Manny Pacquiao fought his final fight nowhere near his peak in 2021 as he retired on the back of a loss to Yordenis Ugas.
The defeat came just two years after his impressive win over Keith Thurman, when Pacquiao became the oldest welterweight champion of all time.
Errol Spence Jr. believes Pacquiao was way passed his prime against Ugas despite looking amazing against Thurman.
The comments made by the unified welterweight champion, which can get construed as a diss, don’t reflect well on Thurman.
“I watched the Ugas vs. Manny Pacquiao fight live, but I haven’t watched it since then,” said Spence. “I thought the way that fight went was more because of Manny Pacquiao being a shell of himself.
“I’ve been looking forward to this fight since I had to drop out of the Pacquiao bout. I knew I would be fighting the winner.
“Now I’ve got Ugas in front of me. He’s a tough champion who’s been through a lot in his life.”
Thurman lost the fight before Ugas after being dropped by Pacquiao. According to Spence, “Pacman” then aged badly between fights.
Spence was due to fight Pacquiao before pulling out with an eye injury. Now, as fate has it, it’s Ugas up next as Spence bids for a third title at 147.
The pound-for-pound star is super-confident.
“I have everything in my arsenal. Whatever Ugas brings to the table, I’m ready for it,” pointed out the WBC and IBF ruler.
“I’m going to dictate the pace and control everything. I’m making him fight my fight.
“From what I’ve seen, Ugas is very physical and very tough. He was waving Shawn Porter forward, so you know he has that fighter spirit inside of him.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work, and I’m not worried about my eye at all. It actually feels stronger than the other one. I’m just making sure that I’m 100% on point with everything.
“I’m not looking to say anything to the rest of the division. But I’m going to send my message with my performance. When I have three belts, everyone will know what that means.”
Spence added on whether he needed a warm-up fight before Ugas: “I can’t sit back and fight a tune-up fight right now. I want to go straight in with the sharks.
“Ugas will push me to another level, which I want.
“I knew that if I was fighting a tune-up, I could sneak snacks in at night and stuff like that. I’m fighting someone on my level.”
Spence concluded on fighting a Cuban in Texas with a substantial Mexican population set to attend: “Ugas is living the American Dream.
“He wants to keep living the ‘American Dream.’ His challenge is beating me, and I want his belt.
“Those Mexican fans are a huge part of Texas, and I love fighting in front of them. I’m planning on giving them the kind of amazing fight they love.”
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Furthermore, follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.