Eight-division world champion and Philippine Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao went face to face with unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. at press conference in Los Angeles Sunday as they previewed their blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The pay-per-view will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT as Spence will look to earn a legacy-defining victory, while Pacquiao seeks one more monumental win to add to his first ballot Hall of Fame resume.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Sunday:
“There were a lot of opportunities for me to pick an easier fight than this. But I picked Errol Spence Jr. because I want a real fight and a great fight for the fans. I’m a fighter and boxing is my passion.
“Errol Spence Jr. is aggressive, young and undefeated. He’s dedicated to his career. This is definitely not an easy opponent. This is the kind of opponent you can never underestimate.
“It’s been a long time since I fought a southpaw opponent. We had to change some of our strategy compared to previous fights and we’ll throw some different combinations.
“I don’t think Errol needs advice from Floyd Mayweather. I believe that Errol is a better fighter than Mayweather. Errol can teach Floyd how to fight toe-to-toe.
“I don’t want to be overconfident, because Errol is too good of an opponent. His determination and passion for the sport is always there. When I say I’m going to do something, it’s real and from the heart, it’s not to impress anybody.
“I had started training in the last week of May in the Philippines. So when I got here to Los Angeles, I was just continuing what I was doing. It’s good for me to have the rest that I’ve had the last two years. I’ve been boxing since I was 12 years old until now. When I went back to training, I was still hungry and dedicated.
“I won’t predict another first round knockdown like I had against Thurman. I’m focusing my mind, body and spirit on winning the fight. That’s the only goal.
“This is one of the biggest challenges in my career. I can’t say it’s the biggest, because I’ve been fighting the best fighters in the world for years. But he’s right up there with anyone I’ve faced.
“I’ve been boxing for more than 25 careers as a pro. I think that I’ve seen every kind of style that’s out there.
“This is a one of a kind and prodigious fight. There’s going to be a lot of action in the ring. I’m so thankful for everyone who supports me and I’m happy to be in this position again fighting one of the best fighters in the world.”
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“This is a great opportunity. Coming off of my accident I went right to fighting Danny Garcia and now Pacquiao. A lot of people were in the Pacquiao sweepstakes. When I got the call about this fight, I agreed right away and didn’t give it a second thought.
“There aren’t that many southpaws in boxing, so you don’t usually spar that many. We’ve got a lot of guys in camp now who can fight that left-handed style. Obviously I can’t find someone who fights exactly like Manny, but you can find guys who can mimic the tempo and pace. So that’s who we’ve been working with.
“You can see that Manny is still an explosive fighter with great speed. We’ve been putting together a game plan and we’ve been working on implementing it. Come August 21, you’ll see it in the ring.
“Manny can lull you to sleep giving you compliments. But once the bell rings, he’s going to jump all over you.
“My chin since the accident has been tested in sparring and in the Danny Garcia fight. I imagine Manny is going to try to come in and test it as well.
“Just because he’s 42-years-old I don’t think it’s going to hurt him in training. He’s not blowing up in weight between fights and he’s not distracted. That’s why he’s been the same Manny Pacquiao for decades. I’m looking forward to the same Pacquiao who fought Keith Thurman and before that.
“Manny has a lot of tendencies, of course you’re going to see some things over the span of his whole career. When it’s time to buckle down, you know he’s the guy who’s going to fight. It can be a pro or a con, but he’s going to make it a fan-friendly fight.
“I don’t see myself ever getting knocked out. I just don’t see it. We’re going to be mindful that he has power. He knocked down Thurman and hurt him with a body shot. We’ll keep that in mind. But I’m not thinking about if he can knock me out.
“I have the ability to finish Pacquiao. For me though, I’m focused on winning the fight. If you rush and go for the knockout, you either look sloppy or something goes wrong. I have to fight my fight and at my pace. If the knockout comes, I’ll go for it.
“This is going to be a great fight. Pacquiao is going to bring it like he always does, but I’m definitely going to come through with the victory.”
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