Errol Spence Jr.: “It’s Freaking Manny Pacquiao, I Drop Out Of A Fight With Him Two Weeks Before? That Don’t Make Sense”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. felt every emotion. From apoplectic, to incredulous to despondent, Spence Jr. dealt with it all.
With just a few weeks left until his mega showdown against Manny Pacquiao on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Spence Jr. was given no choice but to pull out of their contest due to a retinal detachment in his left eye. From there, the unified welterweight champion immediately dropped his gloves and entered the surgical room.
As doctors began working on the Dallas native’s eyesight, rumors emerged that Spence Jr. was never hurt in the first place. Bernard Hopkins, a former two-division titlist and 2019 Hall of Famer, was amongst those who raised a cautious eyebrow to Spence Jr. and his entire injury claim.
“If you tell me something, now you got to show me,” said Hopkins during an interview with Fight Hub TV when the news first broke. “I’m a showman person. I’m not going to tell you what happened and you got to take my word for it. Not that I’m saying you should. But if I show you, I don’t have to do much speaking.”
Never known as the loquacious type, Spence Jr. has remained mostly mum since his surgical procedure. However, given the chance to address Hopkins and whomever else doubts the legitimacy of his injury, Spence Jr. simply points to Pacquiao’s stature amongst the all-time greats and the boatload of money he would have accrued for facing him.
“It’s freaking Manny Pacquiao,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with ESPN. “Future Hall of Famer, future legend, undoubtedly top 10 all time. One of the greatest fighters of all time. And I drop out of a fight with him two weeks before the fight? That don’t make sense. Not to mention all the money we would make off pay-per-view.”
Even with his departure from the event, the show ultimately still went on without him. Stepping in to replace Spence Jr., was WBA 147 pound titlist, Yordenis Ugas. Spence Jr. sat idly by as Ugas cashed in on the opportunity of a lifetime.
The massive underdog went on to frustrate Pacquiao on the night, before winning a close but clear unanimous decision. With the former eight-division world champion unsure if he’ll ever step foot inside a boxing ring again, Spence Jr. is coming to grips with the fact that he may never face Pacquiao before he rides off into the sunset.
Considering his frustrations, and his audacious call-outs of Pacquiao over the years, Spence Jr. is still shaking his head at anyone who believes he didn’t want to compete on the night.
“I called him out two years ago in the ring. Not like he handpicked me. I been asking to fight him.”
Terence Crawford: “Looks Like Errol Spence Jr. Gone Need Me After All”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have never quite seen eye to eye. The two welterweight belt holders have failed to hammer out a deal that would see them face off in the ring. They also have a hard time believing that anyone, other than themselves, should be considered the number one 147 pounder in the world.
Despite their differences, both Crawford and Spence Jr. felt the same emotions this past Saturday night.
In front of a crowd of over 17,000 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Yordenis Ugas effectively shocked the world as he outmuscled and overpowered former eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao.
As Ugas raised his hand in victory, Spence Jr. replied “man” on his social media account. Shortly after, Crawford wrote “only if” on his. Both fighters appeared to be eluding to missing out on the chance to face Pacquiao in the ring, as the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is pondering retirement.
Earlier this year, Crawford revealed that he was deep in negotiations to face Pacquiao in the Middle East before their deal fell by the wayside. Spence Jr. on the other hand, landed a mega showdown with Pacquiao but was forced to withdraw less than two weeks before their contest due to a torn/detached retina.
With both fighters watching from the sidelines, Crawford decided to look on the bright side.
All along, Spence Jr. had his game plan right in front of him. After taking care of business against Pacquiao, Spence Jr. eyed a long-awaited showdown against Crawford. If the pair weren’t able to work out a deal, then, the Dallas native stated that he would move up in weight, seemingly closing the chapter on their rivalry for good.
Now, however, with both himself and Spence Jr. losing out on the chance to take on Pacquiao, the WBO titlist would love it if the pair finally laced up their gloves and faced off in the ring.
“Looks like Errol Spence Jr. gone need me after all,” said Crawford. “I know you mad about that fight because I was. But not in a hating way, just in a missed opportunity way. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Get well champ.”
Manny Pacquiao: “If You’re Fighting A Right Handed Fighter But Now It Switches To A Southpaw, It’s Getting Hard For Me, I Would Think Twice”
By: Hans Themistode
After spending numerous months prepping to take on Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao was taken aback when he was given the news.
The current unified welterweight champion was forced to pull out of their August 21st, showdown due to a torn/detached retina in his left eye. Immediately taking his place is WBA titleholder, Yordenis Ugas.
