Pacquiao: Spence is one of the biggest challenges in my career

Published July 12, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Manny Pacquiao isn’t the one to underestimate any of his opponents.

Manny Pacquiao (left) and Errol Spence Jr. face off during the PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) on FOX press conference in Los Angeles, California. (Photo from PBC on FOX’s Twitter account)

In fact, Pacquiao has nothing but good words for his foe Errol Spence Jr., the unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion, ahead of their mega-bout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21.

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Keeping a calm demeanor in between huge smiles, Pacquiao faced the global media for the first time since beating Keith Thurman in July 2019 during the PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) on FOX press conference in Los Angeles, California.

“One of the biggest challenge[s] in my career,” Pacquiao said of Spence. “I cannot say the biggest challenge because I have been fighting the best fighter[s] in the world like Keith Thurman, [Oscar] De la Hoya, Miguel Cotto, lots of those fighters. [Spence is] one of the best I think.

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“I’ve been in boxing for 25 years in my professional career. I think I already saw the different kinds of style and passion that I encountered in the ring. This kind of fight, I consider this as one of the top [fights],” added the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who holds a 62-7-2, record on top of 39 knockouts.

Spence, for his part, is determined to finish Pacquiao and at the same time not to be knocked out by the Filipino boxing legend.

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The 31-year-old Spence, who also has the same gentle approach during the presser, still remains cautious on what Pacquiao, an eight-division world boxing champion, can bring into the ring despite his age.

While the respect is definitely evident from both ends, Spence believes that he has the “ability to finish” Pacquiao at his own pacing, saying: “For me, it’s to win the fight and to focus on the fight.”

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Pacquiao and Spence will dispute for the IBF and WBC titles along with the vacant The Ring belt.

Pacquiao last saw action against Thurman in July 2019 while Spence remains unbeaten in 27 matches with 21 KOs with the latest win coming from Danny Garcia via unanimous decision last December.

READ: Manny Pacquiao: I’ll be needing more stamina vs Errol Spence

Due to his inactivity, Pacquiao got stripped of his super WBA welterweight belt last January and the world boxing sanctioning body reportedly rejected his appeal for reinstatement on July 10.