America’s best boxer Errol Spence Jr. has to beat Manny Pacquiao better than anyone before, his trainer says

Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr.
Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr. Photo by Steve Marcus / Bill Tompkins / Getty Images
  • Errol Spence Jr. fights Manny Pacquiao in one of the boxing events of the year August 21.
  • Spence Jr. is preparing to finish Pacquiao in a greater manner than anyone’s managed before.
  • That’s according to the American fighter’s coach, Derrick James.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The August 21 welterweight world championship bout between the unified titleholder Errol Spence Jr. and pound-for-pound mainstay Manny Pacquiao is the most significant boxing match for six years.

That’s according to Derrick James, Spence Jr.’s trusted and long-time trainer, who is advising his 67kg fighter to prepare as well as he can so that he can beat the Filipino icon in a more devastating fashion than anyone has before.

“We’re looking for the best version of Manny Pacquiao,” James told the Premier Boxing Champions podcast ahead of the PBC on Fox Sports pay-per-view that will be broadcast from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on August 21.

“It’s very important [for Spence Jr. to make a statement]. He has to show up and show out and beat Manny better than anybody else who has done it.”

-FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) June 22, 2021

As an eight-weight world champion, the 42-year-old Pacquiao is one of the most decorated athletes in all combat disciplines.

With a record of 62 wins (39 knockouts) against seven losses and two draws, there are only a few fighters who have gotten the better of him in the ring.

Pacquiao has been knocked out three times in his professional career, losing to Rustico Torrecampo in 1996, Boonsai Sangsurat in 1999, and Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.

The knockout by Marquez lives long in the memory for many.

Marquez stopped Pacquiao in the sixth round of a wild fight, finishing the bout with a thumping counter overhand right that he had rehearsed a few times in previous rounds.

The power punch landed with such aplomb that it left Pacquiao face-down and motionless on the canvas for an uncomfortable amount of time.

It also spawned immortal commentary from Roy Jones Jr. on the HBO broadcast, who bellowed: “He’s not getting up, Jim! He’s not getting up!” to TV presenter Jim Lampley.

Spence now wants to emulate Marquez with a victory for the ages.

James is not expecting Pacquiao to display signs of ring rust

Errol Spence Jr. and Derrick James
Spence Jr. and Derrick James. Photo by Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Since that heavy loss in 2012, Pacquiao went on to go 12 rounds with Floyd Mayweather, win a 2-1 trilogy involving Timothy Bradley, and, most recently, knock Keith Thurman to the floor in the opening round of his last bout in 2019.

Beating Pacquiao in a more conclusive manner than Marquez did will be no easy feat for Spence Jr., despite his combat prowess, age advantage, and status as America’s best boxer operating today.

James acknowledged this in a separate interview with Fight Hub TV.

“Manny Pacquiao is so smart and he’s been training for like months and months and months,” James told the YouTube channel.

“He knows you just can’t train for a fight and train for like a couple days, six to eight weeks. He’s been training for months so he’s gonna be ready, man.

“We won’t see any rust on him and I think he’s like a Bernard Hopkins type of fighter. B-Hop [was] very intelligent, very smart, and the older he got the better he got.

“But I think they’re two different type of fighters because Bernard is more technical and Manny, his athleticism is his greatest [asset] and his tenacity, is what he leans on the most.”