Their physical dimensions are almost identical. Both Ugas and Spence Jr. stand at 5’9, while their arm reach is fairly similar with Spence Jr. having the edge by three inches. In terms of their fighting styles, both fighters are a bit analogous in that department as well, especially from close quarters.
The biggest difference between Spence Jr. and Ugas, is their fighting stance. With the Cuban native fighting as an orthodox fighter and Spence Jr. as a southpaw, Pacquiao is somewhat relieved with how things played out.
“It’s a matter of two days to adjust,” said Pacquiao during an interview with Mike Coppinger of ESPN. “It’s not hard to adjust because we’ve been fighting right-handed fighters. It would be harder if it was the other way around.”
Pacquiao’s admittance that going from an orthodox fighter to a southpaw is difficult, comes as little to no surprise. While the Filippo native has aggregated over 25 years of experience in the ring, the former eight-division world champion has failed to face a left-hander since 2008 against David Diaz, a fighter he ultimately stopped in the ninth round.
In Ugas, Pacquiao faces an aggressive come forward fighter but one who he’s comfortable fighting on short notice due to his extended history facing orthodox opponents. If for some reason, Pacquiao was originally scheduled to face a right-handed fighter and was now forced to switch game plans to a left-hander, he admits that he would have shown far more reluctance in accepting a fight under those circumstances.
“If you’re fighting a right-handed fighter but now it switches to a southpaw, it’s getting hard for me. I would think twice.”
Brian Castano: “I Would Like To Fight Errol Spence”
By: Hans Themistode
Brian Castano is still currently walking around with his fingers crossed. The WBO 154 pound titlist is fresh off a highly disputed split decision draw against unified champion, Jermell Charlo. The two clashed on July 17th, in Charlo’s backyard of San Antonio, Texas.
Despite outworking his man, Castano was left beside himself when a draw was announced following 12 rounds of action. More than anything, Castano wants a chance to right what he believes was an injustice on the night. But, with the IBF mandating that Charlo take on Bakhram Murtazaliev, Castano’s hopes of an immediate rematch might be unrealistic.
If the 31-year-old is unable to land the showdown he craves most, he knows exactly who he would like to take on next.
“I would like to fight Errol Spence,” said Castano during an interview with EsNews.com. “Maybe Errol Spence will come up to 154.”
As mentioned by Castano, a matchup between himself and Spence Jr., could only take place if the current unified welterweight champion moves up in weight. Several years ago, before the world titles and fattened bank accounts, both Castano and Spence Jr. faced off in the amateurs. The Argentinian not only picked up the win but in his own words, he dominated.
“I knocked him down twice,” said Castano during an interview several weeks ago when discussing his amateur showdown against Spence Jr. “It was a fight where everything was intense but I put him down on the mat twice.”
While Castano is confident in his ability to defeat him once again, he’ll have to wait for quite some time before the two can lock horns. During preparation for his mega showdown against Manny Pacquiao which was supposed to take place on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Spence Jr. was forced to pull out due to a torn retina in his left eye. He’s since undergone surgery and will now embark on his long road back.
Although the 154-pound titlist would love to re-ignite their amateur rivalry, he wishes Spence Jr. nothing but the best as he deals with a difficult injury.
“He needs more rest. Maybe one year or six months. He has to take care of himself. When it comes to the eye, it’s health before anything.”
Errol Spence Jr. Suffers Torn Retina In His Left Eye, Manny Pacquiao Now Set To Face Yordenis Ugas
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. was just a few weeks away from taking on Manny Pacquiao in what he described as his “dream matchup.” Now, after a recent trip to the doctor, Spence Jr. will be forced to the sidelines.
What seemed to be a routine visit to the doctor’s office, turned out to be anything but as Spence Jr. was given devastating news.
“Unfortunately, the doctors found a tear in my left eye and said I needed to get surgery on it asap and that there was no way I could fight with my eye in that condition,” said Spence Jr.
Originally, Spence Jr. was elated when he was given the news that Pacquiao, a former eight-division world champion, was interested in fighting him. From there, both sides hammered out a deal that would see them face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With Spence Jr. officially on his way to the surgical room to repair a torn retina in his left eye, the unified welterweight titlist will have to bide his time on the sidelines as he recovers from his injury. As for Pacquiao, the 42-year-old future first-ballot Hall of Famer will still appear on the card. While he had hoped to take on Spence Jr., he will now face current WBA welterweight champion, Yordenis Ugas.
