For Manny Pacquiao, the only thing Errol Spence has going in his favor is youth.
Pacquiao insists he is not even bothered by Spence’s sheer advantage in some other facets of their 21 August showdown.
Told about Spence’s four-inch height advantage over the 5-foot-6 Pacquiao, the Filipino eight-division champion gave away a blank stare.
Reminded that the New York-born Texan could be the hardest-hitter among his opponents, given Spence’s 27-0 record with 21 knockouts, Pacquiao looked as if he was going to break into a wide grin but opted not to.
Instead, he declined to give a lowly assessment of Spence and sounded diplomatic.
“Malakas naman ang mga suntok basta’t makatama ka (Punches are strong provided that you land them),” Pacquiao said, now smiling, staring intently on the guy who was fielding questions a meter away.
“He (Spence) is younger but besides that, I have no worries (fighting him),” he said over the weekend in-between meetings at his palatial Forbes Park home.
Pacquiao feels his determination and “desire to win” will play a pivotal role in his quest to inflict Spence his first loss, the same way he dealt Keith Thurman his in July 2019.
“I don’t have any other concerns,” he added.
Pacquiao, 42, has kicked off the initial phase of his buildup for the all-southpaw clash that will likely be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Based on the timeline his handlers have provided, Pacquiao will be holding the Philippine stage of the preparations until the second week of July.
The second and most crucial leg of the training will be spent under Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
Spence is a -450 favorite ($450 wins $100) while Pacquiao is a +350 underdog ($100 wins $350).
Pacquiao’s being inactive for over two years is a primary reason why the odds are stacked heavily against him.
Last time he fought was against Thurman.
The Spence showdown will be Pacquiao’s 30th fight on American soil.
It’s going to be a battle of southpaws but Pacquiao feels it’s not his lethal left — but his right — that’s going to make Spence wonder if he is indeed facing a guy who is pushing mid-40s.
“I am up against a (fellow) southpaw and this (hand) will hold the key (to victory),” he said, raising his right hand to signify the role it will play in the duel of the lefties.
Seconds later, Pacquiao used it as a fist bump as the long-time pals bade each other goodbye.
“I have studied him. I know what to do,” he said as they parted ways.