BOXING

Will Manny Pacquiao Defend His WBA Welterweight Title Against The Undefeated Errol Spence Jr?

Will Manny Pacquiao Defend His WBA Welterweight Title Against The Undefeated Errol Spence Jr?

Source: ESPN

Errol Spence Jr. retained his undefeated record and improved to 25-0 with a win over Mikey Garcia this past Saturday. The end result was not unexpected as opponent Garcia, who entered the match with a perfect 39-0, was moving up two weight classes to fight Spence.

Spence won all 12 rounds and earned the unanimous decision victory by using both his height and reach advantage to dominate his opponent. The IBF Welterweight champ attempted a career high 1,082 punches during the bout, landing 345. By comparison Garcia attempted 406 landing just 75.

After the match Spence was joined in the ring by boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) leading to rumors that the two could end up fighting one another as early as July. Pacquiao defeated American Adrien Broner on January 19, 2019 and has been attached to several potential opponents since that unanimous decision win at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

The fight that most fans want to see is the current WBA (Regular) Welterweight champ bringing Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0) out of retirement for a rematch of their May 2015 fight. Mayweather won that match by unanimous decision.

While Pacquiao had hinted there were ongoing negotiations earlier this month, no match has come to fruition and Mayweather has continuously stated that he is retired. His plan was to box in some exhibition matches as he did against Tenshin Nasukawa and collect multi-million dollar paydays instead of returning to professional boxing.

Even Spence addressed a potential fight with Mayweather and was clear that it would not happen;

“Floyd is retired. I actually spoke to Floyd and he said that he doesn’t have any ambitions of coming back.”

The other main opponent being thrown out by fans and media was Keith Thurman, who currently holds the WBA (Super) Welterweight title. This title unification match would make a lot of sense but if this fight were going to happen, it should have been announced by now. Thurman was last in the ring January 26, 2019 and said he would be honored to face Pacquiao in the ring before he retires.

There has even been rumors that Khabib Nurmagomedov, the current UFC Lightweight Champion, would be interested in making his professional boxing debut against Pacquiao in Russia. Nurmagomedov is currently serving a nine-month suspension that was issued by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his part in a post-match brawl with Conor McGregor’s team.

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Pacquiao has had a storied career that is coming into its 25th year. At the age of 40, Pacquiao has a few fights left before he is likely to hang up his gloves for good. The Pacman has earned the right to be selective in who he faces in those matches but having him congratulate Spence in the ring is a good sign that the two may be at the negotiating table trying to make the match happen.

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