The 35-year-old Cuban native will be fully prepared as he was scheduled to make an appearance on the card in the co-main event against Fabian Maidana. With a victory, Pacquiao could regain the belt he once held.
After defeating Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao snagged his WBA title in the process. The Filipino native’s championship status, however, was revoked recently as he failed to step back into the ring in over two years. Pacquiao was then placed as “Champion in Recess” while Ugas, who won the WBA “Regular” title against Abel Ramos, was elevated to full titleholder.
Although Spence Jr. was left devastated by the news, the unified welterweight champion looked on the bright side. In October of 2019, the Dallas product was flung from his high-powered sports car during a horrific wreck. While the vehicle itself was totaled, Spence Jr. left the scene with minor injuries.
Considering that he was able to bounce back from what appeared to be a fatal accident and went on to hand former two-division world champion Danny Garcia a one-sided beating during their December 2020 showdown, Spence Jr. is seemingly unfazed over his latest setback.
“I’ll be back,” said Spence Jr. “We’ve come back from worse.”
Errol Spence Jr. Claims He “Wasn’t Right At All” For Danny Garcia Fight But Now Feels “Strong As Heck” As Manny Pacquiao Showdown Nears
By: Hans Themistode
During the final few days before his showdown against Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr. regurgitated repeatedly that he was just fine. Having watched the Dallas native being flung from his sports car in October of 2019 during a horrific car wreck, the 31-year-old took his time in the recovery room.
In total, Spence Jr. spent over a year on the sidelines as he worked with trainer Derrick James on his timing, conditioning, mindset, and overall health. But while Spence Jr. would continue to tell reporters that he felt like his old self, behind the scenes, he was far from okay.
“I wasn’t right,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I wasn’t right at all. I can write a book about my whole training camp and stuff that was happening and going on. It was a lot of stuff. I just knew that he was going to have to be in a real dog fight to beat me.”
The dog fight that Spence Jr. was ultimately looking for, however, never took place as Garcia stood patiently on the outside and seldom threw combinations at the unified titlist. In the end, the Philadelphian suffered a one-sided decision loss.
In regards to his performance, Spence Jr. appeared proud to snag the victory. But all in all, he was expecting much more from the former two-division titlist.
“I knew I could outbox him easily. I thought he was going to throw punches, and come at me and have a lot of enthusiasm.”
With his matchup against Garcia in the rearview mirror, Spence Jr. is currently looking ahead. At the moment, the Dallas product is putting the finishing touches on an arduous training camp as he prepares to take on former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. The two are slated to face off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 21st.
As the day’s inch closer and closer, the issues that plagued Spence Jr. for his camp against Garcia are now a distant memory. With the biggest fight of his career rapidly approaching, Spence Jr. is confident that he’ll ultimately inflict the sort of damage that will see Pacquiao exit the sport of boxing for good.
“Now, I’m feeling strong as heck. I wanted to be as strong as I can to knock out Manny Pacquiao and send him off into retirement.”
Terence Crawford Believes He Could Be Just As Big A Draw As Errol Spence Jr.
By: Hans Themistode
For much of Terence Crawford’s career, the former three-division world champion has been praised for his ability in the ring and castigated for his lack of star power outside of it.
With two pay-per-view appearances to his name, Crawford has failed to draw big-time crowds and in terms of PPV buys, they’ve been lackluster as well. In July of 2016, Crawford made his PPV debut against Viktor Postol. Despite the two unifying titles at 140 pounds, only 7,027 customers walked through the turnstile at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada to pay their hard-earned money to witness Crawford pick up the unanimous decision victory. As for PPV buys, approximately 50,000-60,000 bought the event.
In his second trip to the PPV scene, Crawford did slightly better. In April of 2019, the current WBO welterweight titlist defended his 147-pound crown against Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in New York City. A crowd of 14,091 attended the event in person and roughly 150,000 purchased their contest as Crawford went on to stop Khan in the sixth round.
When juxtaposed to his long-time rival and unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr., the Dallas native has brought in huge numbers. But while Crawford admits that Spence Jr. has done extremely well, such as the 47,500 who filled up AT&T Stadium in Dallas Texas, to watch the hard-hitting southpaw take on Mikey Garcia in March of 2019, Crawford is adamant that if given the same level of opposition, his numbers would be virtually identical.
“I think if I was fighting the same caliber of fighters he was fighting like a Mikey Garcia, I would fill up the stadium too,” said Crawford during an interview on the Bart & Hahn show on ESPN radio. “Mikey Garcia is a very big draw in Texas.”
