By Matt Lieberman: Next month’s mega-fight between IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr and Manny Pacquiao on August 21st will have the vacant Ring Magazine 147-lb title on the line for the clash.
This is a bit of a surprise that the Ring Magazine welterweight belt will be on the line because it’s a title that is usually fought over for when the two top elite guys in a division are battling. In this case, #1 Spence will be battling #3 Pacquiao for the Ring Magazine welterweight title.
Craword unlikely to face Spence or Pacquiao
Most boxing fans would argue the two best fighters at 147 are Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) and WBO champion Terence Crawford. That’s not a knockout on the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), but he is 42-years-old and hasn’t fought in two years since 2019.
Many boxing fans see Crawford as the #2 fighter in the 147-lb division. You can’t say Crawford is #1 because he only has one title compared to Spence’s two.
Additionally, Crawford’s 13-year resume is totally barren of high-level opposition. Crawford has somehow won world titles in three weight classes without ever fighting the elite guys.
The Ring Magazine’s staff’s decision to put their welterweight title on the line for the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight suggests they don’t have confidence that the fight’s winner will face Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs).
One huge roadblock that would prevent the Pacquiao-Spence winner from taking on Crawford is that he’s with Top Rank. In other words, Crawford is on the other side of the pond from Pacquiao and Spence.
While it’s true that Crawford’s contract with Top Rank is expected to expire in the fall, he’ll likely re-up for another hitch. Moreover, Crawford’s lack of popularity makes it undoable for him to get the 50-50 split that he would want against Pacquiao or Spence.
Judah picks Spence to beat Pacquiao
“I think it’s a good fight,” said Zab Judah to Fighthype about the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight on August 21st. “Spence is a young gorilla in the game now. It’s his time to be the best guy that he can be. There’s nothing to say.
“Manny Pacquiao has been great for boxing. He did the biggest for everything, but now it’s a time where we’re going to see a change,” Judah said about his view that Spence would win.
“I believe so [Spence will win]. I love Manny Pacquiao. I’m not fighting a young guy right now. I’m 43-years-old. Manny is right next to me [at 42].
“What is he doing fighting these young guys? He’s crazy. On paper, the young boy [Spence], he should come out victorious,” said Judah in picking Errol to beat Pacquiao.
It would be a storybook ending for Pacquiao to beat Spence next month and then retire with that victory.
Unfortunately, Spence’s youth, size, and power will likely be too much for Pacquiao. So instead of Manny retiring with a victory, he’s destined to hang up his gloves with a loss.