Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr: Elite Legend vs. Elite Champion
By Marcus Foulkes: The 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s and 2020’s. Flyweight, Super Bantamweight, Featherweight, Super Featherweight, Lightweight, Super lightweight, Welterweight, and Super Welterweight. These are the decades, and these are the weight divisions in which Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, the ring legend better known as Manny ‘Pac Man’ Pacquiao, has been recognized as a world champion.
Just take a moment to digest those words and really let them sink in.
8 divisions, 4 decades….. on paper, it sounds remarkable; on video, it is even more so.
Not unbeatable, as several opponents can attest, most notably Juan Manuel Marquez, who at the end of a phenomenal 4 fight saga, handed Manny his most notable defeat to date and in devastating fashion too.
Manny Pacquiao is my personal all-time favorite fighter, so watching him be dropped in such brutal fashion was gut-wrenching and was my personal all-time low point in all my years as an avid fan of boxing.
The Pac Man could quite easily have retired there and then, and not a single fan could, or would have denied him the respect he’d commanded up to then, but this wasn’t to be the case, and the mighty Pac Man chose to go on.
I feel selfish for saying it, but I’m delighted he did choose to continue his awe-inspiring career because, if anything, it actually helped him as a fighter.
That heavy KO loss helped morph Pacquiao into a fighter that is much more defensively sound while still attaining the blistering offense that has overwhelmed so many fighters that have been unlucky enough to be on the receiving end.
The problem is, maintaining that pace over 12 rounds against a truly elite level operator who he himself possesses an array of offensive and defensive capabilities that have swept aside all comers thus far.
That is exactly what Manny Pacquiao is attempting to do on August 21st, 2021.
Not content with his world title-winning performance put in against the world-class but inactive Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Manny has decided that he’s not done showing the world that he is still quite literally a boxing phenom, a freak of nature.
I was extremely impressed and elated when Pacquiao’s hand was raised against ‘One Time,’ but I’m also no idiot.
Pacquiao is still a beast, even at 42. Still, Keith Thurman was there for the taking after the turbulent few years he’d gone through leading up to their fight, the two biggest problems being the injuries suffered and subsequent inactivity that followed.
Even though Manny showed he still has the power, and in spurts the speed and footwork to trouble and defeat most of the active welterweights today, he’s definitely not the Manny Pacquiao of, say 2007 to 2012.
Father time seems to finally be grinding away at the Philippine boxing sensation, and there are two individuals that, for me, pose a serious threat – Terence Crawford and, yes, his next opponent Errol Spence Jr.
As good as Manny’s victory over Thurman was, I think even a Manny fanboy like me can easily admit that Errol is no Keith Thurman.
After nearly killing himself in his supercar horror smash, ‘The Truth’ came back to dominate Danny Garcia in a performance that showed us all that he’s still the man at 147lbs, and as a Manny fanboy, that worries me greatly.
The power, the timing, the core strength, the range, the precision, and fighting dog spirit, it was all on show against ‘Swift,’ and Errol looked as strong as ever.
I’d go as far as saying Errol looked better than ever, and again, that worries me greatly.
Manny should now be happily retired, but again he’s pushing himself against the best fighters possible, trying to add to a legacy that is already carved into stone.
He’s courageous, brave, and massively talented, and some may say he’s completely nuts, but he’s Manny Pacquiao. If he himself believes he can dethrone the quite scarily equipped Errol Spence Jr, then I guess ultimately, who are we to argue?
Throughout the many years and countless fights we’ve been blessed with, for the most part, Manny has shown time and time (and time and time and time) again that he is capable of things other fighters and mere mortals can only dream of.
After what I’ve had the privilege of witnessing throughout Manny’s jaw-dropping career, I’ve learned that if he’s throwing his fists, it’s near impossible not to back him.
Manny Pacquiao VS Errol Spence Jr – The best fighting the best, just as it should be.
August 21st can’t come quick enough.
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