By: Hans Themistode
The smiles across boxing fan’s faces instantly turned to a look of worry. Just a few days ago, former eight-division world titlist, Manny Pacquiao, announced that he would be taking on unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr. on August 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For as great as Pacquiao has been throughout the course of his career, at the age of 42, most of the boxing world believes he could be biting off more than he can chew. From a physical standpoint, Pacquiao figures to be at a major disadvantage. Not only will Spence Jr. walk into their showdown with a five inch height and reach advantage but his rough and rugged style could make it a very long night for Pacquiao.
Still, while many are plunking down their money on the side of Spence Jr., Robert Garcia isn’t ready to count him out just yet. Not only does the long-time trainer believe Pacquiao has what it takes to pick up the win, but he also wouldn’t be surprised if it happened before the end of the final bell.
“I believe it,” said Garcia when asked if Pacquiao could stop Spence Jr. during an interview with ESNews. “Pacquiao is f*cking fast, strong and he hits hard. Why can’t he drop him? He’s knocked out 154 pounders.”
While the words of Garcia may come across as ludicrous to most, he’s speaking from a position of experience. Garcia witnessed numerous sparring sessions between both his younger brother/former four-division titlist, Mikey Garcia and Pacquiao. In addition to that, Garcia watched helplessly from his head coaching chair as Pacquiao dismantled Brandon Rios over the course of 12 rounds in 2013. It was those experiences, paired with observing Pacquiao destroy much larger fighters, that gives Garcia the confidence to say that the same could happen to Spence Jr.
“He beat the sh*t out of (Miguel) Cotto, he beat the sh*t out of (Antonio) Margarito, (Oscar) De La Hoya he beat the shit out of him. Yea that was years ago so maybe he’s not the same but just two years ago he dropped Keith Thurman.”
With De La Hoya already in the boxing Hall of Fame and Cotto possibly on his way, Spence Jr. could prove to be just another oversized opponent that Pacquiao handles with ease. Still, considering the manner in which the Dallas native destroys his opponents, including his most recent one-sided beating of former two-division titlist Danny Garcia in December of 2020, he’s firmly entrenched as a solid favorite heading into their showdown.
For Garcia, not only does he believe Pacquiao has all of the tools to shock the world but more than anything, he simply reveres the Filipino native. With that said, if forced to make a pick, he’ll be betting against him this time around.
“I’m still picking Spence but Pacquiao still has a chance at beating him.”