Spence Jr., 31, would ultimately go on to dominate Garcia, winning every single round on all three judges’ scorecards. In the aftermath, not only did Spence Jr. vs. Garcia draw a crowd of 47,500 but in total, they raked in an excess of 360,000 PPV buys.
Any mention of Spence Jr. being a bigger draw than Crawford will receive an immediate incredulous gaze from the Omaha Nebraska native. While Crawford may not have the numbers to back his claim, he simply wants everyone to take a closer look at Spence Jr.’s contest against Garcia.
Although the unified titlist is from the Texas area, Crawford places most of their PPV and attendance success on the shoulders of Garcia.
“Not to take away from Errol Spence but I believe Mikey Garcia pulled in more supporters than he did.”
Errol Spence Jr. Eager To Get His Hands On Manny Pacquiao: “I Can Definitely Punish A Legend”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. had just finished putting his doubters to rest.
After being flung from his vehicle during a horrific car wreck in October of 2019, the Dallas native listened closely as both fans and pundits alike doubted his ability to make a successful return to the ring. The unified welterweight titlist quickly quieted any questions of his capabilities with a one-sided beating of former two-division world champion, Danny Garcia.
As Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) sat back and enjoyed his victory, his phone rang not long after. On the other line was an opportunity of a lifetime as he was informed that Manny Pacquiao was interested in facing him. Just a few short months later, it was revealed that the two would face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
With their contest just a few weeks away, the powerful southpaw took the time to show appreciation.
“I’m very gracious to be in this position,” said Spence Jr. during an interview with Kate Abdo.
At the age of 31, Spence Jr. has quietly built one of the more impressive resumes in all of boxing. Wins over the previously mentioned Danny Garcia, coupled with victories over Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Kell Brook, have all netted Spence Jr. fame, notoriety and of course, world titles.
Still, despite the names he’s conquered throughout his career, Spence Jr. doesn’t bat an eye when asked where a matchup against someone the caliber of Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) ranks on his resume.
“This is definitely a defining fight in my career. He’s a future Hall of Famer and legend in the sport.”
Pacquiao’s long list of accomplishments is only accentuated by his most recent trip to the ring. In July of 2019, a 40-year-old Pacquiao faced off against a then undefeated titleholder in Keith Thurman.
After sending his man to the canvas in the opening round, Pacquiao brawled his way to a split decision victory. Watching from his ringside seat, Spence Jr.’s reverence for Pacquiao only grew. With that said, no matter how much love and admiration the Dallas product has for the future Hall of Famer, his face turns dead serious as he reveals the damage he intends on dishing out come August 21st.
“I can definitely punish a legend. Once the bell rings, the respect basically goes out the window. I’m the king of 147.”
Manny Pacquiao Has A Chance To Accomplish Something He Never Has Against Errol Spence Jr.
By: Hector Franco
Manny Pacquiao has a chance to accomplish something he never has against Errol Spence Jr.
Coming up in just a few short weeks on August 21st, one of the most anticipated fights of the year will take place in the capital of combat sports in Las Vegas.
Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), after two years out of the ring at 42 years of age, will take on unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) for the Ring Magazine and lineal welterweight crowns.
For all of Pacquiao’s list of accomplishments in boxing, one of the few that has eluded him is unifying titles in a weight class. The Filipino holds the record for winning titles in the most divisions in boxing history but has only participated in three unification bouts.
Following Pacquiao’s famously successful first fight in the United States in June 2001, where he bludgeoned Lehlo Ledwaba over six rounds to capture the IBF super-bantamweight title, he faced the Dominican Republic’s Agapito Sanchez in a unification match for the IBF and WBO 122-pound titles.
The fight took place in November 2001 in San Francisco as the main undercard bout to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s final fight at 130-pounds against Jesus Chavez.
Unfortunately for Pacquiao, the fight was an ugly affair with numerous fouls from Sanchez, including two-point deductions for low blows. The fight was ultimately stopped due to head butts that caused a cut over the right eye of Pacquiao.
After six rounds, the fight went to the judge’s scorecards and was ruled a draw.
The next unification bout for Pacquiao took place a few years later in his first encounter with his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, in May 2004.
At the time, Pacquiao didn’t hold one of the four major titles at featherweight but held the Ring Magazine and lineal titles in the weight class by stopping Marco Antonio Barrera in a career-changing performance in 2003.
Heading into the bout, Marquez held the WBA and IBF featherweight titles.
Pacquiao and Marquez would put on a fight of the year contender, with Marquez surviving three knockdowns in the first round to work his way to a draw on the judge’s scorecards. The first three Pacquiao-Marquez fights are essentially all draws as there is an argument for either man coming out with his hand raised in victory.
