Like many of Manny Pacquiao’s previous opponents, Errol Spence Jr. is promising to make his upcoming Aug. 21 showdown against the Filipino fighter the swan song of the future Hall of Fame fighter’s legendary career.
“I’m preparing my body to get into training camp mode and do the best that I can, to get into the best shape that I can, and be as strong as I can, to knock out Manny Pacquiao and send him off into retirement,” Spence told Barbershop Conversations.
The WBC and IBF welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOS) also shared that the Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) fight will have VADA testing, and there is no rematch clause in the contract.
“I think he’s going off to become president of the Philippines, or something like that,” Spence said, perhaps hinting at the 42-year-old Pacquiao’s plans for what’s in store after the summer showdown.
“I expect the same Manny Pacquiao that we get every time. He’ll come to fight, and I’ll definitely come to fight. I’ll be a lot stronger and physically better than my previous fight, [a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia in December]. If [Pacquiao is] looking at [the tape of the Garcia fight], he should be looking at the Chris Algieri, Lamont Peterson and the Kell Brook fight. If he's looking at the last fight looking for weakness, he's going to be in trouble.”
The 31-year-old southpaw Spence said he was preparing for a fight with Yordenis Ugas, but Pacquiao took precedence once it was proven a deal could get done with the senator.
"Ugas was in play. If I didn’t get the Pacquiao fight, I was going to fight Ugas for the WBA [welterweight title]. Now that I got the Pacquiao fight, [the Ugas fight is] on the backburner,” said Spence.
Pacquiao has not fought since beating Keith Thuman via split decision on July 20, 2019.
During the pandemic, boxing’s only eight-division champion was linked to potential fights with the likes of Mikey Garcia, Ryan Garcia, Conor McGregor and Terence Crawford.
Ultimately, it was Spence who won the prize to fight Pacquiao on FOX Sports pay-per-view in a still-to-be-announced location in Las Vegas.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com