Manny Pacquiao hopes that IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr will make it an inside war against him on August 21st because that’s the type of fight he feels he can win.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) tends to go to war with his opposition, as we saw in his grueling 12 round split decision win over Shawn Porter in 2019.
The 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) counts on Spence wanting to use that same approach to their fight when they meet on FOX PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao openly admitted on Wednesday during the media workout that it’ll be difficult for him if Spence stays on the outside, moving and jabbing the entire fight.
That would force him to chase the 31-year-old Spence around the ring for the full 12 rounds, which will be difficult.
Although Pacquiao can cut off the ring on a mover, it’s not something that he would like to do at this point in his career, having been out of the ring for 25 months.
This fight will greatly add to Pacquiao’s legacy if he wins, as Errol is viewed as the #1 fighter at welterweight in the eyes of many boxing fans.
In Pacquiao’s last fight, he defeated the former #1 welterweight in Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman by a 12 round split decision in July 2019.
Pacquiao hopes Spence will fight on inside
“We have a strategy that we can use for this southpaw. I know that he [Spence] always wants to come inside and fight toe-to-toe, so that’s good. I think so,” Pacquiao said when asked if he thinks Spence will want to come inside to slug.
“We’re prepared for that,” Manny said of Spence potentially fighting on the outside, using his jab. “We anticipated that because he might use his advantages in reach and tall [height].
“The challenging will be if he’s moving around, jabbing, jabbing, using his advantage,” Pacquiao said of Errol. “I don’t think Floyd [Mayweather] can help Errol Spence. Errol Spence knows what he’s doing,” said Pacquiao.
I think it’s likely that Spence will brawl with Pacquiao on the inside because it’s the only way he’s going to get credit from the fans. If Spence keeps the action on the outside for the full 12 rounds to win a decision, fans will say it was a boring fight.
Also, they’ll discredit Spence’s win due to Pacquiao’s advanced age, lack of size, inactivity, and the fact that he’s fighting arguably the #1 guy at 147.
Spence will likely start off on the outside initially, but grow bored and want to mix it up with Pacquiao on the inside. Errol will want to please the boxing fans, and the best way to do that is to go toe-to-toe with Manny.
Manny wants to show he’s NOT done yet
“It’s been two years. It’s good that I’ve had the longest time to rest in my career,” said Pacquiao to Fighthub. “I’m feeling like I’m young. It’s a challenge.
“They might think, ‘Oh, Manny’s career is over.’ I need to prove it that I’m not done yet. I can easily fight an easier opponent or a non-boxer. I can easily pick an easy win.
“I picked the best because I want to add more to my legacy in accomplishments. I want to fight the best to add to my legacy.
“It’s challenging, especially that he’s taller than me,” Pacquiao said about the difficulties of him facing a young southpaw in Spence.
If Pacquiao is competitive with Spence and loses, he’ll show he’s not done as a fighter. The only guy that has given Spence, 31, any problems during his nine-year professional career is Shawn Porter.
You can argue that Porter did well because Spence decided to brawl with him on the inside for the full 12 rounds.
As Spence points out, he could have kept the fight on the outside the way he did with Mikey Garcia, which would have left Porter helpless. But Spence didn’t want to do that because he felt it would have been a boring fight for fans to watch.
Kell Brook beat Porter in 2014 by keeping him on the outside, using his jab, and then tying him up in a clinch each time he would get in close.
It was a terribly boring fight to watch, but it was the only thing Brook could do to win. If he tried to go toe-to-toe with Porter on the inside the way Spence did, he would have gotten beaten up.
If Pacquiao can compete with Spence in a losing effort, it’ll be a moral victory for the 42-old Filipino star. Manny may not win, but he’ll be praised by fans just the same.
Pacquiao puts Mayweather in his place
“He’s [Mayweather] fighting a YouTuber to make money, and I’m fighting the best to add to my legacy. So that’s different,” said Pacquiao in rebutting the recent comment made by Floyd that Manny is fighting because he NEEDS money.
“To fight an easy opponent for the money or to fight one of the best to add to your legacy. It’s different.
“One fight at a time,” said Pacquiao when asked if he’s close to retiring from boxing.
Although 44-year-old Floyd Mayweather Jr. is just two years older than the 42-year-old Pacquiao, he stopped fighting world-class opposition at a relatively young age of 39.
The last fight that Mayweather had against a top guy was in his win over Pacquiao in 2015. After that fight, which saw Mayweather get a huge eight-figure payday, he essentially went into the shutdown move of his career.
Floyd fought two more professional fights after that against a badly faded washed Andre Berto in 2016 and then UFC fighter Conor McGregor in 2017, a guy making his professional debut in boxing.
In the last three years, Mayweather’s two other fights have been exhibition matches against YouTuber Logan Paul and Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa.
There’s no comparison to what Pacquiao has been doing in the last six years with his career and Mayweather, as the two are galaxies apart in terms of ambition and willingness to take risks.
Mayweather became risk-averse after his win over Pacquiao, and it’s an example of a fighter that showed an unwillingness to get the best out of his potential.