By: Hans Themistode
It didn’t quite make any sense.
At the age of 42 and having accomplished more than just about everyone in the squared circle, Manny Pacquiao could have easily walked away from the sport of boxing and rode off into the sunset. Throughout the course of his career, the former eight-division titlist has been lauded for his willingness to face all the top fighters in his weight class.
Even with his legendary career coming to a close, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) still has the urge to face the biggest and baddest men in the world. Fresh off a split decision win against former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman in 2019, Pacquiao could have opted for a soft touch for his return to the ring. Instead, he’ll be taking on who many consider to be the best 147 pounder in the world in unified champion, Errol Spence Jr. on August 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada.
While an inquisitive look may have been plastered to the face of his fans for his choice of an opponent, for Pacquiao, choosing the Dallas native was an easy decision.
“I want a real fight,” said Pacquiao during an interview with ESNews. “That’s what I want.”
If Pacquiao wants a real fight, Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) figures to give him just that. The powerful southpaw has been destructive throughout his career. The 31-year-old recently made the life of Danny Garcia hell as he pounded the former two-division champion in December of 2020, winning a wide decision.
A matchup with Pacquiao is one that Spence Jr. has always craved. Regardless of his age, the Dallas product sat back and watched as the 42-year-old made it look incredibly easy against Adrien Broner in January of 2019 before ultimately moving on and pulling out the win against Thurman.
Recently, Pacquiao has opened up training camp as he prepares to take on his undefeated opponent. Pacquiao, who is also a senator in his native land of the Philippines, is said to be pushing himself in an effort to keep up with the relentless pressure Spence Jr. figures to implement come fight night.
In true Pacquiao fashion, he choose to stay away from any sort of pre-fight trash talk and only hopes that Spence Jr. is putting in the work behind closed doors.
“Do your training and focus so that we can give a good fight to the fans. It’s nothing personal, we’re just doing our job.”