The controversy of the match was highlighted by South African judge Burt Clements who scored the fight 113-113, scoring the first round 10-7 instead of 10-6 for Pacquiao. Usually, a slight discrepancy such as a difference in how one round is scored wouldn’t cause much controversy; however, Clements claimed that he didn’t know he could score a round 10-6. Had Clements been privy to scoring fights in Nevada, Pacquiao may have walked away the unified featherweight champion.
Finally, Pacquiao’s last unification match occurred in the most important fight of his career and the highest-grossing fight in boxing history against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015. The fight was to determine the best of a generation and was for the Ring Magazine, lineal, WBA, WBC, and WBO welterweight championships.
In a somewhat disappointing performance, Pacquiao, like all others, lost to Mayweather.
For Pacquiao to challenge a fighter like Spence Jr. at this stage of his career shows that he still feels that something is missing from his legacy. It’s unlikely that Pacquiao thinks about the minutiae of the exact number of world titles he has won or fought for, but the Filipino still has a need to prove something.
Pacquiao will enter the fight with Spence Jr. as a plus 170 underdog with height and reach disadvantages. For as much greatness he has achieved and garnered in his 25-plus year career, there is still a motivation for more.
“I got a lot of satisfaction beating Matthyse, Broner, and Thurman in a 12-month period, becoming the oldest man to win a welterweight title,” Pacquiao stated in an interview with The Sun in July. “Beating Errol Spence would be very special to me for all the obvious reasons and could elevate me into the discussion of being among the all-time greats in the sport.
“We have a lot of hard work left to do first for that to happen. To be at your best takes hard work. I want to win and show everyone I can still compete at the highest level. Errol Spence is not just one of the best welterweights; he is one of the best fighters. He is young, undefeated, and a world champion. He also wants to knock my head off.
“That is all the motivation I need.”
Freddie Roach On The Skillset Of Errol Spence Jr.: “He Isn’t A Real Good Boxer”
By: Hans Themistode
Freddie Roach watches carefully from his ringside seat in his nearly empty Wild Card gym. The Hall of Fame trainer leans across the ropes and observes as Manny Pacquiao continues to put his body through a grueling workout in preparation for his August 21st showdown against unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
For the vast majority of Pacquiao’s career, the former eight-division world champion has more times than not, stepped into the ring as the prohibited favorite. This time around, oddsmakers have flipped the script as Spence Jr. is expected to leave their showdown with the victory. Despite the doubts, Roach is extremely confident in his fighter’s ability to get the job done.
Under normal circumstances, Roach would beat his chest and predict that Pacquiao will get the stoppage victory. However, with the Filipino native facing a much larger fighter, Roach doesn’t want the 42-year-old to engage in an all-out brawl.
“He knows that he’s gotta outbox this guy,” said Roach during an interview with Ray Flores. “His opponent is a little bit heavy on his feet and he isn’t a real good boxer but he’s a very, very good puncher.”
Spence Jr., 31, has gained a reputation of sorts over the past few years. With the Dallas native having the propensity for either ending fights before the final bell or hurting his opponents several times over, the unified welterweight titlist is considered a monster puncher for the weight class. In his most recent appearance in the ring, Spence Jr. outclassed former two-division world champion Danny Garcia before cruising to a unanimous decision victory.
At various times during their showdown, Spence Jr. appeared to rattle Garcia with huge shots. Admittedly, Roach watched closely as Spence Jr. dished out heavy damage to Garcia and everyone else he has stepped into the ring against.
While he isn’t budging from his notion that Pacquiao will pick up the win come August 21st, he does acknowledge that in order to do so, the 42-year-old senator will need to refrain from biting down on his mouthpiece and fighting fire with fire.
“When we get in the pocket with him, we land a quick combination but we need to get out of that pocket quickly because he will hit us back. In and out, combinations and really quick.”
Keith Thurman: “Why Is Errol [Spence] So Mad? Why Is He Guzzling Down Hatorade?”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. has made it no secret that he craves facing all of the top names in the welterweight division. With that said, the unified titlist continues to show no interest in a showdown against former WBC/WBA 147 pound belt holder, Keith Thurman.
Several years ago, when Spence Jr. was a beltless prospect attempting to make his way up the welterweight rankings, he called for a matchup against Thurman on numerous occasions. Believing there were bigger fish to fry in Floyd Mayweather, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter – a matchup against an unproven knockout artist wasn’t an appealing option to Thurman.
