Former WBO featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson predicts an easy win for IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr when he faces Manny Pacquiao on August 31st in their Fox Sports PPV match.
Stevenson thinks Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) wins as long as he doesn’t get careless in there against the 42-year-old Pacquiao, which is an easy thing for him to do.
If you watched Spence’s last two fights against Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, those fighters found it fairly simple to nail him with their best shots.
Pacquiao isn’t a huge puncher at 147, though, so it’ll require that he land many shots on Spence’s chin for him to knock him out. It’s doubtful he can do that.
Pacquiao’s last KO was 12 years ago against Miguel Cotto in 2009, and that stoppage was uncalled for. Cotto was still on his feet fighting back when the referee jumped in out of nowhere and stopped it.
The last real knockout Pacquiao scored was against little Ricky Hatton in 2009, but you can’t count him because he was a light welterweight.
Shakur: Spence beats Pacquiao
“I think I have better success against southpaws because there are certain fighters I’ve been watching my whole career as with Floyd [Mayweather] and Andre Ward,” said Stevenson to Fighthype.
“They fight orthodox fighters. I think that I have more success fighting another southpaw, but it’ll probably be a little bit different for Manny [Pacquiao going against Errol Spence Jr], but Manny has been in there with all kinds of fighters.
“Maybe he hasn’t fought a southpaw in a while, but he’s fought a lot of fighters in his whole career.
“I’m pretty sure he should be straight with Errol Spence’s kind of style, but Errol Spence is kind of bigger. He’s got the reach.
“As long as he doesn’t get caught with something reckless, that should be an easy one for Errol,” said Shakur.
That’s a safe pick to go with Spence to win because there are very, very few people that are picking the 42-year-old Pacquiao to win.
Manny has four strikes going against him in winning the fight:
- Inactivity – coming off a 2-year layoff
- Lack of size at 5’5 1/2″
- Inadequate power
Pacquiao must use his speed
“I think he’s [Pacquiao] got to use his speed and timing,” said Shakur on what Pacquiao needs to do to beat Spence.
“Manny has got decent timing and decent speed. I think he’ll have to use his speed to try and get off before Errol gets off because Errol is younger, stronger, and should be in better shape.
“I think as the fight goes on, it’ll get really ugly for Manny Pacquiao. So he’s got to try and get off as quick as he can and get ahead of the scorecards,” said Stevenson.
Pacquiao will need to start fast if he wants to have a shot at winning because his best chance is to use his speed to pile up an early lead.
If Pacquiao can win four of the first six rounds, there’s a chance he might get the decision if he can fight well enough in the second half when Spence comes storming back.
Crawford should fight Porter or Thurman
“I don’t like what’s going on with Bud’s situation,” said Stevenson about Terence Crawford. “Bud wants to fight the big fights. He wants to fight all these guys.
“He’s doing everything in his power that he could do to make it happen, but he’s not getting the fights. I don’t like Bud’s situation. It’s business, it’s politics, so it happens, I guess.
“Probably a Shawn Porter fight or Keith Thurman,” Stevenson said when asked what fights he’d like to see Crawford take if he can’t get a match against Errol Spence Jr.
“Other than that, he’d beat everybody else. There’s really nobody else. Maybe Danny Garcia too,” said Stevenson on who he’d like to see Crawford fight.
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford is out of luck right now as far as big fights go. With Crawford’s contract with Top Rank expiring this year, he can always sign with a different promoter to potentially get the big fights he’s been craving for so long.
Until then, it’s doubtful Top Rank will match Crawford against any big names in his next fight under their banner.