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Spence-Pacquiao Dropping Continued 2021 Boxing Letdowns

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Spence-Pacquiao Dropping Continued 2021 Boxing Letdowns

Ryan Hafey- Premier Boxing Champions

Spence-Pacquiao Dropping Continued 2021 Boxing Letdowns

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. We were supposed to be sitting in August in the midst of a triumphant return of big time, quality, mega-fights with lots of fans in attendance and all coming in succession through the Summer of 2021. Instead it’s the Summer of “letdowns’, as we’ve gotten one “gut-punch” after another with delays, cancellations  and most importantly, not much happening in between the ropes.

The latest news, as you’re probably aware by now, came Tuesday afternoon “out of the blue.” That’s when Premier Boxing Champions announced that the huge Unified World Welterweight Title Fight scheduled for a week from Saturday in Las Vegas between WBC/IBF Champion, Errol Spence and eight division world champion, Manny Pacquiao, is now off.

This because Spence has suffered a torn retina in his left eye. An injury only discovered by the Nevada medical doctors during pre-fight exams two weeks out. Spence will have surgery later this week and be out for an indefinite period of time.

Yes, PBC and Fox Sports will try to salvage Pacquiao’s first fight in over two years by having him now battle WBA 147 lb. champ Yordenis Ugas coming 10 days from now. Ugas was already scheduled to be in the co-feature of the PPV card at the T-Mobile Arena Saturday night, and he has been involved in several title fights, previously. However, make no mistake, this is the latest massive dropoff- disappointment that we are now getting in a succession this calendar year.

It began a couple of months ago, when we believed that Teofimo Lopez, one of the rising stars in the lower weight classes of the sport, was going to defend his Undisputed Lightweight championship for the first time against his IBF mandatory #1 Challenger George Kambosos of Australia. Lopez would’ve been heavily favored to win that fight and thus, set into motion a late 2021 rematch with one of the premier pound-for-pound fighters in the world Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez shocked Lomachenko on a 12-round decision in October of 2020 and there was clearly going to be momentum and motivation towards the two of them fighting, again in either October or November.

Alas, Lopez contracted Covid-19 and his Miami scheduled June bout with Kambosos has not only been delayed by that Illness, but also a dispute with a Triller and their “Fight Club” series. Triller, unhappy with the Summer delays, has tried to move Lopez – Kambosos to Australia for this Fall. However, earlier this week the IBF sided with it’s champion Lopez and ruled the fight must take place soon and in the United States.

Then, came the biggest disappointment to this point in the year and that was the total postponement of the WBC Heavyweight title third fight between champion, Tyson Fury and former champion, Deontay Wilder. This after Fury reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 just two weeks before the scheduled bout also in Vegas.. We are still writing reportedly, because there are many privately in Las Vegas (where Fury was training) associated with the bout either through the promoters, the sanctioning bodies and TV networks that believe after seeing Fury out in public and around crowds when he was supposed to be quarantined while supposedly positive, he wasn’t really positive/sick.

And, the theory being floated is that Fury had not been taking his training seriously in the Summer, and was looking for a way to get out of rematch, which has been forced by an arbitrator earlier this year to take place.

And, that leads us back to Tuesday and the last thing that the “sweet science” needed, which was another high-profile fight falling by the wayside. Yes, Pacquiao will still be in action (we think) in 10 days but it’s clearly against lesser accomplished/known foe. And, there won’t be much leverage for the Pac-Man even in victory, like there would have been if he had toppled the younger, unbeaten Spence.

As for the hope that Pacquiao and Spence could still fight late in this year or early next year, that is highly unlikely.

This is because a torn retina typically takes at least 60, if not 90, days to completely heal. And, realistically, it may be even longer than that before Spence could begin training. Another factor is that the 42 year old Pacquiao is not getting any younger and probably only has one, or at the maximum two, fights remaining in his career. A further complication is the repeated hints that Pacquiao will run for the the Presidency of the Philippines and kick off that political campaign later this year.

That makes everyone wonder even more, if a Spence-Pacquiao fight will ever materialize? A similar question that we’re asking with Fury-Wilder, even though it’s now rescheduled for October 9th.

Add all of that to the question still being asked about whether we’ll ever see Lopez fight Kambosos at all or will he simply vacate the IBF belt?

For a series of fights that was supposed to set up the rest of the calendar year, we fight fans and observers have been left with: “a whole lot of nothing.”

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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