Sean Gibbons, the madcap handler for eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, may be prone to hyperbole, but he may have a point with his latest pronouncement. (photos by Ryan Hafey)
Gibbons recently tried to unpack what a win over IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. on Aug. 21 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas would mean for his client.
“To me, it would be the greatest win in welterweight history,” Gibbons told Little Giant Boxing. “Again, he’s 42 years and eight months old. It doesn’t happen. It’s never happened. It’s never been done in history. The great ones at welterweight, when [Sugar Ray] Leonard was there, [Tommy] Hearns was there, [Roberto] Duran, Sugar Ray Robinson. Nobody’s accomplished beating a guy in their prime, undefeated, like Errol Spence, at this age in boxing.”
In addition to being in his prime, Spence, a career welterweight, boasts superior physical attributes. But Pacquiao, warns Gibbons, has made a career out of defeating bigger men, from Antonio Margarito to Keith Thurman.
“No weight division, except maybe the heavyweights, where you have guys accomplishing things in their 40s like the senator is accomplishing,” Gibbons said. “When you hit 37, 38, a lot of these guys are finished. To me, the greatest win in the welterweight division history and right up there in the top three [greatest wins] in the history of boxing.”
Gibbons, who is also the president of MP Promotions, Pacquiao’s eponymous promotional company, believes nobody in the lower weight classes has ever been able to sustain a high level of performance well into their 40s as much as Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) has done thus far.
“[Muhammad] Ali and these guys when they got older, they didn’t win big fights after 37, 38,” said Gibbons. “Show me someone – outside of the heavyweights, George Foreman, Archie Moore – at 42 years and eight months, at welterweight, one of the toughest divisions in boxing, to accomplish what he is about to accomplish on the 21st [of August]. So absolutely, it goes down as one of the greatest wins in boxing.”
Pacquiao, who also serves as a senator in his native Philippines, was last seen in the ring, in 2020, winning a decision over Thurman. For his part, Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is coming off a decision over Danny Garcia last December.
Not surprisingly, the oddsmakers have made Spence the clear favorite.
“Rightfully so, [Pacquiao] should be the underdog,” Gibbons said. “He’s giving age, weight, size, he’s giving up everything. Everything says he’s supposed to lose. Well, they told him that his whole life, that Manny Pacquiao is supposed to lose, so, this is no different. That’s why the numbers [the gambling odds] opened so big because Errol has so many physical advantages, but as you see, the numbers are coming down. Some people have faith in the senator.”