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Sports

Pacquiao: Spence ‘better than Mayweather’

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star
Pacquiao: Spence âbetter than Mayweatherâ
Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr.
Michael Owens / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Welterweight kings Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr. came face-to-face yesterday in a press conference at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles.

They stood side by side and held their championship belts before a limited audience. They wore no masks and showed no animosity like other fighters do.

On Aug. 21, Pacquiao, 42, and Spence, 31, will trade blows at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in a high-profile showdown and a potential Fight of the Year.

Pacquiao, the only boxer to win world titles in eight divisions, chose to fight the undefeated American (27-0 with 21 KOs) when he could have picked a lesser foe.

“I want a real fight,” said the Filipino senator who is being groomed as a presidential candidate in 2022.

Spence was asked if he would seek or heed advice from Floyd Mayweather Jr., who defeated Pacquiao in 2015 but now has chosen to figure in lucrative exhibition fights.

Pacquiao, 62-7-2 with 39 KOs, gave the answer.

“Errol doesn’t need to get advice from Mayweather because I believe that Errol is better than Mayweather. He will teach Mayweather how to fight toe-to-toe,” he said.

Spence, who has fought only once after nearly losing his life in a high-speed Ferrari crash in 2019, seemed flattered.

Still, the native of Long Island in New York vowed to beat Pacquiao – in any fashion.

“I definitely have the ability to finish him, but for me it’s about winning the fight.  It’s to stay focused and win the fight,” he said.

At stake will be Spence’s WBC and IBF titles. It remains unclear whether Pacquiao’s WBA belt, which he won during his last outing in 2019, is on the line, too.

That’s another story.

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