Pacquiao to scout Spence, Garcia
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will be a keen observer when reigning titlist Errol Spence and challenger Mikey Garcia tangle for the International Boxing Federation welterweight crown on Saturday, March 16 (Sunday, March 17, Manila time) at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The eight-division world champion knows the winner of the pay-per-view bout is likely to be his next opponent and he wants to assess them up close.
In yet another novel move for the Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao took a detour from his European tour (Switzerland, Germany, Austria) with wife Jinkee, and proceeded to Dallas to be at ringside for the much-awaited bout between two unbeaten fighters considered to be among the world’s best pound-for-pound.
The 5-foot-9 Spence (24-0 with 21 knockouts) is tagged the favorite to beat the smaller Garcia (39-0, 30 knockouts) and surged ahead in the race for the lucrative Pacquiao fight, most likely to be staged in July.
Being a four-division champion, however, the 5-foot-6 Garcia poses a legitimate threat and it would be foolhardy for Spence to dismiss him as a challenger.
While Pacquiao does watch tapes of an opponent’s fights, this will be the first time for the Philippine senator to do the sleuthing at ringside of the former Cowboys Stadium, where he beat Ghana’s Joshua Clottey and Mexico’s Antonio Margarito, both in 2010.
Pacquiao fighting either Spence or Garcia is easy to make because they are all under Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Both are also eager to battle it out with Pacquiao.
The presence of international matchmaker Sean Gibbons by his side is another indicator that another megabuck bout is brewing for Pacquiao, who kept the WBA “regular” title with a lopsided victory over Adrien Broner in Las Vegas last January.
World Boxing Association “super” champion Keith Thurman and World Boxing Organization king Shawn Porter are also with PBC and considered to be the second and third options for Pacquiao, who at 40 years old, is now taking a one at a time approach for his ring career.
Like Pacquiao, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach wants the Spence-Garcia winner to be the next opponent for his prized ward.
That is, if Floyd Mayweather Jr doesn’t come out of retirement. – Rappler.com
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