Can Manny Pacquiao hit a home run off Errol Spence Jr. at 42?

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Ted Williams had a storybook ending to his baseball career.

The Hall of Fame outfielder for the Boston Red Sox hit home run in his last at bat, adding one final jewel to the legacy of one of the greatest baseball players of all time. And, as Freddie Roach was quick to point out, he did it at the age 42.

Manny Pacquiao also is 42. Could he deliver Williams-esque magic when he faces the Errol Spence Jr. – about a 2½-1 favorite — in a welterweight title-unification bout on Aug. 21?

“Manny has achieved so much in his boxing career and in his life. But everyone in camp can sense this fight has a special meaning,” said Roach, Pacquiao’s longtime trainer. “It is not just about beating a top pound-for-pound fighter or winning more titles. This time it’s all about boxing immortality for Manny Pacquiao.

“I am a Red Sox fan, and I can tell he wants to go out like Ted Williams did, hitting a home run in his last at bat. By the way, Ted Williams was also 42 when he did that.”

Pacquiao evidently is putting in the work necessary to surprise the oddsmakers.

The eight-division titleholder began sparring Thursday at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., only four days after flying from the Philippines to Los Angeles. He went four rounds total with two tall, young southpaws hired to replicate Spence.

Among a small number of observers were two representing the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, who would collect a blood sample following his workout. It was his second drug test of the week.

And Pacquiao hasn’t let jetlag hinder his efforts. He has trained at the Wild Card two to three hours every afternoon since his arrival, according to a news release. That has followed morning runs at nearby Pan Pacific Park or up the hills of Griffith Park to the Hollywood Sign.

“Manny lives for the challenge and the competition,” Roach said. “Manny loves hearing that the Las Vegas odds and the media favor Errol Spence. Manny knows it’s a tough fight – probably his toughest – but that’s why he began his conditioning so early in the Philippines.

“Usually, jet lag keeps him out of the gym for one day the first week he arrives in Los Angeles. Not this time. He has been here every day, training two and half to three hours each afternoon.

“I usually hold off sparring the first week, but Manny insisted on sparring yesterday, so we brought in Maurice Lee (5-foot-11) and Alexis Rocha (5-10), who went two rounds each with Manny.”

The sparring partners were impressed.

“What a great experience,” said Lee (12-1-2, 5 KOs). “I thought since he had just flown in from the Philippines, he would be a little tired and I could catch him with a few shots. But he was sharp, elusive, and unpredictable. Video tape does not prepare you for his speed and the angles he fights from.

“His punches were coming from everywhere. Calling him elite would be an understatement.”

Said Roach (17-1, 11 KOs): “Sparring with Manny was definitely a learning experience. Manny has a very awkward style to fight because his punches come from all directions. He has fast and heavy hands and he throws punches in bunches.”

Spence had better have his best fastball. Pacquiao obviously is digging in.

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