By Dan Ambrose: Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach thinks IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr may never fight again following the eye injury he sustained while training for his aborted fight against the Filipino star this Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Interestingly, the reason Roach doubts whether Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KOs) can continue his career isn’t entirely due to his torn left retinal eye injury he sustained last week during a sparring session.
Roach believes that Spence isn’t the same fighter he once was since this terrible car crash in October 2019 in Dallas, Texas, and he thinks there are lingering issues for him still.
Is Spence’s career over?
If Spence didn’t come back from his eye injury, it would cheat Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) out of a chance of beating him before the Filipino star retires.
Pacquiao wanted to defeat Spence before hanging up his gloves, and who knows whether he’ll ever get the chance to attempt to do so.
“He had surgery. That’s great because once he had the accident, it’s over,” said Freddie Roach to Fighthype on Errol Spence. “Maybe, he’ll never fight again from the car accident. Let’s face it, I don’t think that’s over yet,” said Roach.
In fairness to Spence, he’s already fought once since his car crash, beating Danny Garcia by a 12 round unanimous decision last December.
While Spence didn’t look as sharp as he’d been in the past, he was still good enough to beat the hard-hitting Danny ‘Swift’ by a decisive win.
It might be good for Roach and Pacquiao if Spence doesn’t come back from his eye injury because if he does, he could beat the Filipino star and possibly knock him out.
Before Manny can think of fighting Spence, he’s got to defeat WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) this Saturday night in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Most of the boxing world views this as a gimme for Pacquiao against the Cuban fighter Ugas, but we’ll have to see.
Pacquiao is 42 and hasn’t fought in two years since 2019. Even though oddsmakers and the fans have Pacquiao easily winning against Ugas, you don’t know.
Ugas has a lot of talent; he’s young, powerful, and stayed active with his career. Pacquiao isn’t young, hasn’t stayed active, and he’s not a super-powerful fighter.
The last time Pacquiao knocked out an opponent was in 2009 in his premature stoppage win over Miguel Cotto in a fight that shouldn’t have been stopped.
Ugas is dangerous for Pacquiao
“It’s not the fight that we wanted, but it’s still a good fight,” said Mikey Garcia to ESNEWS on the Pacquiao vs. Ugas contest.
“I think Pacquiao wins with his speed, combinations, footwork, but I think Ugas is going to be more motivated than ever, and he’s going to do what he can to try and win.
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for him. Decision,” said Mikey when asked how Pacquiao beats Yordenis.
“If Pacquiao still has what he’s shown in the past, he should win. If he still has a little bit of what he’s shown in the past.
“He’s big, strong, loose, and that’s a dangerous opponent,” Mikey said when asked what makes Ugas so dangerous for Pacquiao.
Ugas is very dangerous for Pacquiao because he’s got the power, size and he’s motivated to win. This is by far the biggest fight of Ugas’s 11-year professional career, and he’s going to be fighting tooth & nail to get the win.
For Pacquiao, it doesn’t mean as much taking this fight with Ugas because he’s not facing a big name like he had been when Spence was still scheduled as his opponent.