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Derrick James says Pacquiao changed mind about fighting Spence after seeing how good he was

Errol Spence Jr Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao changed his mind about wanting to fight Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence after seeing how good he was two years ago when he fought Mikey Garcia in Arlington, Texas, according to trainer Derrick James.

Derrick says the Filipino star came specifically to the Spence-Garcia fight with the idea of fighting the winner of the contest, but after he saw how exceptional Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) in pitching a near shutout of the over-matched Mikey, he changed his mind and decided against taking that fight.

In other words, Pacquiao didn’t fancy his chances against Errol. James is still hoping Pacquiao chooses to fight Spence, but he’s not sure when that’ll happen.

Pacquiao has been inactive since his victory over Keith Thurman in July 2019, and there’s talk that he could be fighting an exhibition match against lightweight Ryan Garcia next.

Fighting an exhibition against Ryan won’t get Pacquiao ready for a fight against Spence.

If anything, it might cause Pacquiao’s skills to erode because he’ll potentially pick up bad habits against Ryan and or the small sparring partners he works with to prepare for that match.

Pacquiao changed his mind about Spence fight

“I think it’s a possibility,” said Derrick James to Fighthub that Pacquiao might fight Spence. “It could happen next year. Manny came to Dallas when Errol fought Mikey, and he said he wanted to fight the winner.

Errol Spence Jr Manny Pacquiao

“But when he [Pacquiao] saw how good Errol looked, he was like ‘Oh.’ He came to the fight specifically to fight the winner, but I think he changed his mind when he got in the ring. Manny Pacquiao has been saying he wants to fight Errol. That’s cool,” said Derrick.

James isn’t the only one that thinks Pacquiao had a change of heart after he saw how good Spence was. Many boxing fans feel that Pacquiao decided that he wanted no part of fighting Spence when he saw what he did against Mikey Garcia.

Spence is still a possibility for Pacquiao to fight in 202, but it’s not looking good right now. The two names that have been mentioned as possibilities for Pacquiao’s next fight are Ryan Garcia and Conor McGregor.

Although McGregor is seemingly out of the running for a fight against Pacquiao after losing last Saturday night, you can’t rule out him still a possibility. You also can’t rule out former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia as an option for Pacquiao.

These are all winnable fights for Manny, but you can’t say the same thing about him against Spence. That one has a massacre written all over it unless Spence takes it easy on the 42-year-old. 

James not sure who Spence faces next

“Going to Errol’s options,  I think that he has several options,” James said about Spence’s next match. “I have no idea who he’s going to fight. He does have a mandatory with the WBC and the IBF, whoever they are. We’ll see. I don’t pick them, I just get them prepared.

Errol Spence Jr Manny Pacquiao

“You heard Bob Arum say he’s losing money on [Terence Crawford’s] fights. He thinks it’s going to be a great fight, but who’s going to pay him for the fight? What would make an Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford fight bigger?

Even when he fought Mikey, people in boxing thought Mikey was going to beat him [Spence]. Errol didn’t beat him because he was stronger than him.

He beat him because he had the skill-set to beat him, not his physicality. He used his skill-set and his technique.

“That’s what he beat him with. He didn’t totally beat him up. He out-boxed him and beat him up,” said James about Spence using his boxing skills to beat Mikey Garcia.

It’s anyone’s guess who Spence faces next. The only thing you can know for sure when it comes to Spence is the fighters he WON’T be facing next. Pacquiao’s head the list of guys that Spence won’t be fighting next, but not because he doesn’t want the fight.




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