We may disagree with Manny Pacquiao’s politics but when it comes to boxing, the guy is simply constant -- he’s not afraid to take risks. For the second straight fight, the Pacman is taking on an undefeated fighter a decade younger in Errole Spence Jr, who won all 27 fights, 21 by knockouts.
That’s after Keith Thurman, who was undefeated in 29 fights before he met the Pacman and lost for the first time.
The Pacman has a good record against undefeated fighters, going 8-4 with 6 KOs, though one could argue it should be 10-2 or even 11-1 if you want to stretch it. Among his losses to undefeated fighters were against Timothy Bradley, who was 28-0 in their first fight, Floyd Mayweather (47-0) and, of course, that controversial loss to Jeff Horn, who was 16-0-1 (draw) in 2017.
Then there was his first loss in a title fight, when he was knocked out by Medgoen Singsurat (listed as Boonsai Sangsurat in boxrec.com). He failed to make the weight in his third title defense and lost by knockout to the 18-0 fighter.
The fighters he handed their first defeat? He beat Thurman, Chris Algieri (20-0), Timothy Bradley (31-0 in their second fight) by decision and stopped Jorge Solis (34-0-2) Emmanuel Lucero (21-0-1), Nedal Hussein (19-0) and Seung Kon Chae (23-0).
Where will Spence be listed? If you believe Gerry Peñalosa, it will be a late KO win but I’m not going to go that far. The Pacman has had only one KO win in the last 11 years and that was against Lucas Matthysse in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. The last one prior that was against Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Yeah, we all know he could have stopped Antonio Margarito, if he hadn’t held his punches in the last two rounds while pushing for the ref to stop the match, but a late knockout might be a stretch. Some say it’s because he takes pity, like he did with Margarito, while others say it’s because he’s distracted with his other duties, being a senator for one.
And boy will he be distracted in his preparation for his next fight. There’s the pandemic for one and I’m sure the projected presidential candidate will have his troll-farm fueled detractors, especially now that he has spoken up against the President (hey, at least he doesn’t run away from debates).
I’m sure his promise to give up things that distract him from Senate duties when he ran in 2016 will be played up. But in his defense, the Top Guy said anyone can lie or joke during campaign season and ride a jetski to the bank.
Then there’s the hybrid workup setup of the Senate. In the past, Manny tried to delay his departure for the US since he didn’t want to be seen as an absentee senator. Now with senators working from home, would he be forcing himself to work from “home” while training in the US? That’s two different jobs in two different time zones.
Even the jack-of-all-trades, only work one job at a time, right?