Since then, Spence Jr. vowed to never face Thurman in the ring, no matter the circumstances. In the mind of the former unified titlist, his reluctance to face Spence Jr. was always business, never personal. Now, with Thurman continuing to reiterate that he would love a shot at the powerful southpaw and with Spence Jr. continuing to abruptly turn him down, Thurman simply has one question that he would like his long-time rival to answer.
“Why is Errol so mad?” Asked Thurman during an interview with FightHype.com. “Why is he guzzling down hatorade? Straight chugging it. Beef is beef, I’m not vegan, I get the beef. I’m really trying to figure out what I did to this boy.”
While Thurman paused for a moment to think to himself, his eyebrows raised seconds later as though he was hit with a revelation as to why Spence Jr. has such a high level of disdain for him.
“No matter what this boy has done in his career, he can’t get past, what do you think about Thurman? No matter what statement he makes, the next question is, so what do you think about Thurman?”
Currently, the 31-year-old Spence Jr. is in the midst of training camp as he prepares to take on Manny Pacquiao. The two will face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. If Spence Jr. picks up the win against the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, it will be viewed as a huge feather in his cap. Still, while a victory over Pacquiao would be arguably the biggest of his career, Thurman believes that his shadow would still loom large over the Dallas native.
“He can beat Pacquiao and you know what’s the next conversation that he’s gonna have to hear? Are you going to fight Thurman?”
Freddie Roach Wasn’t Initially Interested In Errol Spence Jr. For Pacquiao: “I Was Leaning Toward Mikey Garcia”
By: Hans Themistode
The news of Manny Pacquiao taking on Errol Spence Jr. rocked the boxing world. Approximately two months ago, the former eight-division titlist revealed that he successfully worked out a deal behind the scenes to take on the current unified welterweight champion. The two are now slated to face off on August 21st, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When asked what was the reasoning behind picking Spence Jr. amongst the bevy of options he had at his disposal, Pacquiao unveiled that he wanted a “real fight.”
Currently, long-time trainer of Pacquiao in Freddie Roach, is doing what he’s always done, whipping the Filipino native into the best shape possible. Although the Hall of Famer ultimately had no problem with Spence Jr. being Pacquiao’s final selection, if it was up to him, the pair would’ve gone in another direction.
“He wasn’t my first choice,” said Roach during an interview with Yahoo Sports. “I was leaning toward Mikey Garcia because he challenged us several times and so forth.”
Initially, Garcia appeared to have the inside track on a possible Pacquiao matchup. In fact, before Pacquiao’s fight announcement, Garcia guaranteed that he was taking on the future Hall of Famer later on this year. That, of course, proved to be untrue.
While Garcia may have been apoplectic with what took place, Spence Jr. was ecstatic over the news. The Dallas native has spent the past few years building one of the more impressive resumes in the welterweight division and craved a showdown with Pacquiao.
Since capturing the IBF title against Kell Brook in May of 2017, Spence Jr. has added the WBC belt to his collection. In doing so, he’s also taken down a who’s who of names including Shawn Porter, Lamont Peterson, the aforementioned Mikey Garcia and most recently, Danny Garcia.
Although Roach has confessed that his preferred choice was a matchup against Mikey Garcia and while the long time trainer respects pound for pound star and WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, he acknowledges that Spence Jr. is the top name in the division.
“When Manny picked Spence, I said, ‘Congratulations, you picked the best guy out there.’”
Keith Thurman: “I Saw Some Mitt Work From Pac Man, He Looks A Little Slower”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman is still licking his wounds from his last ring appearance. The former unified welterweight champion hasn’t been seen in the ring since picking up the first loss of his career two years ago against Manny Pacquiao.
While Thurman continues to bide his time on the sidelines, Pacquiao is currently in the midst of training camp as he prepares for his return to the ring. The former eight-division world champion will face arguably the biggest test of his career when he takes on current unified 147-pound titlist, Errol Spence Jr. The two are slated to swap fists on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Seemingly every few days, Pacquiao drops a new training video as he prepares to deal with his much younger opponent. While the Filipino native has stated that he feels refreshed and rejuvenated, Thurman believes that by the looks of Pacquiao’s training videos, his age is starting to show.
“I saw some mitt work from Pac Man, he looks a little slower this camp,” said Thurman during a self-recorded video. “I ain’t gonna lie, we all know he a little older, he looks a little slower.”
At the age of 42, Pacquiao has admitted that he isn’t able to push himself in training camp on a daily basis like in his younger years. Still, despite that, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is confident in his ability to take down Spence Jr.
