It’s official! Undefeated, unified WBC and IBF World Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr. will face the legendary Manny Pacquiao Saturday, August 21.
Pacquiao broke the news himself via his Instagram page, announcing a super-bout versus Spence which is easily the biggest 147-pound tussle since Pacquiao fought Floyd Mayweather in 2015 and one of the biggest matchups in recent history, period.
The bout will occur in Las Vegas on a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and FOX Sports pay-per-view.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) May 21, 2021
Pacquiao, who is a Senator in his native Philippines, hasn’t fought since July 2019. That was when he won a spirited 12-round unanimous decision over then undefeated WBA world welterweight champion Keith Thurman in one of the finest performances of his storied career. Boxing’s only eight-division champion was stripped of that title earlier this year for failing to defend it in the allotted time. He is now the WBA “Champion in the recess.”
Regarding the time off, the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) told The Athletic, “A long layoff is good for me after being in boxing for 25 years before that. It’s good to rest. It’s given my body a chance to recover.”
A win over Spence would likely the be the biggest of Pacquiao’s career. Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is considered one of the three best fighters in the world, pound for pound. BoxingAfrica.com currently rates him at number-two. The Desoto, Texas product won his first title in May 2017, when he traveled to England and stopped incumbent Kell Brook in front of Brook’s hometown of Sheffield.
Spence, a former Olympian, has grown to become one of boxing’s biggest stars. In March 2019, he headlined his first pay-per-view, handing four-division champion Mikey Garcia his first loss, whitewashing him over 12 rounds.
Spence, 31, is coming off a wide unanimous decision win over two-division champion Danny Garcia last September. Prior to that, Spence unified the IBF and WBC 147-pound titles in September 2019, when he won a 12-round unanimous decision over two-time world champion Shawn Porter in one of the greatest fights in modern times.
Days after the win over Porter, Spence was involved in a serious single-car accident that led many to believe he would never box again. He would not fight again until last December, when he proved he hadn’t lost a step with the victory over Garcia.