Although it has yet to be made official, Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent is looming to be Errol Spence Jr. The Filipino boxing icon was in Dallas when the undefeated American fighter demolished Mikey Garcia, a dominant showing that hardly intimidated the eight-time division champion.
“He doesn’t really hit that hard,” said Pacquiao to Manila Bulletin Sports recently. In fact, he even dug deep to compare Spence Jr. to someone he fought before – Lehlo Ledwaba.
Ledwaba may not be a familiar name to boxing fans. Both clashed on June 23, 2001. It was Pacquiao’s United States debut where he won via TKO in the sixth round to win the IBF Super Bantamweight title.
And while Pacquiao likens Spence Jr. to Ledwaba, there is a big difference – the age. At the time, Pacquiao was on the rise and only 22 years old. Should his camp work things out with Spence, the Pac-Man faces someone who is 11 years younger than him. Pacquiao is now 40-years-old.
Hence, it could all boil down to the conditioning Pacquiao will be in. The boxer-senator has shown little signs of slowing down. However, age may still play a factor.
But Pacquiao has rebuffed the numbers game. In fact, he showed that when he put on a dominant showing against a 29-year-old Adrien Broner back in November. Prior to that, there was also Jesse Vargas who he faced back in 2016. He won both fights via unanimous decision.
Pacquiao has never been known to back down from a fight and the only thing that could spoil the showdown right now is Floyd Mayweather Jr. Most know that a rematch has been up in the air ever so often and the retired undefeated American was ironically also present during the Spence vs. Garcia bout.
On the part of Spence, a potential unification fight with WBC champion Shawn Porter could happen instead, Boxing Scene said.
As one can see, there are plenty of things to consider. If Spence opts to go for a unification bout, Pacquiao could end up looking for another dance partner. If not Mayweather or Spence, another name that has been inserted into the fray is Keith Thurman. If that happens, it would end up becoming a battle of WBA champions, possibly in July.
Pacquiao has plenty of options, same with Spence Jr. Hence, it may all depend on the meetings Sean Gibbons has up ahead. And at the top of the list is Al Haymon, who works with Spence, WBA champion Keith Thurman, WBC champion Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and several other top welterweight names.