Manny Pacquiao shows the youngsters how it’s done
Even at 42, Manny Pacquiao is still on the hunt for the toughest fights as he signs up to fight Errol Spence Jnr in August, writes George Gigney.
Just like boxing lost a superfight, it won one that it didn’t know it needed. Out of nowhere, Manny Pacquiao has announced that he will fight undefeated Errol Spence Jnr on August 21. He then confirmed the news to Athletic.
Now 42 years old and not having fought for two years, Pacquiao will face the best fighter at 147 pounds and one of the best in the world; If he hadn’t already solidified his legendary status, it would.
The world was hoping Spence would meet the other big welterweight contender, Terence Crawford, but the sport – as it so often does – got its way. There was talk then of Crawford finally fighting Pacquiao (an idea was first floated years ago) but that too did not materialize. So ‘Pacman’ got better and took a step forward for a man no one expected him to face at this point in his career.
Pacquiao’s legacy is now indisputable, and he added it again when he outperformed Keith Thurman on his last outing. Most fans thought the Filipino icon – who is still a senator in his home country – would perform a victory lap in high-cost, relatively low-risk fights before leaving at sunset, but he did. clearly other plans.
Even at this late stage in his career, Pacquiao is proving himself to be one of the few boxing players to actively seek out the more difficult challenges. Other members of this esteemed group include Canelo Alvarez, Vasiliy Lomachenko and, more recently, Josh taylor. The sport would be in a much healthier place if more fighters had this urge and had the freedom to act on it.
Getting back to Crawford and his continued pursuit of a great fight, Shawn Porter was the last potential opponent to report a breakdown in negotiations. Speaking to Boxing Social, the former welterweight champion explained how talks simply ended with Crawford’s squad, while hinting that it was because Terence was keen on a ‘big fight’ instead.
He’s now at a point – or maybe we’re already there – where serious questions need to be raised about what Crawford’s future looks like. He hasn’t really moved the needle since moving to welterweight after becoming the undisputed champion at 140 lbs, and the really big fights at this new weight seem beyond his reach.
As the days go by, it has become increasingly clear that Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is, for now, dead. As we boxing fans tend to do, we then picked up the carcass, trying to harvest whatever we could.
Now it looks like we have two fights that will come out of this mess; The Fury trilogy fights with Deontay Wilder and Joshua’s mandatory title defense against former undisputed king of the cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk.
They’re both very good fights, but in the Joshua-Fury Nuclear Winter that no longer occurs, they’re seen as miserable prizes for commiseration.
According to various reports, and Tyson himself, both Fury and Wilder have signed on to fight with a suggested date of July 24 in Las Vegas.
If so, the men and broadcasters involved have a quick turnaround time. It’s also a really interesting clash. Fury is the deserved favorite, but Wilder’s otherworldly power means he’s still dangerous. However, he was clearly affected by his stopping loss to Fury and with an overhauled training squad, it remains to be seen if this pony can add to his devastating turn.
Joshua-Usyk is equally intriguing. The undefeated Ukrainian looked imperious at 200 pounds and has the style of giving ‘AJ’ nightmares, but questions remain about how his skills transferred to heavyweights, especially against giants like Joshua.
According to Usyk’s manager, Wembley Stadium is on the line to host the fight in August, although the stadium was ruled out as the location of a potential Joshua-Fury clash in the same month.
The point is, there are two silver liners on the cloud that rained all over the Joshua-Fury show. Additionally, Fury and his handlers have claimed they still plan to face Joshua in the final months of 2021, which means the fight isn’t completely wiped out. They would both need to win their next fights, but both will list them as betting favorites.
If they were able to sort out a deal this time around (although it took an excruciatingly long time), logic suggests they will be able to do it again later in the year, provided he doesn’t. there are no curved balls in the court of former opponents. . There is still hope.
Perhaps the most disturbing sign that boxing is chomping on the inside was when ESPN confirmed the news that Showtime Boxing had signed YouTuber Jake paul to a multi-fight deal for an undisclosed sum.
The details of the deal remain a mystery, as does thinking about the decision. The broadcasting giant rarely offers offers to individual fighters; the two main ones in recent years being Floyd Mayweather and Joshua. Adding someone like Paul to this list is a kick in the teeth for fighters around the world.
Yes, the 24-year-old is clearly generating a lot of income, but with this move, Showtime is now giving him and his legions of cave fans the fullest to call what he does real, legitimate boxing.
Over the past few months, many active fighters have been asked about their views on the Paul Brothers’ involvement in boxing. Most have avoided condemning him, and part of the reason is that the fighters interviewed are successful – they already earn a lot from sport. If these same questions were put to lesser-known fighters who worked day in and day out to earn a spot on a Showtime, ESPN, DAZN, Sky Sports, or BT Sport show, they would give very different answers.