Former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas says Manny Pacquiao’s explosive power and his southpaw stance could give Errol Spence Jr a lot of problems in their fight this summer on August 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although Spence is a southpaw too, he’s not used to fighting lefties, particularly ones with ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao’s hand and foot speed, which is going to make it difficult for him.
Errol didn’t look impressive in his last fight against Danny Garcia in December of last year. Garcia landed a lot of shots on Spence, and it was competitive throughout. Spence won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 117-111, 116-112, 116-112.
Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) will be defending his IBF/WBC welterweight titles against the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in their headliner on FOX Sports pay-per-view.
Manny Pacquiao had recently been in negotiations for a fight against WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford for a lucrative match in Abu Dhabi, but talks fell apart.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum admitted that he was hesitant to try and take the Pacquiao-Crawford fight to the U.S to save it due to him not sure how it would do.
“Manny is a little older, and Errol Spence is younger, stronger, and in his prime, and it might be a dangerous fight for Manny Pacquiao,” said Jessie Vargas to Fighthype.
“It’s not going to be easy for Manny; it’s a big risk for him because he’s coming back at an older age, and he’s trying to fight the top guy in the division at the moment, one of the top guys, between Bud and Spence.
“I really like Crawford, and I think he’s a phenom. Spence-Pacquiao is an interesting fight. Manny Pacquiao is going to have to give it all he has and give it one last shot for him to win. Spence is no joke; he’s the real deal.
“The man that is going to have difficulty overcoming the southpaw stance here is Spence,” Vargas continued. “Manny has a long repertoire of experience of the so many styles that he’s faced against. So I would assume he would be more comfortable against another lefty.
“Spence is going to have to make some adjustments and adapt, but not only that, he’s going to see a fighter that he’s never seen before when it comes to stylistically. He’ll have to adjust to his [Pacquiao] speed and lateral movement,” said Vargas.
It’s risky for the 42-year-old Pacquiao to be coming off a two-year layoff at his age to take on the 31-year-old Spence, who is considered by many to be the #1 welterweight in the division.
We don’t know how the two years out of the ring have hurt Manny Pacquiao’s skills. The last time Manny saw action was in July 2019, edging previously unbeaten WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman by a 12 round split decision.
“The speed mainly and the explosiveness that Pacquiao has along with the experience, but he can do it because he’s an experienced fighter,” said Vargas on what will give Spence problems. “He has the strength and the height advantage. He just has to use it.
“He did it against Thurman; he shocked him,” Vargas said about Pacquiao surprising his opponents with his power. “They’re going to have to prove to the fan and the judges mainly who the top one is.
“It puts him in the driver’s seat, ‘Who do I want to fight next?’” said Vargas on what a win for Spence does for his career. “He’ll be in the position that Canelo is in with him being able to choose and pick who he wants to fight against,” said Vargas.
Spence looked stationary against Garcia in his last fight, and he might have problems with the speed and movement of Manny Pacquiao if the Filipino star hasn’t lost that from his two years out of the ring.