The most surprising fight news this week happened when boxing’s only eight-division world champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao announced on his official Twitter and other social media platforms that he would return to the ring on August 21 against undefeated unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
Pacquiao is 42 years old and hasn’t sent foot in the boxing ring since defeating Keith Thurman for the WBA title in 2019, it will be more than two years since he fought by the time August comes around and for an older fighter inactivity this long could be detrimental.
The boxing world was expecting Pacquiao to announce a fight with Mikey Garcia but didn’t expect him to pick the best welterweight in the world for his next fight back.
Former two-division world champion Timothy Bradley is no stranger to Manny Pacquiao having fought the Filipino southpaw for 36 rounds in 3 grueling battles. He told Fight Hype he was shocked by the news but also not surprised because Pacquiao is a legend who will fight anyone and he even compared him to NFL great quarterback Tom Brady who is also in his 40s and still dominating.
“Listen man, you can never count out Manny Pacquiao,” Bradley told Fight Hype. “He is a tough guy not to root for. Even at 42 years old, I keep saying this, he is like the Tom Brady of boxing. Just his tenacity he brings in the ring, his hunger, just not sure how much he has left. He’s been out of the ring almost two years since Thurman, so I don’t know what he’s been doing. He’s a gifted athlete it could be his time or maybe he can rise once a again.
Bradley thinks Spence has all the tools but he needs to avoid moving back in the straight line because Pacquiao will find a home for the straight left.
“Errol Spence is just a different cat. He is not a Keith Thurman. Errol is big, he is strong, he’s long. Consistent jab, knows how to negate difference, knows how to control distance. His framework is beautiful man, the way he lines up his shots and gets himself in position. He does a lot of great things. There is one thing I see that could affect him during the fight, he tends to come back, he’ll work and then he will come right back to the center and then Manny Pacquiao he loves guys that come straight back to the center and back in the line of fire so that way he can land his straight left hand.
Bradley continued to praise his old rival and even though he picks Spence to win he thinks a special fighter like Pacquiao can never be counted out.
“Manny has seen it all, but the difference is I don’t think Manny’s seen a southpaw this big and this active before and this smart. There is always some danger when you are in the ring with Manny Pacquiao cause the power is the last thing to leave you. Manny still does have some speed. He is still fluent with his combinations. But the back end of the fight is going to be very interesting because Spence don’t get tired, he keeps coming and coming and coming and his volume, his work and his power he brings it wears on you. Great fight altogether. I would favor Spence in the fight but you can never count Manny out man, Manny is a beast,” said Bradley.