Manny Pacquiao, the last boy scout
Manny Pacquiao must be swearing on a boy scout’s honor that he will not be part of a whirlwind weekend hype ever again to size up a possible opponent for his next fight.
Pacquiao, along with a few confidants, traveled all the way from Manila to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to sit at ringside on Sunday, PH time and watch Errol Spence defend his IBF welterweight belt with a dominating performance against four-division champion Mikey Garcia.
The WBA “regular” welterweight king later said he was not perturbed one bit by what he saw this past weekend.
Spence was “something of a pretty puncher,” Pacquiao intimated to veteran boxing writer Nick Giongco after the fight. “But he doesn’t really hit that hard.”
Pacquiao was unimpressed, but tagged Spence a worthy opponent just the same. Spence in turn, lapped up the prospect of facing the 40-year old fighter-cum Senator of the realm.
A bout with a future Hall-of-Famer is a “no-brainer,” Spence said in an interview shown on YouTube. Besides, there is a huge dividend, in terms of exposure and purse to fight “a crossover” warrior like Pacquiao.
A clash with a fearless and ageless opponent is like a “double-edged sword,” according to the 29-year old native of nearby DeSoto, Texas. But Spence said a triumph over the legendary Filipino ring icon could signal the “passing of the torch” to a new generation of fighters like him.
Pacquiao’s work as a Philippine senator offers him limited windows to pursue boxing, and one of those windows happens to be in July.
“I can fight in July,” Spence proclaimed moments after he conquered Garcia, with a caveat that the prospective bout could send Manny off into the sunset clutching his retirement check.
Many observers say they find the 5-foot-10 Spence too big and powerful for Pacquiao.
Bob Arum, the eight-division world champion’s former promoter, threw his two-cents in and agreed that Manny should avoid Spence like the plague.
Arum said Pacquiao should instead tangle with either Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia, but not Spence or WBO welter champ Terence Crawford that he promotes.
“Manny doesn’t really want to fight Crawford. And the question is should he? It’s not like he’s a spring chicken, he’s a guy in his 40s and that means something. A guy in his 40s can run the risk of injury,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.
“I think if you put him in with a Porter, not an elite welterweight, and Manny can probably handle him or not get hurt. Or Danny Garcia who doesn’t really punch very hard, and that would be a good fight for Manny. But Crawford or Spence is a bridge too far, truthfully.”