Pacquiao vs. Spence: The Early Scouting Report

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The August 21 welterweight battle of Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. is still more than two months away, but the anticipation is already intense.

The WBC/IBF 147 lb. champ from Texas, Spence, is the early betting favorite with odds ranging from -300 to -350 and will enter the ring eleven years younger than Pacquiao. He’s also regarded as the fresher, stronger, and naturally bigger fighter of the two.

Pacquiao, however, is Pacquiao. The legendary Filipino icon is regarded as an 8-division world champ and, may or may not bring with him the WBA welterweight title that was initially taken from him due to his inactivity. Although the betting underdog at about +250, most knowledgeable boxing people regard him as a very live underdog.

So, with the buzz already loud, here’s a look at both fighters, their strengths and weaknesses, and how this big upcoming battle may play out.

Pacquiao

Strengths:

The 26-year veteran is now, what he’s been throughout most of his legendary run. Pacquiao is awkwardness wrapped in unorthodoxy. From his extreme southpaw stance to his herky-jerky ring movements to his measured aggression, backed by quick hands and a wide, varied arsenal of offensive weapons, he’s made his fame turning elite-level fighters into tentative pickers and pawers.

Although clearly past his prime at 42 years of age, Pacquiao offsets the years of wear on his body by coming into each fight in impeccable physical condition and with extreme motivation.

Weaknesses:

Despite being in great shape for a 42-year-old fighter, he’s still 42 and carries with him the realities of 26 years as a pro who’s been in many, many battles.

A somewhat slowed-down Manny has done less counter-striking at frustrated foes in recent years. No longer 100% confident in his ability to get in, get off, and get out without taking return fire, he now stays on the outside more and rarely takes the risk of planting his feet for something big. His awkwardness and the remains of his natural athletic ability have been enough to see him past all but Floyd Mayweather in recent years and smart matchmaking has also been to his benefit.

Spence

Strengths:

Spence is a physically strong, technically-sound southpaw with an offensive mindset and supreme confidence in his abilities.

He establishes pace and space in his bouts with a thudding left jab that also works to set up a heavy right hook and follow-up left. He also works the body especially well. His nearly flawless technique and his ability to get leverage on every shot in his repertoire, combined with his confidence and focus, make him an outstanding offensive fighter.

Weaknesses:

“The Truth” has shown some vulnerability to those who pressure him, rush him, and make him fight outside of his comfort zone. Against those challenges, he has sometimes gone slightly off-script to beat them at their own game.

There’s also the concern whether his horrific car crash in the fall of 2019 and just one fight since then have put him in a spot where he’ll never quite be at his best again.

The Fight

On paper, Spence has most of the physical advantages and one could argue that career momentum is 100% in his favor. But Pacquiao is the type of fighter who could throw Spence off his game and expose some of his few weaknesses.

If Manny can use his legs, potshot from varying angles, and generally keep Spence from getting too comfortable, he has a solid chance of picking apart the younger fighter and taking the win.

Spence’s jab and raw strength will be hard for a past-prime Pacquiao to deal with, though. The Desoto, Texas native is bolder and stronger than Keith Thurman, who Pacquiao outpointed in his last fight, and will press Manny like nobody has in recent years.

There is a path to victory for Pacquiao, but he’s going to have to walk through considerable fire to get there. The question is whether he can take what Spence will dish out. Most are assuming that he can’t.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that you know a lot about Spence and not too much about Pacquiao, he went to battle with Thurman a couple of years ago, and he did not shy out about going toe to toe with Thurman, and he held his own, you are talking about an all time great here, have some more respect with your commentarlies, know the facts. Thurman is way better than Spence. He ( Thurman) punch stronger and faster than Spence, to no avail, he lost.

  2. Nice analysis. Spence May be more comfortable then Thurman now, but wait until he meets the speed. Just like Thurman was confident, but realized the speed moved with power was trouble. He was also lucky Pacman ran out of steam early, in the middle rounds. Pacman knows this though, and vows to be in better condition this time, as well as come in smaller and lighter too.

  3. sugger Shane give Spence a good fight,the only reason he lost is because he cant hit hard,he put shots on spence but without the power to back them up,sugger is a grate fighter but cant win when it counts because he dont have the power,maney has the power and he is going to tell the truth in that ring,id say its going to be a ONE TIME TRUTH,with maney lookin for a bud before he becomes president

  4. Good written article. But one thing that isn’t mentioned is Freddy Roach… You can’t count out the game plan and approach from a legendary trainer.

  5. With all those negative comments against Manny, this is not new to hear!everytime,lots of discouraging underdog comments,but we will see.i saw his fight against porter!&its kind of a boring fight to see.anyway,I’m still rooting for Manny.eventhough how young &strong his opponent!spence will get a surprise of a lifetime.we will see how undefeated he was.

  6. PACGOAT IS ALREADY BOXINGS TRUE G.O.A.T. ESPN BOXING COMMENTATOR MAX KELLERMAN IF HE BEAT SPENCE JR THEN PAC== G.O.A.T.
    HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER ARTICLE IN REGARDS TO HIS FULL RESUME OF GREATNESS…HOW MANY TIMES PACGOAT BECOME UNDERDOG??? ITS ALMOST THE ENTIRE HIS UNMATCHED RING RECORDS AND WARS AMERICANS AS ALWAYS DOUBTED PAC GREATNESS AND ABILITY TO SHOCKED THE WORLD FOR 25FTH TIMES SINCE 2001.

