A shock went through the boxing world on Friday afternoon when Manny Pacquiao dropped a fight poster on Twitter to serve as an announcement for an Aug. 21 clash with Errol Spence Jr. Premier Boxing Champions, the pair of fighter’s promoter, confirmed the news shortly after. The announcement came seemingly out of nowhere with all previous rumors suggesting a summer date between Spence, arguably the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter, and Yordenis Ugas.
Spence is the WBC and IBF welterweight champion, while Pacquiao holds the status as the WBA “champion in recess.” Pacquiao was moved to champion in recess status when it was deemed he was unable to defend his championship, leading Ugas to be promoted to WBA “super champion.” There’s no doubt that a clash with Pacquiao is the bigger fight for Spence, however.
Pacquiao has not fought since defeating Keith Thurman in a fantastic bout in July 2019. That win showed Pacquiao still had plenty left to give in the ring. In his storied career, Pacquiao has captured world championships in eight different weight classes, beginning at flyweight and as high as super welterweight.
Spence’s name remains closely tied to that of Terence “Bud” Crawford, who holds the WBO welterweight title and also has a claim as potentially the sport’s pound-for-pound best. As Spence is a member of the Premier Boxing Champions stable — as is Pacquiao and every other top welterweight in the sport — while Crawford is with Top Rank, a fight between the two has been nearly impossible to put together.
For now, however, the legendary Pacquiao will look to pull off another incredible win, now at age 42, when he takes on Spence, the 27-0 surging superstar. Spence picked up a decision win over Danny Garcia last September in his first action since a horrific car crash that he escaped with only minor injuries.