Manny Pacquiao – Errol Spence Jr come face-to-face for first time before Aug.21st fight
By Sean Jones: Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr came face-to-face for the first time during their kickoff press conference on Sunday in Los Angeles to promote their August 21st fight on Fox Sports pay-per-view.
As one would expect, the IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) was considerably taller than Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 Kos), and it quite visible when the two stood for their face-off.
Spence looked several divisions bigger than Pacquiao, who started his professional career in 1995 in the 105-lb weight class.
For the most part, Spence did most of the talking during the news conference, letting the interviewer know that he’s going to beat Manny.
He doesn’t see Pacquiao dropping him the way he did Keith Thurman in his previous fight in 2o19. Spence says he won’t leave his feet during their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao vs. Spence kickoff press conference quotes
“It’s definitely been tested in sparring, and it was definitely tested in the Danny Garcia fight,” said Spence when asked during the kickoff press conference on Sunday if his chin has been tested since his car accident.
“So I still have a great chin, but I feel that Manny Pacquiao will test it on August 21st,” said Errol.
“I don’t want to be overconfident in this fight because, as I said, Errol Spence is the type of opponent that you can’t underestimate,” said Pacquiao when asked if he’s going to test Spence’s chin.
“He’s good, he’s young, and his determination and passion for the sport are always there. His dedication and the way he trains, I saw it in his training.
“I already started training in the last week of May. So when I get here, I was off for two years. But I’ve been in boxing when I was 12-years-old until now.
“So it’s good for me that I have a layoff for two years. So when I got back to training, I feel like I got my focus and my dedication to my training that I have 100% condition for my drive.
“When you’re at this age, you need your body to have time to recover. When I was younger, I could push to the limit, but it’s not like that,” said Pacquiao.
Spence had his chin checked numerous times by the hard puncher Danny Garcia last December in his first fight back from his terrible car cash in 2019.
If there were any issues with Spence’s punch resistance, Garcia would have exposed it during their 12-round war.
Spence not underestimating Pacquiao
“I can push, push and push,” said Spence. “Just because he’s 42, it doesn’t mean nothing because he doesn’t get 20 pounds out of weight or he’s not doing outside things that distract him.
“I feel like he’s a boxer 24/7 year-round. So I feel like that helps him also with his age and things like that.
“That’s why he’s the same Manny Pacquiao for years and decades because he’s a guy that takes care of his body and is disciplined, as I said.
“So that’s what I’m looking for, the Manny Pacquiao that fought Keith Thurman and the Manny Pacquiao before that.
“So that’s why I’m going to train and train hard. I don’t believe in overtraining because your body is going to go what you’re adapted to. So I feel like I can’t overtrain,” said Spence.
“I’m not predicting that, but as I said, I’m doing my best to focus on my training, especially to focus my mind on winning the fight.
“That’s my goal,” said Pacquiao when asked if he’s going to try and drop Spence in the first round as he did to Keith Thurman in 2019.
Errol saw what happened to former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman when he fought Pacquiao in 2019. As such, Spence is not going to let Pacquiao surprise him in the same way he did with
Pacquiao has flaws, says Errol
“Of course, he’s got tendencies,” said Spence about Manny. “You’re going to find tendencies over his career span.
“He’s a guy that is going to go out there and fight, and when it’s time to buckle down, he’s going to fight. That could be a pro or a con, but he’s going to make it a fan-friendly great fight,” said Spence.
“We’ve got a couple of strategies that we can apply in the fight,” said Pacquiao when asked what plans he has to negate Spence’s body attacks.
“This is one of the biggest challenges of my career,” said Manny about his fight with Spence. “I can’t say it’s the biggest challenge because I have fought the best fighters in the world in Keith Thurman, De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, a lot of these great fighters.
“He’s one of the best; I can rate this [Spence] opponent. I’ve been in boxing for 25 years in my professional career, and I’ve been in boxing for 30 years.
“So I think I’ve already seen different styles and passions that I’ve encountered in the ring. I always consider this type of fight one of the top fights,” said Pacquiao.
The flaws that Spence wasn’t ready to take about in Pacquiao’s game are those many boxing fans are well aware of. Pacquiao tends to rush his opponents, throwing speedy combinations.
When Manny is coming forward, he’s vulnerable to getting tagged. We saw a buffed-up Juan Manuel Marquez knock Pacquiao out cold in their fourth fight in December 2012.
Manny’s power concerns Spence
“No, I don’t see myself ever getting knocked out. That’s something I don’t see,” Spence said when asked if Pacquiao can knock him out.
“We’re definitely going to be cautious and mindful that he does have power. He did knockdown Keith Thurman and hurt him with a body shot.
“We’re going to keep that in mind, but I’m not thinking that he can knock down or knock me out. I don’t think any fighter can knock me out.
“I definitely have the ability to finish him. So for me, it’s to say focused and win the fight.
“I feel like when you go out there and rush to go for a knockout, I feel like, even with my experience in the amateurs, you look sloppy, and something goes wrong, or you look like you’re trying too hard,” said Errol.
Spence has got to be concerned about Pacquiao’s speed and heavy hands because he’s a lot faster than him.
If Pacquiao can hit Spence with the kind of combinations he did Thurman, he might hurt him.
The thing is, we haven’t seen Spence fight anybody with the kind of hand speed and the ability to throw combinations the way he can.
Spence predicting victory over Manny
“For me, it’s to go at my own pace. If the knockout comes, go for it, and if it don’t, go for the victory. It’s going to be a great fight, an entertaining fight.
“Manny Pacquiao is going to bring it like he always does. He’s going to show a lot of heart and dedication, and it’s going to be a really entertaining fight for the fans.
“I’m definitely going to come away with a victory, whether it’s a stoppage or a win,” said Spence in making a prediction.
“I would like to invite all the fans to watch this fight, this prestigious fight,” said Pacquiao in making his closing comments.
“It’s going to be a good fight, a lot of action in the ring as we expected. I’m fighting one of the best fighters in boxing,” said Pacquiao.
While Pacquiao and his boxing fans might not like how Spence predicted victory, he’s got to say something to help promote the fight.
Spence isn’t as good of a talker as Thurman, so he won’t be able to single-handledly get boxing fans amped up about the fight as he did.
Neither of these guys will bring the same energy to promoting the match as Thurman did when he took on Pacquiao in July 2019. Thurman did all the work of creating interest for the match, and it paid off. The fight did really well, and they both made a lot of money.
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