Manny Pacquiao will make his first appearance in the ring in over two years when he battles Errol Spence Jr. on August 21 for the WBC, IBF, and The Ring welterweight titles as a lengthy betting underdog. The only eight-division world champion in the history of box, “Pac-Man” has also claimed 12 major world titles since making his professional debut in 1995. However, he may be in for one of the toughest tests of his career when he enters the ring at T-Mobile Arena against Errol Spence Jr. Undefeated through his first 27 pro fights, the 31-year-old has made a steady climb to the top of the welterweight division. But can the southpaw from New York remain perfect in his upcoming clash with Pacquiao, which is billed as a “Generational Showdown”?
CanadianBettingSites takes a look at how these two welterweight stars stack up, both in the ring and at the sportsbooks, as the countdown to their Vegas showdown continues. Sports bettors looking to get in on boxing action for the first time can check out our in-depth betting guide and reviews to learn all they need to know to get the best out of their boxing betting experience.
|Odds - Pacquiao vs Spence|
|Errol Spence Jr.||1.35||1.40||1.44||1.40||1.39|
Pacquiao Makes Unexpected Return to the Ring
Few observers have expected Manny Pacquiao to return to the ring since he was stripped of the WBA (Super) welterweight title he won with his a 12-round split decision victory over Keith Thurman back in the summer of 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic limiting boxing action over the past year, and the Pac-Man’s focus seemingly redirected towards politics in his native Philippines, the announcement of his upcoming clash with Errol Spence Jr. caught many by surprise. That includes oddsmakers, who have listed the boxing legend as a betting underdog, with a $20 bet at 10bet (3.00) on Pacquiao extending his current win streak to four paying out a generous $60.
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) July 18, 2021
Of course, underestimating Pacquiao after a long layoff has been a pastime in the boxing world for many years. The 42-year-old first announced his retirement as a pro boxer following a unanimous decision win over Timothy Bradley back in April 2016, only to return to the squared circle seven months to face Jessie Vargas. Pacquiao’s victory by unanimous decision over Vargas came as a heavy favourite, with odds as short as 1.01 at Betway.
Pac-Man Fading at Sportsbooks in Recent Years
However, Pac-Man has faced increasingly longer odds since, and entered the ring for his last fight against Keith Thurman two years ago as dramatically reduced chalk, with a $20 bet at Sports Interaction (1.70) returning as a much as $34.
My Knockout of the Year;
Juan Manuel Marquez KO6 Manny Pacquiao.
— 𝙏𝙖𝙝𝙟 𝙍. (@BoxingJournaIs) May 18, 2021
Now poised to enter the ring as a betting underdog for the first time since his 2015 loss to another undefeated champion, Floyd Mayweather Jr., the question looms over just how much Pac-Man has left in the tank. Overall, he has won just eight of his past 12 fights and finished an opponent just once during that stretch. However, he has also avoided being knocked out in 10 contests since suffering a stunning sixth-round KO loss to Juan Manuel Márquez almost a decade ago.
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Spence Represents the Present, and Future, of the Welterweight Division
While questions linger about Pacquiao’s fitness to return to the ring, no such concerns surround Errol Spence Jr., who prepares to defend his titles as a solid favourite, with a $20 bet at 888 Sports (1.40) paying out just $28. A knockout specialist early in his career, Spence has demonstrated his ability to outlast opponents since ascending to the top of the welterweight division.
Errol Spence Jr.’s car after a crash in 2019, a year later he beat Danny Garcia by unanimous decision. Next month he fights Manny Pacquiao. pic.twitter.com/OY4yC7z9y6
— bawalsakti™ (@bawalsakti) July 20, 2021
A three-time US national champion before turning pro, Spence showed no ill effects from injuries suffered in a serious car accident while disposing of Danny Garcia by unanimous decision in his last outing eight months ago and has now seen each of his past three fights go the distance. That experience is likely to serve his well against a battle-hardened opponent like Pacquiao, who has demonstrated time and again his ability to withstand heavy punishment in marathon bouts. In addition, it also raised the possibility of this clash ending in a draw, making a value wager worth considering at Betway (21.00), where a $20 wager on the judges failing to pick a winner returns a handsome $420.
Errol Spence Jr.’s goal is simple — knock Manny Pacquiao into retirement. pic.twitter.com/1GzSxxgFYH
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) June 12, 2021
Of course, betting against many Pacquiao is not an exercise for the faint of heart, and may churn the stomach of veteran sports bettors who have enjoyed regular payouts throughout the Pac-Man’s career. But considering just how dominant Spence has been while compiling a perfect 27-0 record with eight first-round finishes, the smart money will be on the talented American to end Pacquiao’s career, once and for all.