By Jim Maltzman: Manny Pacquiao started training camp on Thursday for his August 21st fight against IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is still showing the same fast feet and hands that he had throughout his long 26-year pro career. This will be bad for Spence if Pacquiao deals him his first defeat.
Boxing fans have made a big deal about Pacquiao coming off of a 2-year layoff to take this fight with Spence.
But what people are forgetting is that Spence has fought just once in the last two years himself, and he didn’t look good in his last fight.
That could be bad news for Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), as he didn’t look overly impressive in his last against Danny Garcia in December of last year.
Spence was slow on his feet, and he took a lot of shots from the former two-division world champion Garcia. For Spence, that was his second consecutive less sparking performance.
Ideally, you would want to look a lot better going into a fight against Pacquiao because he will be taking advantage of Errol’s slow feet and reaction time.
Spence is seen as the favorite with the oddsmakers, but that doesn’t matter. This is Pacquiao we’re talking about, and he could take advantage of the flaws in Spence’s game that Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia exposed.
Robert Guerrero: Manny’s speed hasn’t diminished
“I think it’s going to be great, two legends going at it,” said Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero to ESNEWS on the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight.
“You can never count Pacquiao out. Filipinos at 40-years-old are like 20, man. Pacquiao has to just be Pacquiao,” said Guerrero when asked what Manny has to do to beat Spence.
“When he fought Thurman, everyone was saying, ‘He’s a big guy,’ but then all of a sudden, you saw Thurman on his a**.
“Those fast hands and the last thing to go is your punching power. A lot of people don’t realize how herky-jerky he is. So you have to try and get a gauge on that,” said Guerrero.
Robert sparred Pacquiao in the past, and he knows firsthand how difficult it is to deal with his speed and foot movement. Guerrero doesn’t see any slowing of Pacquiao’s speed, which is pretty important Speed is the main thing that Pacquiao has going for him against Spence.
He’s not going to be able to match the 5’9″ Spence for size or reach in this fight.
Xander Zayas picks Pacquiao to beat Spence
“That’s a great fight. I have Manny Pacquiao winning that fight,” said welterweight Xander Zayas to Fino Boxing. “Manny Pacquiao is athletic, and at 42-years-old, he still moves like he’s 20.
“He still has the speed and the power, and I think he’s going to give Errol Spence a good fight, and I believe he’s going to win. 100%,” Zayas said when asked if he’s picking Manny Pacquiao to beat Spence.
“He’s been doing it for so long, an eight-time world champion. Man, he’s been doing it for so long, and it’s something you don’t lose.
“When you’re athletic, and you have what it takes to be at the highest level, you can do it for however long you want to do it.
“I think he’s that guy. I think it depends on how you look at it. If you’re a Pacquiao fan, you go for Pacquiao,” said Zayas.
Pacquiao has so much experience, and he knows just when and where to tag his opponents. We saw that with the way Pacquiao dropped Keith Thurman in the first round in their fight in July 2019, and then he later hurt him with a body shot in the 10th.