Mikey Garcia previews Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr
By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia thinks Manny Pacquiao may have problems with Errol Spence’s southpaw stance when the two meet on August 21st on FOX PPV.
Mikey researched Pacquiao’s past fights and noted that he was held to a 12 round draw against southpaw Agapito Sanchez.
Since that fight, Pacquiao has only fought one southpaw in the last 21 years, and that was David Diaz in 2008, who he stopped in the ninth round. Diaz was never a major talent, though.
Ultimately, Mikey feels that IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) will send the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) down to his eighth career defeat on August 21. With that said, Mikey says Pacquiao will surprise boxing fans by being competitive.
If there is a knockout in the fight, Mikey sees Pacquiao being the one that scores it. He has the power, angles, and ability to catch Spence with a big shot.
Two years ago, Mikey was soundly beaten by Spence by a 12 round unanimous in March 2019. Thus far, that’s the only defeat on Mikey’s career record, which says a lot about Spence’s ability.
Mikey: Spence beats Pacquiao
“He’s very impressive; he’s had a great career,” said Mikey Garcia to K.O Artist Sports about Pacquiao.
“When he fought Thurman a couple of years ago, I was doing the broadcasting, and I asked him, ‘Manny, why would you choose a fight like Keith Thurman because he’s young, hungry, undefeated, and strong, very dangerous? When you’ve done it all in the sport, why do you continue picking these fights?’ And he said, ‘Because I can, I can still do more.’
“That just shows you that he’s the greatest for the reason. He’s not afraid, and he’s willing to keep challenging himself to the max. Challenging Errol Spence is probably the toughest fight for him, but he gladly accepts that challenge and accepts that fight.
“I think he’s going to have a very good fight also. I think he’s going to have a very good night.
“I feel that Spence beats him, but I still feel that Manny can do something in there and still surprise people. People think, ‘He’s too old, he’s too old. Spence is just too big and too good,'” said Mikey.
It probably won’t make Pacquiao’s boxing fans too happy learning that Mikey is siding with Spence, but he’s telling it like it is.
Mikey, 5’6″, is a similar height as Pacquiao, and he couldn’t do anything with Spence due to his size and powerful jab.
Pacquiao is quicker on his feet than Mikey, even at 42, so it’s possible that he could get to Errol often enough to beat him.
One gets the sense that Pacquiao will need a knockout to win this fight because he will not be able to land often enough to win many rounds.
If this was 2009 and Pacquiao was still the same fighter he was when he beat Ricky Hatton, he’d have a chance of beating Spence with his combination punching. However, I don’t think that version of Pacquiao exists any longer.
We haven’t seen the Pacquiao that did a job on Hatton for over a decade, and it would require him to drink from the Fountain of Youth to return to that form.
Pacquiao will win some rounds says, Mikey
“I believe Manny can still do something and still shock people,” said Mikey. “I feel Manny will have some success in a few of the rounds and still win some rounds and be competitive, but I’ve got to edge with Spence.
“I think that’s kind of like the consensus. A little bit of everything,” said Mikey on why he believes Spence will beat Pacquiao.
“The youth, the height, the reach, distance management, boxing IQ, and all of that will play into the fight. I think Spence will win a decision.
“It’s not an easy fight either. It’s going to be a close fight. He’ll probably have scorecards of 115-112 or something like that or 114-113 even.
“It could be a close fight. I don’t expect it to be a one-sided match-up like a lot of people here are claiming it to be and saying Spence is going to knock out Manny.
“I really don’t think so. I think if there is a knockout, it’s going to be Manny who ends up hurting Spence.
“People don’t give Manny enough chance. Manny is fast and very strong. He’s very strong; he’s got power.
“That’s why if there is a knockout, I probably bet on Manny getting the knockout vs. Spence getting the knockout. Spence wins by a decision by a short narrow match-up,” Mikey said.
If Spence takes his foot off the accelerator and choosing to slug with Pacquiao, he’ll give him a chance to win rounds and possibly score a knockout.
Pacquiao will need to take advantage of every opportunity he gets for him to win seven rounds. The way Spence fought Danny Garcia last December, Pacquiao would thrive if he fights him in the same manner.
Does Manny have problems with southpaws?
“That’s going to be interesting because a southpaw typically has trouble fighting another southpaw,” said Mikey when asked how Pacquiao and Spence deal with fighting another southpaw.
“Typically, they don’t fight against another southpaw. They fight against right-handed fighters.
“That could play a little bit into the fight, but they’re getting ready for one another, so obviously, they’re sparring with southpaws.
“They’ve had experience sparring before. I mean, they should be fine, but we’ll see on fight night. Sometimes that does play into the match-up.
“Manny, I think this is the second time he’s fighting a southpaw. I was looking at the record books.
“The last time he fought a southpaw, he had a draw twenty years ago or some s***. So you never know. Maybe he has trouble with a southpaw.
“He had some troubles with southpaws, so maybe that’s why he didn’t fight another southpaw before that.
“But, I mean, I think it’s a great match-up all around either way. It’s coming up in a few weeks,” said Mikey Garcia on the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight.
It’s impossible to conclude that Pacquiao struggles with southpaws based on his performance against Agapito Sanchez in 2001.
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