By: Sean Crose
With a major bout with current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford having fallen through, word is now out that boxing legend Manny Pacquiao may be facing IBF and WBC welterweight titlist Errol Spence this summer. At this point it’s important to note that these reports should be taken with a grain of salt. Pacquiao hasn’t fought since 2019 when he upset Keith Thurman for a WBA strap, and it’s been said he’s going to face everyone from Crawford, to Ryan Garcia to Conor McGregor since that time. The sport of boxing is in a healthy place right now, except for the fact that the biggest matchups absolutely, positively aren’t getting made.
And anything involving Pacqiuao is essentially a major matchup at this point. Now well into his forties, the 8 division titlist is clearly on his way out of the sport. It’s simply a matter of who he wants to fight and how many more times he wants to fight. A match with Spence would put Pacquiao in the position of underdog. Should he win, there’d be an argument that the Filipino fighter is one of the top ten athletes to ever step inside the fight ring. Again, though, this is modern boxing. Enormous matchups upwards of 130 pounds simply ain’t happening these days.
With all that being said, there are always going to be exceptions to the rule. For instance, after endless negotiations, there’s still a chance for heavyweight titlists Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua to battle for the undisputed championship this summer. And if Spence-Pacquiao can indeed be made, it would be something worth celebrating over. Then fans could turn to the question of whether or not the fighter known as PacMan still has it. Boxers age overnight, after all, and the 62-7-2 Pacquiao has over 70 fights to his name.
As for the undefeated Spence, the lauded middleweight has been standing accused by some of showing disinterest in facing fellow welterweight titlist Crawford. In fact, boxing’s main fan base may have actually moved on from hoping the two men will ever meet in the ring. It’s never a good thing for a hero of die hard fans to become a hero of new breed fans who care more about who the A-side is than they do any particular fight. Signing a contract to face Pacquiao can help the talented Spence bulk up his image. Again, fans like to see big names face off. Believe it or not, that’s as true now as it’s ever been.