Trainer Ronnie Shields views Manny Pacquiao as having a great shot at defeating Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr and taking his IBF & WBC 147-lb titles away from him next month on August 21st.
Shields says Pacquiao’s age could be a benefit because he’s got a lot of experience that he can use in his favor against the younger fighter Spence, a fighter that hasn’t fought nearly the same level of competition.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is the type of higher that Spence has never met up against, says Shields, and that’s going to be a problem.
Although Pacquiao has fought guys that had a similar style as Spence, he hasn’t seen anyone similar to him inside the ring.
Spence vs. Pacquiao will be taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be shown on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View.
Spence’s youth might not help
“I see it as a tough fight for both guys,” said trainer Ronnie Shields to Fighthub on the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight. “It’s hard for me to pick a winner in that fight because Pacquiao is a slick, fast, strong guy.
“Errol is a strong guy; he’s a pressure fighter, and, man, it’s going to be explosive. Whoever has the best game plan is going to win.
“I wouldn’t say younger is always better. Experience is probably the best thing,” said Shields when asked if Errol’s youth plays to his favor.
“Manny has seen many Errol Spence’s before, but Spence hasn’t seen any Manny Pacquiao’s before. But determination is going to play a big factor in this fight. It’s hard to pick a winner.
“It’s going to be a great fight and a tough fight, and I definitely want to be there for it.
“People seen Keith Thurman do that, and he made it a close fight, but he didn’t get the win,” Shields said about Thurman using his jab to stymie Pacquiao’s offense.
If Pacquiao doesn’t run into a punch as he did in his sixth round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Spence will have a lot of worries.
Spence will try and time Pacquiao’s attacks so he can catch him with something, but that’s not going to be easy.
Manny has gotten better since his loss to Marquez at moving his head and disguising his attacks. Pacquiao can be hit, as Keith Thurman showed us, but it’s a lot tougher to nail him with massive power shots.
Don’t be shocked if Pacquiao wins
“But understand, you’ve got two southpaws fighting each other, so this stance is going to be different,” Shields said about the Spence and Manny both being southpaws.
“I don’t know if that’s [throwing jabs] will be the key to it. I’ve never studied Manny Pacquiao because I never had anybody fighting him.
“So I don’t know if that’s going to be the right thing for Errol to do. I’m sure Derrick [James] will put together a great game plan that fits him [Spence].
“You have to know both guys to say, ‘This will work for this guy,’ but you don’t know what both guys do best.
“Unless you’re in the gym with them all the time, then you can figure something out. It’s hard. For me, it’s going to be a tough fight.
“I see it as a tough fight. Both guys have great chins, so I don’t think it’s going to be a knockout either way.
“I think it’s going to be a close fight. I truly believe that. I will not be shocked if Manny wins. I’m leaning towards Errol Spence, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Manny Pacquiao wins.
“Manny has always done that throughout his whole career, so you’ve got to give him props for that,” said Shields about Pacquiao taking on the best his entire career.
The boxing public will be in a state of shock if Pacquiao wins because they see Spence as too good right now. Pacquiao will have to prove his doubters wrong that he’s better than they think he is.