes. But Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), 31, of Moreno Valley, California, the four-division world titlist and a reigning lightweight titleholder who was moving up two weight divisions for the fight he called out for, could not handle Spence's physicality nor his boxing skills in the shutout loss: 120-107, 120-108 and 120-108 on the scorecards.
Spence's crowd-pleasing victory in front of his hometown fans could catapult him to stardom because he has a wealth of potential quality opponents who also fight under the Premier Boxing Champions banner whom he can go after. Now that he has become a big draw, those who didn't seek him out before might now do so, given the money he can generate.
"In order for it to be an era, you need to have opponents," Schaefer said. "That was what Floyd Mayweather had. He had opponents. He had opponents lined up, and he beat them one after another. Some fighters which pound-for-pound might be equally as impressive or talented as Floyd Mayweather -- I'm thinking of Andre Ward -- he never had these opponents lined up, so he never got where he could have gone because he didn't have the dance partners. Errol Spence has these dance partners.
"He has a bright future as a star and as a pay-per-view star ahead of him. After this performance, it's going to be very hard for anybody to bet against Errol Spence, but people are going to want to fight him because he's going to be where the money is."
One possible opponent for Spence is secondary titlist Manny Pacquiao, the all-time-great Filipino legend, who was ringside and then joined Spence in the ring after the fight to discuss a possible showdown. Pacquiao is planning his next fight for July, and Spence said at the news conference that the timing was fine by him. "I'll be ready in July," Spence said.
Pacquiao is 40 now but has looked good in his past two fights and has said he would fight the biggest fights available to him. Spence made it clear he is available.
"It's definitely a competitive fight. Manny Pacquiao is blood and guts. That would definitely be a great fight," Spence said. "He's a future Hall of Famer. He's on his way out, and I will definitely give him that retirement check that he's been needing."
And if there's no Pacquiao fight?
"I'll smoke Shawn (Porter), too," Spence said of his fellow world titlist, who was also at the fight working on the Fox PPV telecast. "I went in the ring and called out Shawn Porter when he fought Danny Garcia (in September), and he said it's an easy fight to make, and the next thing you know, he's fighting his mandatory."
Porter edged Yordenis Ugas by split decision on March 9.
"He could have bypassed that and unified (with me)," Spence said. "But he didn't want that. So I fought Mikey Garcia. If Manny Pacquiao don't want to fight, I'll give (Porter) that smoke."
Titleholder Keith Thurman is another foe Spence has wanted to fight, but Thurman, who was out for 22 months with injuries before returning for a win Jan. 26, has said multiple times that he had no plans to fight Spence anytime soon.
"Thurman said we not fighting 'til 2020," Spence said with disdain. "But I think they will (fight me) because of the money. I'm turning into the money man. (Titleholder Terence Crawford) can get that, too. It's a loaded division."
A fight with Crawford -- perhaps the most in-demand of all the potential big welterweight bouts -- is the least likely because Crawford is with Top Rank and fights on ESPN, while Spence is with PBC, which has deals with Fox and Showtime. There is virtually no shot the fight will be made, at least not this year or for the foreseeable future.
"You got Porter, he says he wants to fight. Thurman has a belt," Spence said. "The most difficult fight to be made is the Terrence Crawford fight. I don't know how that's going to be made. Bob (Arum of Top Rank) needs to talk to my management, Al (Haymon), and come to an agreement."
But Spence said he is game for anyone and that he just wants to just keep fighting the best opponents available. He said he won't make negotiations tough, either.
"A-side, B-side, I don't care. You walking out first, me walking out last, I don't care," he said. "We both gonna get in the ring, and we both gotta fight. I think I'm the A-side with a lot of these guys because they can't sell out anything. I sold out in Frisco (Texas) against somebody nobody even knew (in a June defense against mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo), so I can sell tickets."
But on the biggest night of his career, coming off a huge win, Spence remained humble.
"I still have work to do, a lot of work to do," he said. "Lot of opponents in my weight class, (other) belts out there. I still got to put on more performances. I'm not going to say I'm the best out there right now."
Even if that's exactly how he looked to many with the performance he turned in against Garcia.