As for the unified champion from Dallas Texas, he’s ostensibly in the prime of his career. After surviving a horrific car wreck in October of 2019, he brushed aside a life-threatening crash and got right back to work. In December of 2020, Spence Jr. successfully returned to the ring and dissected former two-division titlist, Danny Garcia over the course of 12 rounds.
Thurman, 32, sat from his ringside seat as he watched Spence Jr. do whatever he wanted to Garcia, a man he also defeated by split decision in 2017. While Spence Jr.’s performance was nearly flawless, Thurman has openly criticized Garcia for failing to let his hands go and land something of consequence on the chops of Spence Jr.
Although he isn’t exactly a fan of the unified star, Thurman does expect him to pick up the win next month in Las Vegas. With that said, Thurman is hoping that Pacquiao is able to land one of his normally concussive blows at some point during the fight.
“I think he got what it takes but I hope he gives Errol something good. We all wanna see that chin get touched.”
Brian Castaño Goes Into Detail On His Amateur Win Over Errol Spence Jr.: “I Knocked Him Down Twice, I’m Never Going To Forget It”
By: Hans Themistode
In just a few more hours, Brian Castaño will attempt to become the first undisputed 154-pound world champion in the four belt era when he takes on unified titlist, Jermell Charlo. The WBO belt holder smiles from ear to ear as he envisions having his hand held high in victory at the AT&T Center, in San Antonio, Texas.
Although he was ecstatic earlier this year in his title winning effort against Patrick Teixeira, becoming an undisputed world champion would not only represent his finest moment in the ring but in his entire life.
“This is the most important thing that ever happened in my life,” said Castaño during a recent interview with FightHype.com. “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for.”
While the Argentinian has put together an impressive professional resume, taking down the likes of Teixeira, stopping Wale Omotoso and recording a split decision draw against Erislandy Lara, the biggest win of his life actually came in the unpaid ranks.
As an amateur, Castaño compiled a record of 181-5-5. Amongst those wins, was against current unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr. Since he’s turned pro, Spence Jr., has looked nearly impossible to defeat. Yet, when the two stood across the ring from each other several years ago, Castaño explains that he dominated the Dallas native.
“It was a fight during the pre pan American games in Venezuela,” explained Castaño. “I even knocked him down twice. It was a fight where everything was intense but I put him down on the mat twice. I’m never going to forget it but I’m focused on Saturday night.”
While Castaño (17-0-1, 12 KOs) claims to have dropped Spence Jr. twice during their showdown, the unified titlist appeared incoherent by the entire ordeal. With their showdown taking place roughly a decade ago, Spence Jr. claims that he “doesn’t remember,” how things played out.
Regardless of what took place several years, Castaño refuses to have a win over Spence Jr. in the amateurs define his professional career. With oddsmakers backing Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) in a major way, the Argentinian merely wants to add to his already growing legacy and prove everyone wrong in the process.
“I’m focused on Saturday night, I want to make history.”
Currently, both Charlo and Spence Jr. are stablemates as they work closely with head trainer Derrick James. Although they’ve been known to go to war during their sparring sessions, Charlo revealed that he didn’t get the chance to step into the ring with Spence Jr. in preparation for his matchup against Castaño.
Regardless of that, the truculent knockout artist believes he’s more than ready to hand Castaño the first loss of his professional career. After stopping his three most recent opponents in Jorge Cota, Tony Harrison and Jeison Rosario, Charlo has been on a knockout spree. With that said, Castaño is firmly of the belief that while he’ll be cautious of the firepower his opponent brings to the table, he’ll be prepared to deal with him.
“I have to watch out for the isolated punches. Charlo has three belts for a reason. He’s a quality fighter and a true champion. I’m ready to go.”
Errol Spence Jr. discusses best Pacquiao wins, living off the grid and why he doesn’t care for call outs.
Errol Spence Jr. arrives for Sunday’s press conference poised and focused on the day’s press activities. It is the first time the Unified champion and 8-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will appear together to promote their August super fight.
Throughout his boxing journey, he’s succeeding where others have found difficult. Flanked by a harmonious team and strong support system, he maintains the same zen-like calm he’s known for. An inner peace that’s fueled by family, farm animals, and a desire to be an all-time great.
Now his full attention turns toward the fight he’s been pursuing since 2019. An opportunity against Manny Pacquiao, a guaranteed first-ballot Hall-of-Famer who will be remembered as an all-time great, no matter the outcome.
Once the press conference was complete, Errol Spence Jr. chatted with BoxingInsider.com beyond the usual camp and strategy questions. The WBC and IBF unified champion explain how he keeps his training harmonious, Pacquiao’s best wins, why farm life works for him and what he’s learned from his cadre of animals.
