LAS VEGAS — In a stunning move Friday, Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr. reached a deal for a welterweight unification bout on Aug. 21 in Las Vegas. The bout will be in Las Vegas, but the venue hasn’t been decided, Sean Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions, told Yahoo Sports.
The 42-year-old Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought since scoring a split decision victory over Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, had been in talks to fight Mike Garcia.
But the chance at a unification bout with Spence proved too lucrative for the Filipino senator to turn down.
“I have always wanted to challenge myself and take the biggest fights,” Pacquiao said. “Errol Spence is an unbeaten champion and those are the kinds of fights I want."
In Spence, Pacquiao Is taking on about as difficult a challenge as he could face. The 31-year-old Spence, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, is 27-0 with 21 knockouts and is one of the world’s elite pound-for-pound fighters. He is ranked fourth on the Yahoo Sports boxing pound-for-pound list.
Gibbons said Pacquiao’s eagerness to fight the best is what separates him from his longtime rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Mayweather retired at 50-0 and defeated Pacquiao in a $600 million mega-fight in 2015.
Pacquiao, who is 62-7-2 with 39 KOs, will be fighting a little more than two months after Mayweather faces YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition bout.
“Unlike Floyd Mayweather, who wants to beat up YouTube stars, even at 42, the Senator is looking to fight the best in the world,” Gibbons told Yahoo Sports. “Floyd’s style may have beaten Manny’s style, but the Senator’s body of work is unmatched. He wins a title at 40 years old, beating one of the best welterweights in the world, and now at 42, he’s going to defend that belt. He’s got a legacy that is unmatched.”
No odds have been posted yet at BetMGM, but Pacquiao figures to be a significant underdog.
The fight will be promoted by Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions and will be a Fox Sports/PBC pay-per-view.
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