With more than two years from his last fight, legendary eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring for another tall order.
In a surprise announcement Friday, Pacquiao confirmed he will face unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr on August 21 in Las Vegas.
You might be skeptical given Tyson Fury’s announcement that Anthony Joshua’s fight was going on before it quickly derailed, but this one looks legitimate. Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reported that Pacquiao signed the contract and that it is an agreement made for a PBC on FOX PPV.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is one of the greatest boxers of all time and his accomplishments span over 20 years and across eight weight classes. His latest fight saw him win an exciting split decision over Keith Thurman to become the WBA welterweight champion, after taking Thurman down for the first time in his career. The pandemic obviously ended all fighting for him in 2020, but he was linked with possible clashes with Ryan Garcia, Mikey Garcia and Terence Crawford before that deviation to Spence surfaced. At 42, he may not be in the prime of his life anymore, but if he did manage to counter Spence, it would be one of the greatest achievements of his already highly decorated career.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) became the IBF champion in 2017 when he stopped Kell Brook in Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England. Successful defenses against Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson and Mikey Garcia quickly followed before unifying the titles in an entertaining split decision over then WBC champion Shawn Porter in 2019. Two weeks after beating Porter, Errol was lucky enough to be alive after stepping into a single. -drunk car accident. He finally returned to the ring last December and defended his belts by unanimous decision against Danny Garcia.
This is without a doubt the most prestigious game of Errol’s career and we’ll see how much Pacquiao left in the tank. It should be a fascinating fight.