Throughout his illustrious career, Manny Pacquiao never took the easy way out. From 2008-2011, Pacquiao had some tough fights, including battles against Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Manuel Marquez(2x).
During that timeframe, Pacquiao went 9-0.
In 2019, Pacquiao, at the age of 40, defeated then-undefeated WBA 147-pound champion Keith Thurman by split decision.
Now, at age 42, Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) will try to defy the odds one more time when he battles unified WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Errol Spence Jr.(27-0, 21 KOs) on August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).
“There were a lot of opportunities for me to pick an easier fight than this,” he said at a press conference on Sunday. “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.”
Pacquiao’s biggest fight in his career was a loss to Floyd Mayweather back in 2015, and recently, Mayweather said he would reach out to Spence to give him advice. However, according to Pacquiao, Spence won’t need that advice.
“I don’t think Errol needs advice from Floyd Mayweather,” Pacquiao said. “I believe that Errol is a better fighter than Mayweather. Errol can teach Floyd how to fight toe-to-toe.”
Pacquiao has been in with many great fighters over the years, and Spence will be one of the best he’s ever faced. The eight-division champion thinks the fight against Spence will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.
“I won’t predict another first-round knockdown like I had against Thurman,” Pacquiao said. “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.”
If Pacquiao can pull this one off, man, he could easily go down as the greatest of all time, especially when you consider his age and the type of fighter that he will battle on August 21.
Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions