It’s official: Pacquiao sets Aug. 21 bout vs two-belt champ Spence | Inquirer Sports
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It’s official: Pacquiao sets Aug. 21 bout vs two-belt champ Spence

/ 05:25 AM May 23, 2021

Manny Pacquiao celebrates his split-decision victory over Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP FILE PHOTO

Manny Pacquiao has no plans of taking an easy ride into the sunset.

The 42-year-old Philippine senator has picked double welterweight belt-holder and pound-for-pound A-lister Errol Spence Jr. as his next foe in what is seen as a huge risk as he enters the twilight of a spectacular boxing career.

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Both boxers’ camps and Pacquiao’s promoter Premier Boxing Champions, announced early Saturday the mega-fight happening on Aug. 21 in Las Vegas.

With MGM Grand as possible venue, the fight is expected to be the most significant for the sport in the time of coronavirus pandemic.

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The timing is perfect, too: A predicted full crowd in attendance as the United States goes full swing with its vaccination program and mainstream fight fans hungry for a big event after more than a year and a half in quarantine.

The choice of Spence, a 31-year-old southpaw with killer speed and knockout power, was a surprise considering that Pacquiao was supposed to be hanging his gloves anytime soon.

Boxing’s lone eight-division champion has been lined up second-tier opponents like Mikey Garcia and Danny Garcia.

Pacquiao was also pitted in a money-making crossover match against Conor McGregor or a showdown with welterweight top dog Terence Crawford. Both deals fell through.

Publicity

So Pacquiao picked Spence, younger by 12 years, taller by three inches and probably swifter than him, too, and set up a huge fight that could generate a lot of publicity—many see Pacquiao gearing for a possible presidential run in next year’s national elections.

Spence, the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation champ, last fought last December, scoring a unanimous decision over Danny. It was his first outing after figuring in a car accident that put him in critical condition.

Before the accident, Spence clashed with Shawn Porter, scoring a decision win in a fight that was said to be the best the division could offer at that time.

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“Done deal,” the Long Island, New York resident wrote on social media after the Pacquiao deal was announced. “See y’all in Vegas for the biggest fight of the year.”

Pacquiao also posted on his Instagram account a picture of his image side by side with that of Spence.

Many feel Pacquiao will be going into the match an underdog, like he was when he battled Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

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TAGS: Boxing, Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao
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