LOS ANGELES — Unified champion Errol Spence Jr. is considering himself the ruler of the welterweight division, and there is no opposition who can make him change his mind.
That also includes Spence’s next opponent in Manny Pacquiao.
The WBC and IBF welterweight titlist Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is set to take on Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) on August 21 in a FOX Sports pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“He’s a rare breed. He's a bad man, but 147 is my division. I'm the king,” said Spence. “I'm taking his quickness and his power into consideration but we will defend it just like any other fight. We are definitely planning for it … It's going to be a great and entertaining fight.”
The younger, taller and stronger Spence is considered a betting favorite to beat the all-time Filipino great, the only eight-division champion in boxing history.
“I'll be at the top [of the sport with a win]. [Manny is] an icon. He's accomplished a lot in the sport,” said Spence. “Just to get this fight with him is an honor and a privilege. I just have to go out there and show who I am as one of the best fighters in the world. It's a dream come true to be fighting someone of his caliber.”
Spence and Pacquiao have shown immense respect for one another throughout the promotion of the fight.
Come fight night, the 31-year-old Texan has more mean intentions.
“I have nothing but respect for him but once the bell rings the respect goes out the door,” said Spence.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com