Canelo Álvarez vs Manny Pacquiao – The Pound for Pound Race of 2021

Manny Pacquiao Canelo Pound for Pound

Future first-ballot Hall of Famers Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao are locked in a race for the Pound for Pound number one spot in 2021.

As World Boxing News previously pointed out, Pacquiao has the opportunity to overhaul Canelo as the king if he can defeat Errol Spence on August 21.

Due to Pacquiao’s considerable achievements as an eight-weight ruler, plus the fact he continues to fight the best into his forties, the Filipino Senator will be WBN’s number one on August 22 if his hands get raised in victory the previous night.


In a twist, though, Canelo will be able to re-take his place at the summit just over one month later if he beats Caleb Plant to clean out the 168-pound division.

For now, all eyes are on whether Pacquiao can regain the accolade he last held over a decade ago. At the time, he moved up as far as super-welterweight to dominate much bigger opponents.

Spence, a P4P star rated at number three, is seen as Pacquiao’s biggest challenge outside Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

“The Truth” is undefeated and expected to win, which is one of the reasons why Spence himself will not be able to overtake Canelo and become the pound-for-pound number one himself.

The American has a little further to go before he can match Canelo’s achievements right now. Nonetheless, he will move above Naoya Inoue into second place. That’s if he can add another loss to Pacquiao’s record.

Debates are raging all over social media and on forums as to what the victory will mean for Pacquiao – if he’s able to achieve it.

Manny Pacquiao Errol Spence Jr
Ryan Hafey

Former Floyd Mayweather fighter Ishe Smith would still place his old boss above Pacquaio even if Spence gets put to the sword. Still, “Sugar Shay” says it’s a more challenging call.

“If Manny bests Spence. Even with the Floyd Mayweather defeat, pundits will have a hard time putting Floyd over Manny as an all-time great.

“I will still go, Floyd Mayweather. But that’s going to be a crazy argument if Manny Pacquiao can pull this off.”


The man himself has given big props to Spence as Pacquiao sees the unified champion as his most skilled foe. The veteran even added a dig about Mayweather’s tactics when they fought for good measure.

“Errol doesn’t need advice from Floyd Mayweather. I believe Errol is better than Floyd Mayweather,” Pacquiao said at the presser.

“I think he could teach Floyd Mayweather how to fight toe to toe.”

We all find out on August 21.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.