Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. set to square off on in welterweight slugfest on FOX PBC PPV

Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. set to square off on in welterweight slugfest on FOX PBC PPV

Updated May. 24, 2021 5:52 p.m. ET

There was no caption necessary for this one.

In a nice Friday afternoon surprise, Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr. and FOX PBC announced that the Filipino legend (Pacquiao) and the top welterweight in the world (Spence) will meet in the ring on Aug. 21 in Las Vegas, with Spence's WBC and IBF titles on the line.

The fight announcement – which came somewhat out of nowhere – sent shockwaves through the boxing world, as most thought Pacquiao, 42, was closer to a fight with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.

But once that deal fell through, namely for financial reasons, it opened the door for Pac-man to take on the undefeated Spence, 31, who has also long been linked to a fight with Crawford.


Both Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) and Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) are coming off major victories in their previous fights, but Spence has been the slightly more active of the two fighters as of late. 

Spence last fought on Dec. 5, 2020, earning a unanimous decision win over former welterweight titlist Danny Garcia, which was made more impressive by the fact that Spence was involved in a single-person car crash on Oct. 10, 2019, one that ejected him from the car and landed him in the hospital for nearly a week.

Prior to that, Spence earned a unanimous decision win over Shawn Porter on Sep. 28, 2019, winning the WBC welterweight strap, and months prior, on March 16, 2019, Spence dominated undefeated Mikey Garcia, winning a unanimous decision and retaining his IBF title. 

On the other hand, by the time Pacquiao and Spence take the ring on Aug. 21, Pacquiao will have not fought in more than two years. 

Pac-man's most recent fight took place July 20, 2019, when he won the WBA (Super) welterweight title with a hard-fought, split decision win over the previously undefeated Keith Thurman.

Even though the men were born more than a decade apart and don't have much in common at this point in their careers, each will be looking for his first knockout victory since 2018.

Spence knocked out Carlos Ocampo in the first round of their IBF title fight on June 16, 2018, and Pacquiao got a TKO win over Lucas Matthysse on July 15, 2018. 

The TKO over Matthysse is Pacquiao's only KO win since he TKO'd Miguel Cotto in the 12th round of their WBO welterweight title fight on Nov. 14, 2009.

For context on how long Pacquiao has been in the game, Spence's first professional fight was on Nov. 9, 2012, and he has scored all 21 of his KOs since the night Pac-man defeated Cotto.

It will also be the seventh consecutive fight for Pacquiao in which his opponent is at least four years younger, and in five of those fights, his opponent was at least 10 years younger.

Even though we're a few months away from the fight, it's never too early to have a say in it: Who will emerge victorious on Aug. 21?

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