Ricky Hatton says Manny Pacquiao will have to raise his game against Errol Spence Jr when the pair meet on August 21.
The fight announcement surprised everyone when it hit social media last month and will see the Filipino superstar challenge the American for his WBC and IBF welterweight titles in Las Vegas.
Hatton fought Pacquiao in May 2009 when ‘Pacman’ was just 30 years old. Now, at the age of 42, he is all set to challenge father time once again in the 72nd fight of his professional career.
Writing in his column for Metro, Hatton said: “We can’t point out Manny Pacquiao’s age and say he can’t do it. We always worry about these things happening because no one likes to see fighters who we have so much admiration for go in there and get hurt. But if you are still performing at the highest level why not? But he will certainly have to raise his game again against Spence, he is a hell of a fighter.
“Compared to Keith Thurman who Pacquiao beat in 2019, Spence is a little bit sharper, a little bit crisper in what he does. You would think that the reflexes might be starting to go a bit on Manny Pacquiao. But every now and again you get the odd freak. Bernard Hopkins went onto become a world champion at 48!”
Hatton described Pacquiao as “very sensible” and “very educated” after being in his company in the past. The former two-weight world champion praised his old foe’s longevity and says Pacquiao will go down as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
“But we don’t want to see him get hurt,” Hatton said.
“But you have got to put faith in him and the team behind him and assume they are clever enough to know what they are doing.”