Manny Pacquiao was complimentary of Errol Spence Jr during their kickoff press conference on Sunday for their highly anticipated match on FOX pay-per-view on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) said he rated IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) as a better fighter than Floyd Mayweather Jr, and said he could teach him how to fight toe-to-toe.
The 44-year-old Mayweather has been essentially done with boxing since his fight with Pacquiao in 2015. If Mayweather came back for a real fight against a top-level boxer, it wouldn’t be pretty.
Spence and Pacquiao talked about their fight today during their press conference. Afterward, the two fighters stood for a staredown.
Spence towered over Pacquiao, but that was expected. Pacquiao has always been undersized for the 147-lb division, but he’s found a way to beat his bigger opponents.
What happens when Errol gets hit?
“No, I’m not. I think he knows who he’s getting in the ring with, and that overrides the personality and persona he would normally display,” said Shawn Porter to PBC on FOX about the respect that Spence showed for Pacquiao during the kickoff press conference.
“Errol Spence doesn’t need to have advice from Floyd Mayweather because I believe that Errol is better than Mayweather. I think he’d teach Mayweather how to fight toe-to-toe.” 🌶 — @MannyPacquiao#PacquiaoSpence | AUGUST 21 | FOX PPV pic.twitter.com/dvRJOP3HSr
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) July 11, 2021
“I think this is him understanding, ‘I’m getting in the ring with a GOAT [greatest of all time], I’m appreciating and I’m going to take it.’ But I think that’s the respect that you’re seeing from him,” said Porter.
“The Danny Garcia performance, he said it himself, he was 70%,” said Keith Thurman on Spence.
“We did not see Danny land punches, Danny is a lot slower. Errol makes a lot of smart decisions in the ring. To test a chin, you’ve got to hit the chin.
“Boxing people are still a little picky. People still want to see what happens when Errol gets hit comes August 21st.
“But as Errol said, he knows he’s tough, he knows he’s taken big punches before.
“He says he never sees anyone knocking him out. I believe a knockout punch is a knockout punch, but that kind of confidence, I love to see that kind of confidence in a fighter,” said Thurman.
It’ll be interesting to see if Spence can handle the punching power and the speed of Pacquiao. In most of Spence’s fights, he’s been the one dishing out the punishment.
Only lately that Spence took some punishment in his fights with Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.
On August 21st, we’re going to see how well Spence holds up against Pacquiao. If Errol looks like he did against Danny in his last fight, Pacquiao could beat him.
Spence = Cotto of this era
“He’s got [Antonio] Margarito, he’s got [Miguel] Cotto, he’s got [Oscar] De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and the list goes on,” Porter said about Pacquiao’s resume.
“There was a lot of opportunity to pick a much easier fight than compared to Errol Spence. I decided to pick Errol Spence because… I want a real fight.” 😤 — @MannyPacquiao#PacquiaoSpence | AUGUST 21 | FOX PPV pic.twitter.com/oQo6GXW5py
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) July 11, 2021
“I was watching and thinking, ‘Does Errol Spence compare to those guys?’ I’m not positive that he doesn’t but I’m not positive that he does.
“Of the era right now, he is the Cotto of the era right now. He is the Ricky Hatton right now, and the other names I mentioned right now.
“Will he be the toughest to date? August 21st, I think, given that Manny is 42, it’ll be the toughest fight he’s had at 42,” said Porter.
“His comfort level in the ring is tremendous,” said Thurman about Pacquiao. “With all this press, I felt a shift in Pacquiao’s demeanor the week of the fight.
“One of those staredowns the week, I felt the real Manny Pacquiao. That’s when I knew this is going to be a fight. Regardless of what anything he said before or nothing. I knew he showed up.
“I just hope that same Manny Pacquiao shows up on August 21st. Before the smiles, the words he said on stage was, he needs to concentrate, focus on his game plan and align his spirit.
“Manny Pacquiao is a truly spiritual person. When he stays focused and he aligns himself, he believes he can accomplish anything. That’s why he’s taken this challenge today,” said Thurman.
Spence is better than Miguel Cotto as far being a welterweight. Cotto was an excellent fighter, but he never showed that he was the #1 guy at 147.
With Spence, you can make an argument that he’s the top fighter at welterweight, so you can’t call him the Cotto of this generation.
Porter: Pacquiao would beat Mayweather
“I think his resume will be better than Floyd’s,” said Thurman when asked if Pacquiao’s resume will be better than Floyd Mayweather Jr’s if he beats Spence.
“I think a whole lot of people will agree on you and want to make him the greatest ever.
“But Floyd did beat Manny Pacquiao, but I just believe Manny Pacquiao will be the best welterweight in the welterweight history. Just being arguably that, isn’t enough?” said Thurman.
“The other side of that is Floyd wouldn’t come back and fight three fighters. Myself, Keith Thurman or Errol Spence Jr,” said Porter.
“With that being said, Manny would beat him,” said Shawn in pointing out what many fans believe about Pacquiao beating Mayweather if he came out of retirement,” said Porter.
At this point in Mayweather’s career, Pacquiao would obliterate him. At 44, Mayweather has lost his hand speed, and he looks like he’s in his mid-50s. Floyd’s last performance against YouTuber Logan Paul was woeful.
Mayweather looked worst than shot. He was feeble and too old to be in with a real fighter. Yeah, beat Logan, but he showed in that fight that he’s shot to pieces.
Spence will win says Thurman
“It’s not just about boxing. It’s about all sports,” said Thurman. “We always see the old veteran, the guy that has been doing it the longest, getting overtaken by the young, ferocious, talented up and coming fighters.
“Errol Spence, unifying and all his accomplishments. Even though he doesn’t have the accomplishments of Manny Pacquiao, he does have the skill set to represent the new generation.
“I believe he’s going to walk away next month with a victory,” said Thurman.
“It’s part of history. I’ll call them the Kings trying to come back and reclaim that glory, and show who they are and who they’ve been,” said Porter about why fighters like Pacquiao continue to fight at his age.
“To this point, he’s been consistent in doing that. I don’t see him going overnight and becoming that old man overnight, but you never know.
“It’s an overnight process. I do expect the best Manny Pacquiao that we’ve seen to this point,” said Porter.
It’s going to take a lot for Pacquiao to come out the victor in this fight, but anything is possible.