When the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr was announced, it surprised many. Many fans anticipated an Errol Spence Jr and Terrance Crawford fight, but that fight did not materialize.
So instead, Pacquiao filled the void. Pacquiao, who is now 42 years of age, is coming off a two-year layoff but is looking to challenge himself again.
It’s quite the challenge as Spence is one of the top fighters in the world, pound for pound. What would a win or a loss do for their legacies?
For Pacquiao, his legacy is already secured, and he’s a legend in the sport. Once his time comes, he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His achievements and resume are remarkable.
He has won major and lineal titles in eight different weight classes (112, 122, 126, 130, 135, 140, 147, and 154).
It’s not only him winning in multiple weight divisions but the caliber of fighters he has defeated already. Being a champion in four different decades is something to behold.
With that being said, if he loses to Spence and then retires afterwards, he is a top ten all-time great, in my opinion.
Some may disagree on that, but he has a strong case when it is all said and done. However, if Pacquiao wins, now we have to evaluate him at a higher level.
He will be in the argument as one of the greatest fighters of all time, meaning Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Robert Duran, Henry Armstrong level. In this case, it’s a win-win situation for Pacquiao.
For Spence, his legacy is at stake. Spence is undefeated and is the number one welterweight.
Spence is also a big welterweight and is in his absolute peak at the age of 31. There’s no doubt why Spence will be the favorite in the fight.
Pacquiao is past his best days, even though he still fights well. However, Spence has everything to lose in this fight, and he needs to win big. Spence just can’t win a decision; he needs to win by stoppage.
If Spence wins by decision, there will be a lot of criticism of him. The fans will question why Spence (the younger guy) could not stop Pacquiao (the older guy).
Even though Spence will be satisfied with a decision by points, the public won’t. People will be more amazed at how Pacquiao was still able to go to distance with Spence.
If Spence stops Pacquiao, then it will be an official passing of the torch. Spence will have a big win over a big name and get more recognized. Spence will be the next big star and will earn bragging rights.
The likely outcome is that Spence should win this fight. I’m leaning towards a majority decision for Spence.
I still think Pacquiao will perform well and give Errol fits in the fight. Spence’s wins in recent fights over Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Mikey Garcia all went to distance.
Don’t forget, Mikey Garcia was a smaller guy moving up in weight, and he was able to take Spence to distance.
I expect Manny has enough to do the same too. I would not count Pacquiao out in the fight.
He has beaten the odds throughout his career. Most recently, at 40 years old, Pacquiao was able to defeat Keith Thurman which was a huge accomplishment.