  7. Above analysis are all correct and absolutely, I agreed… Pacquiao’s chances, (if he can capitalize the opportunities or if Spence is not carefull) are within 1-4 rounds. Beyond that, Pacqiuao will be at the mercy of Spence hard jabs and hooks. We know Pacquiao is not effective when backing out. Meaning, Pacquiao had a difficulty in throwing punches when retreating or in a defensive move. Beyond 4 rounds, Pacquiao would be most of the time in a defensive mode, considering that Spence is very much younger than him and still fresh. Unless Paquiao can do damage on Spence in the earlier rounds, which Spence must avoid. As one of strategies of Spence, he must pressed on his attacts on Pacquiao starting at 4 till 12 Rounds. Of course using his advantages, jabs and straights. Spence must avoid closed and mixed up exchanges in order not to give Pacquiao the chance, the so called “Puncher’s Chance”, which is Pacquiao’s only chance in this boxing match. In closing, Spence must not only rely on his youth and strength but most of all he must use his mind.

    • Spence is also not comfortable backing up … we shall see. Pacman is not Mikey who was a lightweight scared to open up. He is no Kell Brook. He is no Porter as well, once his sparring partner.

      Spence said Pacman is making a mistake if he is using the Danny Garcia as a gauge. Pacman probably didn’t even watch that fight, and before the announced Pacquiao-Spence fight, he even had trouble remembering Spence’s name. Pacman already scouted him at ringside when he fought Mikey, and deemed Spence as not someone to worry about.

      Can’t wait for Aug 21. It’s all up to Pacman’s training. If his trainers give him the same Pacquiao stamina when he fought Thurman, it will be a big disadvantage for Pacman.

  8. Manny will beat Spence from beginning to end. This will shock people except Manny. Manny has heart and will keep coming at Spence like Spence never seen before. It may be Manny’s last fight and this will set him apart and be the greatest of all time

  9. Manny is a much experienced boxer than Spence and I’m sure that he already knew how he’s going to beat Spence even before he had chosen him to be his next opponent.Manny Pacquiao is a wise guy and he knows that he’s doing.

  10. Si Manny Pacquiao ay isang Dragon na Pilipino Boxer na masipag talaga mag training at makipag laban dahil pag tinamaan cya ng kalaban nya ng Tatlong besis tatamaan nya din nya ang kalaban nya ng 9 na besis. Hinde talaga makikilala ng mga foreigners Ang determination ni Manny Pacquiao.

  11. Nothing new about what you wrote. The intangibles will definitely play a big role in determining who will eventually win this match. And Manny has most of them. Errol is predictably consistently good as he is. As long as he is successful at it, meaning winning, he is not about to change his style or approach. But Manny has the capability to alter the style or approach of his opponents during the fight itself, often it was late for his foe to realize the necessity for such, resulting to an L. Will Errol be different as Floyd was?

  12. You forgot to mention that Spence himself had gotten into car mishap and almost cost him his life. He will be crashing again against the diminutive and fast Pacman, and I hope we can overcome, and get to fight another fight.

  13. I must recommend Manny Pacquiao for he is my fellowman and I know that He was entitled as a World Boxing Champion. Eversince I was schooling many of my neighbors liked to watch His game on the ring. I bet Pacquiao wins Spence this time and Im looking forward to seeing him fighting with Tyson (Mike).

  14. Many of us boxing purists and pundits alike should take a look at the last pac vs horn fight, although many have thought pac won that one without taking any consideration to jeff horn’s ability, pacman was clearly smothered by horn from round 1 to the last, without giving the filipino icon any room to breathe. Horn’s template of defeating pacquiao was “to smother/pressure”, if errol spence’s approach will be the same then it is nighty night for the pacman, never give pacman space to reset his stance and punches spence needs to be the aggressive man on fight night, remember pac is fantastic when he gets his space to reset his one-two punch combo either to the head or body other that that he is a completely below average fighter, he has an average or below average uppercut and body punches and i don’t see manny putting spence in trouble.
    An easy fight, easy money for spence. SPENCE IN 6 / 8 OR UNANIMOUS DECISION.

  15. spence will be a rookie in this fight…age does matter in other fighter but manny is a beast in boxing…dont under estimate a legend

  16. I don’t see anything about this article that is offensive. It’s the way he sees it but it seems these so called Boxing Experts disrespects Manny’s chances of winning . Surf at the internet now and you’ll know how disrespectful they are to Manny. You would even read if Manny signs a death waver for this fight..I’ve been watching boxing for more than 30 years now and most of my prediction is from 75 to 80 percent correct. If you ask me, I don’t see anything special about Spence at all. I mean, look at his moves, it’s something you usually see in a boxing. he don’t have floyd’s style, he don’t have roy jones style, he don’t have the lomachencko style and much more he don’t have the pacquiao style..so what’s the big deal about him other than he’s young and big. There’s only one thing i worried about Manny and that is his stamina because during his last fight, he chose to relax and rest during the middle rounds in which it’s something he have not done in most of his fights. Maybe that is age really but hopefully his long rest able to refresh his body. Other than that I see Manny winning unanimously without even a single doubt as long as it will not be rigged. you know, spence is an american so the big possibility is that Manny will be robbed..If this fight happens during Manny’s younger days, it’s absolutely a massacre and very much one sided..and because i see it that way during Manny’s youthful days, even past his prime, I still see him winning convincingly. The result should be Manny by Unanimous decision but because Spence is an American, I can still see Manny winning by Split or Majority Decision or in the worst case scenario a draw or a win by Spence by split or Majority but will be labelled as one of the biggest robbery of all time.. P.S. …..there’s a very big chance that this will become a robbery because they don’t want to consider someone who’s not an American to be argued as the G.O.A.T

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