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A Stunning New Development: Pacquiao vs Spence Confirmed for Aug. 21

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  • A Stunning New Development: Pacquiao vs Spence Confirmed for Aug. 21

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    By Arne K. Lang

    It’s been a wacky week in the world of boxing. On Sunday, the internet was abuzz with the news that Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua would meet on Aug. 24 in Saudi Arabia to unify the world heavyweight title. The following day, arbitrator Daniel Weinstein said, “not so fast, my friends,” and within a few days Fury had a new opponent, old foe Deontay Wilder, a new date, July 24, and a new venue, Las Vegas. And then yesterday, May 21, came more stunning news. Manny Pacquiao announced on social media that he would be returning to the ring after a 25-month absence to meet Errol Spence Jr. The fight would take place in Las Vegas on Aug. 21 and air in the U.S. on FOX pay-per-view.

    Pacquiao, 42, last fought on July 20, 2019, winning a well-received, albeit split, decision over previously undefeated Keith Thurman. He will take a 62-7-2 (39) record into his match with Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) who last fought in December of last year, winning a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia. It was Spence’s first outing since a horrific car accident in October of 2019 that occurred 12 days after he successfully defended his WBC and IBF 147-pound belts with a split decision over Shawn Porter.

    In Spence, Pac-Man is meeting a man who is 12 years younger and who is on everyone’s list of the top-5 pound-for-pound fighters. It is, needless to say, a daunting assignment for the Filipino who has seemingly been around forever – he made his pro debut in 1995 carrying 106 pounds – and who since 2010 has juggled boxing with the life of a politician.

    Spence opened a 9/2 favorite at several prominent betting establishments.

    Speculation had been rife as to Pacquiao’s next opponent. At various times, the rumor mill had him fighting Conor McGregor, Terence Crawford, Mikey Garcia, and Danny Garcia. Reporters seeking confirmation that Pac-Man vs Spence would really happen sought confirmation from Sean Gibbons who holds the title of president of Pacquiao’s promotional firm, MP Promotions. Gibbons verified that Pacquiao vs. Spence is a done deal.

    Gibbons, 50, has come a long way since he was traveling the back roads of Oklahoma delivering a caravan of fighters to various low-budget shows and entering the ring himself when another warm body was needed to flesh out an event. Within the fight fraternity, few people are as well-liked as the affable Gibbons but a person whose knowledge of him derived entirely from old newspapers would infer that he walked on the shady side of the street. In 2004, he was the fall guy as Top Rank scurried about to minimize the damage of an undercover FBI investigation into certain, how shall we say it, irregularities.

    Fury vs. Wilder in July and then Pacquiao vs. Spence in August. It’s going to be a hot summer in Las Vegas which is emerging from the pandemic with all systems go.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Manny schools Spence, close UD.

    Levels. Errol ain’t on Pacquiao’s.

    P4P, they are currently rated exactly backwards.