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SPORTS SHORTS 23: MANNY PACQUIAO BELIEVES SPENCE IS SLOWER THAN THURMAN, BUT PACMAN PREFERS MCGREGOR FIRST


PhilBoxing.com




WBA world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao believes he can beat WBC and IBF champion Errol Spence in a high profile unification fight. The fighting senator wants to fight again in 2021 against Spence or UFC celebrity Conor McGregor. Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), age 30 of Long Island, New York, U.S., successfully defended his titles last December, when he returned to the ring winning a dominant twelve round unanimous decision, 116-112, 116-112, 117-111, over Danny Garcia in Texas.

* * *

Pacquiao observed how Spence fought in his last bout with Garcia and he believes Thurman is a quicker fighter. "He [Spence] is too slow,” Pacquiao told Josef Ramos of Business Mirror when discussing Spence's comeback win over Garcia. "Spence is slower than Thurman but it’s going to be a good fight." Sean Gibbons, President of MP Promotions, thinks Spence is no longer the same fighter after encountering a car accident in 2019. "I think Spence lost a step from the accident,” said Gibbons. “It’s a difficult fight but I think, yes [Pacquiao will beat Spence].”

* * *

McGregor has been calling for a fight with the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) and the two fighters are now represented by the same agency. While Spence would be a big attraction, the eight division world champion is more interested to face McGregor. “[Spence and McGregor are] my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist],” said Pacquiao. “I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino COVID-19 victims.”

* * *

A boxing match between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is "inevitable" according to Audi Attar, whose company Paradigm Sports Management works with both fighters. Attar is very optimistic that the fight will take place before the end of the year. "I definitely believe it's inevitable for 2021," Attar told Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport.

* * *

"Both fighters want it, that's the key. You can't make something happen or orchestrate it or choreograph it - which is the buzzword of this interview - you can't fake that. If one side wants it and the other doesn't, it's not going to happen. But when both fighters want that fight to happen, why wouldn't it happen? If the fans want to see it - that almost guarantees that it's going to happen, right? As there's enough interest to develop something there."

* * *

Attar has already conferred with the UFC about the fight. McGregor is scheduled to return at UFC 257 on January 23, in a rematch with Dustin Poirier. "The UFC said, 'Alright, let's do that rematch [with Poirier]'. We said, 'OK, well let's do that rematch first then, but then Manny will be the next fight'. And that's what both fighters want. So, that's the plan," Attar said. "We've been having amazing conversation with stakeholders across the world, including the Middle East. We'll see where it goes. I'd be shocked if it didn't happen in 2021."

* * *

Former four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, now already 58-years-old, is having an ongoing discussion to face arch rival Mike Tyson for a third bout. Holyfield, who was a big underdog at the time, surprised the boxing world when he stopped Tyson 11th round TKO in November 1996. Their June 1997 rematch ended in three rounds, after Tyson was disqualified for biting off a piece of Holyfield's ear. Tyson lost his boxing license, though it was later reinstated.

* * *

Tyson, 54-years-old and a former undisputed heavyweight champion, retired from the ring in 2005. He returned to the fight arena in November 2020 fighting to an eight round draw with former four division champion Roy Jones Jr. in a pay-per-view exhibition bout. The event was a box office success earning nearly 1.6 million pay-per-view purchases.

* * *

After that successful fight, Holyfield announced a direct challenge to Tyson. Both boxers believe an exhibition trilogy would generate huge numbers on pay-per-view. "The thing is that if it's meant to be it will happen, either way, it is what it is," Holyfield told The Sun. "What I can tell you is that my team is talking to Mike's management, so I'm waiting for a decision... I believe if I fought Mike the fight will generate $200 million. It will be the biggest fight there is. That's the honest truth."

* * *

The NBA chose Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic as the Western Conference Player of the Week from January 4 through January 10. This is the second time in his career that he was named Player of the Week. In three games, where the Mavericks were victorious, Doncic marked averages of 30.3 points, 12 rebounds, and 11.3 assists. Doncic established triple-doubles in two of the three games. He came within one rebound of short of recording another in the other game.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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