BI: Earlier, you were speaking about your father and trainers and how you navigate that. How have you been able to navigate those relationships so well during your career?
ESJ: I feel like a lot of fathers try to take the coach position, and the coach pushes back. For me, I make sure they’re separated. My father might tell me some stuff, and I take what I think is good. My coach might tell me some things I think is good, and if I don’t [think it’s good], I don’t do anything with it. It’s just two separate entities telling me two separate things.
BI: Earlier, I asked you about some of Pacquiao’s best wins. What is a great win for you? A lot of fighters when fights, but what’s a great win, in your opinion?
ESJ: I like to see the execution. I would say a great win for me is Bernard Hopkins versus Tito Trinidad. That was a great win for me.
He basically defeated a country. A lot of people would say that Trinidad was the favorite. Bernard came around and did his thing, perfected his strategy and beat him, and outpointed him.
BI: You look at Barnard, who fought into his 40’s. You’re about to fight a man in his 40’s. Is that a path that you envision for yourself? Do you want that type of trajectory where you are still a killer at 40? Or do you have a cut-off point?
ESJ: If I’m still beating young guys up, yeah, I’ll fight. I think if there comes a time if I get in the ring and somebody is beating me up, that’s not supposed to be beating me up, or I can’t get out of the way of punches, I’m going to retire.
I’m always smart with my finances and stuff like that so I can get out of the sport when I need to. So as long as I keep winning or it’s a close loss to somebody you could lose to, that’s acceptable, but if I’m losing to someone, I have no business losing to, or I get beaten up in sparring, it’s time to hang it up.
BI: This [the fight against Pacquiao] is a big fight. Lots of big fights don’t happen for whatever reason, even when fighters have the same management. Everyone thinks they know the business of boxing whether they work in it or not. What is the key to making a big fight that the outside doesn’t know?
ESJ: You have to know there’s definitely a lot of politics in boxing. A lot of tug of wars going on and things like that.
The easiest fights to get made are the fights in the same circle. That’s why Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Ugas, Pacquiao, everybody’s mixing it up because everybody’s under the same umbrella.
A lot of guys are not going out. You might get some guys like Matchroom that might be with Top Rank on the business side. It shouldn’t be like that, but there’s a lot of politics in boxing stopping big fights from happening.
BI: When fighters reach your level, some feel like they have to change their whole persona. You’ve maintained your same level-headed personality your entire career. Why has that formula worked for you?
ESJ: It is my mentality. I don’t get caught up in the hype at all. I’m the type of person that after a fight, my whole plan is to disappear. After this fight is over, I’m going unseen for two or three months.
House time, I’m with my kids, and I’m chilling, and I’m not trying to be bothered. I don’t care to be on camera, and I don’t even care to have my name mentioned. When the job calls, it’s time to do it. I’m not trying to be at the forefront of everything.
BI: With that chilling, you have children, farm life, and animals. You have horses. They seem to have brought you to a different level of peace and Zen. How do they help you? What can we learn from animals?
ESJ: One thing, it definitely gives me a lot to do. It keeps me busy, and horses give you peace of mind. I didn’t start riding horses until after my accident.
I moved outside the city lines, the outskirts and got a ranch and didn’t know anything about it. But I learned on the job, got cows and stuff like that. Horses are majestic a little bit. And you can learn a lot from them, especially patience. Something that big and that strong, you have to have patience. They can get spooked real fast and kick or anything.
BI: What was that first time riding a horse like? You are an athlete. Did you jump on the horse fearlessly?
ESJ: I was fearless, but I was still cautious. I jumped on a good, trained horse, so he didn’t do anything. He had a great temperament and stuff like that. But what yeah, I was kind of fearless because, you know, I’m an adventurous person, but it was different from what I used to because I first I was like, I wouldn’t even touch a horse or cow.
BI: Lastly, fans, in general, have a lot of respect for you. There are many factions on social media and fandom, but fans universally enjoy you, no matter who their affiliations. What do you say to those fans?
ESJ: I appreciate everybody’s support. I appreciate everybody letting me have my peace sometimes. I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m a kind of introverted person. So, I need my space.
And then now and then but, you know, I do like when it’s fight time, you know, I do, do I need to be done and do my interviews and stuff like that, but I enjoy my peace of mind. But I appreciate everybody staying with me and supporting me. It’s a great time, and I’m enjoying myself while I’m young and on top.
Manny Pacquiao vs Errol Spence Jr. takes place Saturday, August 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. For the full interview, please visit BoxingInsider’s YouTube Channel.