Manny Pacquiao isn’t overly concerned with the size & ability of IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr because he beat a better skilled and bigger fighter in Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in his last fight.
Pacquiao handed the Thurman his first career defeat in his last fight in July 2019, but that was a long time ago. We don’t know what Pacquiao has left at this point, and it could be that father time has finally caught up to the Filipino star.
Spence being rated BELOW Thurman isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for the unbeaten champion. Interestingly, the two are close to the same age, but Thurman hasn’t looked the same fighter since his war with Danny Garcia in 2017.
Pacquiao got the depleted version of Thurman two years ago, and he barely got the ‘W’ in that fight.
It’s interesting that Pacquiao views Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) as a better-skilled fighter than Spence, as there would be some who would argue the opposite. Thurman certainly was a great fighter before his career was overtaken by inactivity, injuries, and weight problems.
The 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) doesn’t mind he’ll be giving away eleven years in youth and three and a half inches in height to the 31-year-old Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), he still believes he’ll come out victorious on August 21st in their fight on FOX pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao rates Thurman higher than Spence
“Yeah,” said Pacquiao when asked if he’ll be better against Spence than he was in his last fight against Keith Thurman. “I think we all know that Keith Thurman is a bigger opponent and has more skills than Errol Spence.
“I survived that fight and I won the fight because of my hard work. I’m doing my best in training and focus. I’m happy with my performance against Keith Thurman.
“I did my best because he’s strong also and a good boxer, so I wasn’t overconfident for that fight.
“It’s how you dedicate yourself to hard work, how you discipline yourself and how you punish yourself in hard training. You’re the one to handle yourself to still be at the top,” said Pacquiao.
Thurman was excellent against Pacquiao, and he would have won if he hadn’t gotten dropped early on. It was a flash knockdown, but it messed Thurman because he had to press harder than he wanted to try and make up for his bad start.
Spence isn’t as explosive as Thurman, and he’s not as fast or as dangerous with his single shots.
Spence hasn’t changed since the car crash, says Pacquiao
“It depends on his style, but I know we can bring more action to the ring because he’s an aggressive fighter,” said Pacquiao about Spence.
“I think the fans will be happy and satisfied with this fight. Yes, he can still fight,” said Pacquiao when asked if Spence is still the same fighter after the car accident.
“I’m not underestimating him. I’m not taking lightly. I’m making sure that I’m in condition and I’m prepared for this fight. It’s all set, and I’m excited for August 21,” said Pacquiao.
Manny might be the ONLY one that thinks Spence hasn’t changed since his terrible car crash in October 2019.
Errol’s last performance against Danny Garcia showed a fighter that had lost a couple of steps and was a lot easier to hit than he’d been in the past.
We don’t know for certain if Spence’s lackluster performance against Danny resulted from his car accident or simply a case of ring rust and the effects of having lost 30+ lbs during training camp.
Spence looked very heavy before he started training for the Danny fight, and the weight loss might have taken something out of him. But on the other hand, the car crash that Spence went through didn’t help.