By: Hans Themistode
Although Manny Pacquiao hasn’t officially fought since 2019, the eight-division titlist has been quietly doing his homework.
From the moment current unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. stepped foot inside of the ring, he’s been lauded for his ability. The footwork, timing, defensive responsibility and of course, the power – has left many believing that he is the best welterweight in the world. A tag once associated with Pacquiao.
While the WBA 147-pound belt holder may agree that Spence Jr. has all of those aforementioned qualities, he also believes that the Dallas native has one major hole in his game.
“He [Spence] is too slow,” Pacquiao told Josef Ramos of BusinessMirror. “Spence is slower than Thurman but it’s going to be a good fight.”
Facing a young, undefeated, hard-hitting fighter in Spence Jr. would be difficult, but for Pacquiao, he’s overcome that very scenario in his most recent contest. Before Pacquiao took the entirety of the 2020 campaign off mostly due to COVID-19, the future hall of famer had himself a busy 2019.
After making easy work of Adrien Broner in mid-January, Pacquiao eked out a razor-close decision against previously undefeated Keith Thurman. The win for Pacquiao may have netted him the WBA welterweight title, but not without serious resistance from Thurman. Following the victory, Pacquiao tabbed Thurman as the hardest puncher he had ever faced.
Pair their grueling contest along with 26 years of experience, and the now 42-year-old is as confident as ever in securing the victory against Spence Jr. Still, Pacquiao admitted that a showdown with the powerful southpaw wasn’t exactly number one on his todo list.
After accomplishing virtually everything in the sport of boxing, Pacquiao would like to step outside of his comfort zone and do something else entirely unique.
“[Spence and McGregor are] my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist],” said Pacquiao. “I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino COVID-19 victims.”