By Sean Jones: Bernard Hopkins predicts a victory for Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr over Manny Pacquiao for their fight on August 21st.
B-Hop doesn’t view it as an easy fight for IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) because Pacquiao is still fighting at a high level, even now at age 42.
Spence, 31, is fighting for the second time since his terrible car crash in Dallas, Texas, on October 10th, 2019. He didn’t look like the Spence of old in his first fight back against Danny Garcia last December.
But it had been over a year since Spence had last fought, so it’s not a surprise that he wasn’t 100% for the clash.
If the performance that we saw from Spence against Danny indicates how things are going to be for the remainder f his career, Pacquiao has a better than average chance of beating him.
Hopkins predicts a win for Spence
“I respect Pacquiao for taking the challenge. He’s going to be a problem for any fighter because of his ability, experience, and longevity of health. That’s key,” said Bernard Hopkins to Fighthype on the 42-year-od Manny.
“Errol Spence will be victorious. I believe Errol Spence is fighting on a different level of mentality, a second chance in life.
“He might not say it, or he might have said it already. But I’m pretty sure that every chance that he gets to reflect in everyday boxing and non-boxing, he will have that terrible accident that he can look at any time to know that he came from that and then go into the ring to fight somebody that said they were going to do something to you?
“It’s going to be hard to convince him, Errol Spence, that you’re going to be victorious. On top of that, his skills in the sweet science that you call boxing.
“So between the motivation of the second time in life, especially in sports where you need your bones, you need your body. You need all these things that could have been wasted or tragic.
“That there to me, along with his skills, that he’s learning and getting better, as I see it, I don’t see him [Spence] getting beat for a long time,” said Hopkins.
It’s an easy fight to predict going with the bigger, younger Spence over the 42-year-old Pacquiao. If this were Pacquiao from 2008 to 2010, Spence would be in serious trouble.
Pacquiao was so fast back then and unbeatable, even for a fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr.
For those who don’t remember, Floyd didn’t fight Manny until he’d already started showing signs of slippage from his losses to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez
Spence won’t have to deal with the blazing-fast Pacquiao that beat fighters like Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and Antonio Margarito.
Errol won’t have it easy
Those people are fools,” said Hopkins when told that Spence’s car accident took years off his life. “They don’t understand.
“He has the opportunity, he’s a threat, it’s not an easy win, but it will be a win [for Errol],” said Hopkins when asked if Pacquiao can beat Spence.
“If he makes it easy, it’s a whole different conversation. I think this is more than just a win-win.
“This is more of a statement fight [for Spence] that he can deal with a guy [Pacquiao] that has been in there with every style and not get frustrated as a young fighter, which Spence still is in spite of him overcoming.
“Normally, you take a fight like that [Pacquiao] three or four fights after he recovered [from the car accident]. But he only had one, right?” said Hopkins.
Pacquiao’s (62-7-2, 39 KOs) speed, movement, and the unpredictable angles that he’ll be attacking will make things complicated for Spence.
Errol will have to use his jab and do his best at keeping Pacquiao on the outside as much as possible for him to win.
If Manny can get in close frequently, his speed advantage will give Spence fits and may prove to be too much for him.
It’s helpful that Spence has prior experience having fought two guys with roughly the same size as Pacquiao in Mikey Garcia and Leonard Bundu. Errol figured both of those guys out quickly and dominated with his size.
Hopkins predicts Fury vs. Wilder 3
“If Wilder comes in there with the mentality of, ‘I’m going to get back,’ and he fights with the way he wants to get back what was done [to him by Fury], he’s going to have a real problem,” said Hopkins when asked if Wilder can beat Fury in their trilogy match on July 24th.
“You look good in front of a bag, in front of a mirror in the ring out of the ring, you would look great,” said Hopkins when told that Wilder has looked good working out with new coach Malik Scott.
“But when you go inside that ring when that bell rings, that’s when it all really counts.
“I’m pretty sure Wilder is ready [for Fury], but I’m talking about this [Hopkins points to his head]. I’m talking about the emotions about it.
“I believe he’s extremely emotional, more than Fury. I think Wilder is more emotional. He’s got to go in with a non-emotional approach. I’m going to say it again.
“He has to go in there with a non-emotional approach because every time he got in trouble [against Fury], he got in trouble because he wanted to get you back.
“He’s got to do whatever he feels right for himself. I’m pretty sure for him, it was probably the right thing to do,” said Hopkins about Wilder wearing headphones during his recent press conference with Fury.
Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is already sounding emotional, with him talking about his mind feeling very “violent” right now and wanting to send Fury into retirement on July 24th.
It might be impossible for Wilder to be calm about this fight because he was so thoroughly beaten by Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs).
Basically, Wilder was beaten up and humiliated by Fury in their fight last year in February 2020. Fury has seemingly enjoyed himself, reveling in his victory over Wilder and making snide comments about what he did to him.
It wouldn’t have been nearly as bad for the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder if he’d lost a 12 round unanimous decision instead of being stopped.
As long as Wilder doesn’t make the same mistakes as last time by backing up against the ropes and allowing Fury to pound away on him, he could win.
Above all, Wilder cannot afford to be stationary for any length of time against Fury because he’s giving away too much size to the 260+ lb Fury.
I doubt that Fury will come into the fight in the 270s again, but he’s likely to be in the mid-260s and will enjoy a 30+ pound weight advantage.