By: Hans Themistode
It was the matchup fans were hoping for. When Manny Pacquiao revealed to the boxing world that he was set to take on Errol Spence Jr. on August 21st, in Las Vegas, Nevada, the only thing missing was the venue. Now, after working things out behind the scenes, their mega showdown officially has a location.
T-Mobile Arena, which has hosted several huge boxing events including Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs and Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev, will now play host to arguably the biggest fight of the year.
Spence Jr., 31, will walk into his showdown against Pacquiao as the prohibited favorite. The betting public’s willingness to plunk down several dollars on the unified titlist is due to his recent track record. The Dallas native has simply mowed down the competition and has gone on to hand several former champion’s one-sided losses such as Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia and most recently – Danny Garcia.
Now, with the chance to face who he describes as a “living legend,” Spence has guaranteed that he will “retire” Pacquiao come fight night.
But while the threats of Spence Jr. have irritated the fan base of the future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Pacquiao has merely shrugged off his meaningless words. Having stood on the sidelines since his split decision win over Keith Thurman in July of 2019, Pacquiao claims that he’s fresh, rejuvenated and ready to go.
Although Pacquiao and Spence Jr. have spent numerous years fighting in front of a Vegas crowd, this will be the first time either man steps through the ropes at the T-Mobile Arena. With every wrinkle seemingly ironed out for their showdown, the only question mark that remains is whether or not their contest will be considered a unification bout.
After dethroning Thurman in 2019, Pacquiao also picked up the WBA welterweight title that was in possession of Thurman. His championship status, however, was revoked earlier this year for his failure to defend his title in a timely fashion. The Filipino native was officially placed as “Champion in Recess” and Yordenis Ugas, then the WBA “Regular” belt holder, was elevated to full titleholder. Meaning, once Pacquiao decided to end his hiatus, he would be given the first crack at Ugas to regain his world title.
Yet, as is always the case in boxing, the rules have seemingly gone out the window. WBA President Gilberto Mendoza has recently come out and stated that in all likelihood, Pacquiao’s reinstatement as champion is the most probable option. Whether or not Pacquiao is in fact reinstated is yet to be seen.
As for the current belt holder in Ugas, he’s set to also return to action in the co-main event on the night against an opponent yet to be named.