Andre Ward believes that Errol Spence Jr will have a tough time in his fight against 42-year-old Manny Pacquiao on August 21st. Ward notes that IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is in a “groove” right now with the way he’s after coming back from a terrible car crash in 2019.
Not surprisingly, Spence is a -450 favorite with Betonlin to Pacquiao’s +350 for their clash.
The way that Spence dealt with the similarly short 5’6″ Mikey Garcia in March 2019 is a good indication of how he’ll deal with the 5’5 1/2″ Pacquiao on August 21.
Spence kept Mikey bottled up and unable to get close enough to land his big bombs using his jab. Although Mikey did catch Spence with a handful of big shots, he could not get near enough to him to land enough of his punches to make it a competitive fight.
One got the sense from watching the contest that Spence was in first gear pretty much the entire fight.
The only time Spence shifted into second was in the ninth and tenth rounds, in which he had Mikey looking close to being knocked out.
Spence’s 5’9 1/2″ height will obviously be a fact in this fight, but it’ not just that. Pacquiao has beaten tall fighters before with his victory over Antonio Margarito and Jessie Vargas. However, Spence is a much different class talent-wise than those two, so his height and reach will make it impossible for Pacquiao if he chooses to keep him on the outside.
Knowing Spence, he’ll let Pacquiao come to the inside to slug because he’ll want to make it an exciting fight. Spence lets his opponents brawl with him because he likes the competitive nature of those types of matches.
The only time that Spence chose to box in a Terence Crawford type of manner was when he fought Mikey Garcia. Spence chose to box him in that fight because so many boxing fans were fawning over Mikey’s skills.
“That’s going to be a tough one for both guys,” said Ward to Fighthype on the Spence vs. Pacquiao fight. On one hand, you’ve got to give Spence the edge being younger and being in a good groove right now.
“I know he’s coming off an injury, but the Danny Garcia fight was real good for him. I think it’s a good time for him,” said Ward.
As you can tell, Ward is on the fence here, not saying what most boxing fans are about Spence being the overwhelming favorite to win this fight.
Pacquiao was coming off a big win over the past his prime Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in 2019, but he didn’t look good enough to beat Spence in that fight. The only reason Pacquiao won is that Thurman is no longer the fighter he once was.
A prime Thurman would have made Pacquiao miserable. As it was, Thurman almost beat the Filipino star. If he hadn’t started training camp a fat 180+, Thurman probably would have won.
“That’s a good fight, I’m excited for that fight,” said Gervonta Davis to ESNEWS on the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight. “That’s a fight for boxing fans. I like Errol because I’m close with Errol. But we have a legend.”
“It’s tough to bet against Pacquiao, but you’re fighting against ‘The Truth,'” said Tim Bradley to Behind The Gloves on the Spence vs. Manny fight.
“Errol Spence is something else, and Errol Spence definitely has something that can take care of Pacquiao. That’s the jab and controlling distance.
That’s what he has to do against Pacquiao, and he has the discipline to do it too. You got to go with Errol Spence on this one.
He’s the bigger guy, the longer guy, good speed, educated jab, and he works his hands up and down going to the body. One thing with Pacquiao, if you don’t control that distance, he’s going to eat you up. It’s a great fight; I can’t wait to see it.
“Yeah, I think so,” said Bradley when asked if Spence will retire Pacquiao. “I think Pacquiao is at the end right now. I think he’s trying to fight the best, so you got to respect that. Pacquiao always fights the best. He’s 42, and he’s still fighting the best out there.
“I wish that fight were happening, but unfortunately,” said Bradley about Pacquiao vs. Terence Crawford clash not happening. “But any fight Pacquiao is in. It’s always a dangerous fight. I’m going with Errol Spence. Errol Spence all day,” said Bradley.