- Date & Location: Saturday, August 21 in Las Vegas, NV
- Odds: Errol Spence Jr (-360) vs. Manny Pacquiao (+270) via Bovada
- Prediction: Spence via decision
Errol Spence, Jr. puts his WBC and IBF welterweight titles and his perfect 27-0 record on the line when he faces Manny Pacquiao on August 21 in Las Vegas. The bout location has not been announced.
Spence won the IBF belt in 2017 with a knockout of Kell Brook. Four fights later he added the WBC crown with a split-decision victory over Mikey Garcia. Spence has defended the IBF title five times and the WBC belt once. He is coming off a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia in December 2020. Spence is the No. 1 ranked welterweight according to The Ring magazine. The Ring also ranked him at No. 6 in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Pacquiao, who The Ring has ranked at No. 3 at welterweight (not ranked pound-for-pound), is 62-7-2 in his career. Pacquiao is on a three fight winning streak. He is coming off a July 2019 split-decision victory over Keith Thurman.
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SPENCE vs. PACQUIAO PREDICTION & PICK
The first thing many will point out about this fight is Pacquiao’s age. He’s 42, while Spence is 31. But don’t forget,The Ring has Pacquiao ranked at No. 3. For those in the know, age is just a number with Pacquiao. Another thing that could affect Pacquiao is he hasn’t fought for 25 months, which is the longest layoff of his career.
Pacquiao’s win over Thurman, split-decision or not, was impressive. It was the best the veteran looked in years. Can he recapture that magic against Thurman? I don’t think so, but I’m not counting him out.
What I see happening is some tough times in the early going for Spence, but he will then find his groove and win a 12-round decision.
Prediction: Spence at -350 via BetOnline.
BETTING VALUE WITH SPENCE
This is a risky fight to bet on when it comes to Spence. With the odds in the -350 range, I don’t see so much value in Spence. Pacquiao has been so good for so long and if he can raise his game to the level of his opponent as he did with Thurman, Pacquiao is a very live underdog and at +270 it might be worth taking a chance on the upset.
The odds for this fight could change a great deal as the bout approaches. Thurman opened as a -152 favorite and Pacquiao as a +120 underdog. By fight night, those odds had shifted toward Pacquiao and he was a -345 favorite to Thurman, who closed at +115.
If the odds shift that significantly, the value shifts as well and with that Spence becomes the better value bet.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Spence has the edge due to his youth and the way he boxes. If he can establish his jab and work behind that and pressure when he finds openings he should win. With that said, Pacquiao did not look old against Thurman. If he can fight in that same way, he has a chance to get the upset. If Pacquiao slips just a little, Spence’s edge increases.
TALE OF THE TAPE: SPENCE vs. PACQUIAO
|Errol Spence Jr.||Category||Manny Pacquiao|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
This is a huge fight as far as name recognition for Spence. A win here could be a breakthrough fight with the casual fight fans who only tune in for the biggest of fights. Any fight Pacquiao is associated with is a big fight. The fact he hasn’t competed in two years makes this bout even bigger.
If Pacquiao takes Spence’s perfect record and titles it won’t be the biggest surprise in boxing history, but it will be a big event. To accomplish that at 42 says a lot about Manny Pacquiao.
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