By Jeff Aronow: Newly crowned WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire believes Manny Pacquiao can beat IBF/WBA welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr in their fight two months from now on August 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite his many accomplishments, many boxing fans are counting out the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
They look at Pacquiao’s advanced age of 42, inactivity, and lack of size at 5’5 1/2″ vs. the 5’9″ Spence (27-0, 21 KOs). Pacquiao will have been out of the ring for 25 months by the time he faces the 31-year-old Spence on August 21, and that’s definitely not a good thing for someone as old as him.
Spence has already proven that he’s capable of easily outboxing a master boxer the same height and reach as Pacquiao with his lopsided 12 round unanimous decision win over 5’6″ Mikey Garcia.
The former four-division world champion Mikey (40-1, 30 KOs) couldn’t get near Spence to land his shots due to his powerful jab and movement. If Spence chooses to fight Pacquiao in the same manner that he did Mikey, it could be a long night for the Filipino star.
Donaire says Pacquiao can beat Spence
“He can do it,” said Donaire to ESNEWS about Pacquiao being able to beat Spence. “That’s one of those guys that no one believed in, and when he showed up, everyone loved him.
“I’m glad that I was able to do what I did in there, and I’m grateful for the support,” Donaire said in reacting to his knockout win over Nordine Oubaali last Saturday night.
Pacquiao can win this fight but ONLY if Spence chooses to go toe-to-toe with him, and brawl the way he did in his last fight against Danny Garcia. If Spence boxes Pacquiao as he did in his fight with Mikey Garcia, it’s going to be a one-sided affair.
Spence has too much size and boxing skills for Pacquiao to beat him by a decision. Really, the main chance Pacquiao has to win is if Spence wants to entertain the fans by brawling with Pacquiao, which he’s likely to do unless things start falling apart for him.
Spence isn’t going to let himself get beaten up the way that Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and Antonio Margarito did against Pacquiao if he can’t handle his ability.
If things go badly for Spence in the first half of the fight, he’ll box Pacquiao and frustrate him the way that Floyd Mayweather Jr did in their fight in 2015.
Manny will need to use angles & speed
“With Mikey Garcia, he outboxed one of the best boxers around,” said Chris Algieri to Fighthype about Spence. “Kell Brook, he fought him. That was Kell Brook’s chance.
“He [Spence] fought him, bust his eye, and made him quit. He boxed him until he slept him,” Algieri said about Spence’s fight with Leonard Bundu.
“He’s [Pacquiao] going to have to use his angles and his speed like with everything else and his timing. But it’s tough because you got a guy [Spence] that is bigger, longer, and has great timing too.
“He’s got great judge of range and distance. I think that may be the most difficult thing in dealing with Spence for Pacquiao is dealing with that distance and his judgment.
“The one with the power in this fight is Pacquiao. Yeah, speed kills. Speed with the power. His punches are shocking. Thurman, Mosley, everyone is like, ‘What the hell. Does he have bricks for hands? It’s crazy.’ They’re fast.
“Spence is more of a thudding, physically strong, hits hard with everything, throws a lot of punches. He’s one of the only top guys that throw combinations.
“A lot of guys are one-punch guys. He throws combinations and he stays on it. His conditioning is phenomenal.
“That would be the difference. It’s the one punch vs. the break you down type. Great body puncher.
“Manny has some trouble with body punching,” Algieri said. “[Antonio] Margarito and [Miguel] Cotto, that was the only thing that he was able to do with a couple of body shots. Margarito that was literally the only punches he landed,” Algieri said.
If Pacquiao starts landing shots repeatedly by using his speed and angles to attack Spence, we’re likely going to see Errol utilize his jab to control the fight from the outside.
Spence won’t let Pacquiao land shots at will against him if he realizes that he’s too slow to hit him back. The 2012 U.S Olympian Spence isn’t too proud to box Pacquiao if he has to.
Crawford misses out on Pacquiao fight
“I’m sure his heart sunk when he got the news,” Algieri said about Terence Crawford not getting the Pacquiao fight. “One good thing is that chip he has on his shoulders is going to get bigger.
“Use that thing for motivation. Age catches up with everybody, but we’re not on the same scale.
“We’re all different things, different genetics, different lifestyles, different mindsets are more important than anything at the highest level.
“It doesn’t matter for Bernard. Sergio Martinez, it didn’t matter for him until it mattered. Everyone is different and you got to go case by case,” said Algieri.
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank tried to negotiate a fight between him and Pacquiao recently, but the money failed to come through to stage it in Abu Dhabi.
Arum could have brought the Pacquiao-Crawford fight to the U.S, and he wasn’t willing to take the risk of it not selling there.
With the huge guaranteed purses that Crawford and Pacquiao would have gotten for the fight, Arum might have taken a bath if the match failed to sell out a large U.S venue and bring in pay-per-view buys.
With Arum failing to put the fight together, the 33-year-old Crawford may have lost his last chance to fight Pacquiao. If Pacquiao gets beaten decisively by Spence, he’ll likely retire from the sport.
It’s highly unlikely that Pacquiao will turn around and choose to fight Crawford coming off a loss to Spence.
If anything, we might see Pacquiao return to the ring to fight someone like Mikey Garcia or a rematch with Keith Thurman.
In other words, Pacquiao would choose someone that would give him a better chance of selling tickets and bringing in PPV buys than a fight with Crawford. Those guys aren’t on the level of Thurman right now in terms of ability at 147, but they’re popular.
Algieri to fight in August
“August I’m told, we’re waiting on a date,” Algieri said when asked when he’ll be returning to the ring. “It’s going to be exciting to be back.
It’s going to be a Triller card, probably the Evander Holyfield show. Not a YouTuber or UFC guy. I’m fighting a boxer. That’s one thing. I don’t need to fight, I just like to fight,” said Algieri.
37-year-old former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri (24-3, 9 KOs) will be returning to the ring in August against a still to be determined opponent.
Algieri hasn’t fought in two years since his sixth-round stoppage win over British domestic level fighter Tommy Coyle in June 2019. Although Algieri has won his last three fights, he’s done against lower-level opposition and not top-tier guys.
Interestingly, the last time Algieri fought a top 15 fighter, he was blown out in five rounds by Spence in April 2016. That was a long, long time ago, and it might not be a good idea for Algieri to take on a top 15 140-pounder after his layoff.