One of the crucial thrilling boxing combat bulletins this 12 months was made not too long ago when Manny Pacquiao confirmed he would problem WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in a conflict pitting considered one of right this moment’s undefeated and all-conquering elite fighters towards one of many biggest welterweights of all time and the one eight-weight world champion in historical past.
The combat takes place on August 21 in Las Vegas, and a Saturday combat evening in ‘Sin Metropolis’ is par for the course for a top-line boxing attraction. Nevertheless that information was adopted by a extra curious improvement.
Skilled wrestling juggernaut World Wrestling Leisure confirmed their annual summer season spectacular occasion ‘Summerslam’, initially pegged for Sunday Aug. 22 as per their long-running custom of staging main occasions on Sunday evenings, would actually happen on the twenty first as effectively.
Not solely that, however Summerslam had lengthy been reported to be headed to Las Vegas. Many initially assumed the Saturday date would imply WWE had been on the lookout for one other venue in one other metropolis, however it should actually happen a stone’s throw away from Pacquiao vs. Spence on the identical night.
So, how precisely are we anticipating this to work?
How shut are Pacquiao vs. Spence and Summerslam’s venues?
The boxing superfight has been introduced for the MGM Grand Backyard Area, dwelling of many immortal boxing encounters through the years, together with his loss to Floyd Mayweather, three of his 4 wars with Juan Manuel Marquez, his trilogy towards Timothy Bradley and his two most up-to-date outings vs. Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.
In the meantime, Summerslam 2021 will emanate from the newly-built Allegiant Stadium, dwelling of the NFL’s recently-relocated Las Vegas Raiders.
The Las Vegas strip is after all fairly large, and Google Maps has the 1.4 mile distance between the 2 arenas as a 30-minute stroll or a six minute drive/taxi trip, which after all is determined by site visitors. On a Saturday evening on one of many greatest vacationer locations on the planet, six minutes could also be a tad optimistic.
Will the 2 occasions occur on the identical time?
Each are slated for the night, so it is virtually assured there can be no less than part of Summerslam that’s airing dwell similtaneously a part of the Pacquiao vs. Spence card. The important thing query, nevertheless, is will the boxing essential occasion — the combat everybody desires to see — run unopposed.
Mike Johnson of PW Insider reported not too long ago: “We’re advised WWE’s plan is to conclude Summerslam with sufficient time for followers to have the ability to attend the Pacquiao combat in the identical metropolis in the event that they select or to be capable of watch Pacquiao’s combat on PPV after WWE’s broadcast concludes.”
Main WWE occasions typically start at 7pm or 8pm ET, which is 4pm or 5pm PT in Vegas and midnight or 1am within the UK. Wrestlemania and Summerslam have prior to now run so long as six or seven hours (!), however within the COVID-19 period there was a extra frequent return to the three- or four-hour runtimes of outdated.
Principal occasion ringwalks in Vegas normally land round 11pm to midnight ET/8pm to 9pm PT/4am to 5am UK, so if WWE kicked off Summerslam at 4pm native time in Vegas and stored issues to a three-hour present, attendees might certainly make an 8pm ringwalk for Pacquiao vs. Spence dwell and in individual.
If Johnson’s report is to be taken at face worth, then we are able to relaxation assured that conversations are going down between each events to make sure a easy transition. A shuttle service for individuals who have bought tickets to each might even be arrange, as an illustration.
What about watching Pacquiao-Spence and Summerslam on TV?
Now this ought to be a lot simpler, once you take away the Las Vegas Strip logistics.
Historical past has proven that there’s a giant proportion of crossover followers who will take into account watching each dwell boxing and large wrestling reveals, relying on what’s on supply. With Pacquiao-Spence and Summerslam being up there on the prime of their respective professions’ greatest choices of 2021, there can be a giant variety of spectators planning an enormous double-header viewing social gathering — that’s after all, as long as the wrestling doesn’t conflict with the boxing headliner.
Paul Benson launched Hooked On Wrestling, a dwell occasions firm that specialises in screening huge WWE occasions akin to Wrestlemania, Summerslam and the Royal Rumble, in 2013. He has seen first-hand the kind of numbers and environment a wrestling social gathering can entice, and after a frantic rush to reschedule his venue bookings for Aug. 22 to Aug. 21, is cautious of the issues the Pacquiao-Spence combat might trigger.
“We have not staged our events since January of 2020 for the Rumble, due to the pandemic,” he advised DAZN. “After all everyone seems to be determined to get again to occasions and let their hair down after a tough 18 months, so the Summerslam parties should be incredible.
“I truthfully can not see the Pacquiao undercard being stacked an excessive amount of. Some boxing promoters go for a supercard, however so much will simply give attention to the principle occasion and put rookies beneath as a result of the constructing will keep half empty or worse till the massive combat, anyway.
“I am quietly optimistic it is going to be Summerslam from most likely midnight within the UK, it’s going to most likely run 4 hours as a result of it is set to be a stacked present with rumours of John Cena returning to face Roman Reigns and extra, then Pacquiao and Spence stroll out for his or her combat at round 5am within the UK. That is midnight in New York, however UFC have had their essential occasions previous midnight ET a number of instances.”
That anticipated hour’s hole for Vegas ticket-buyers to tug a double header will give viewers world wide loads of respiration area, and if Pacquiao-Spence finally ends up with an honest chief assist bout, viewers will hopefully be capable of watch all of Summerslam, the co-main and Pacquiao vs. Spence in a single great summer season’s night.
Pacquiao vs. Spence: What number of world titles are at stake?
We all know that Spence can be defending his WBC and IBF belts within the encounter. So, the combat can be for 2 world titles on the very least. Nevertheless, Pacquiao’s championship scenario is a bit more complicated.
In his final combat, ‘Pac-Man’ dethroned previously-unbeaten Thurman for the WBA welterweight strap. Nevertheless, that combat passed off pre-pandemic, method again in July 2019. The WBA then made the choice to declare Pacquiao as “champion in recess” and promote Yordenis Ugas to being recognised as their ‘essential’ welterweight champ, of all the varied variations per division this explicit sanctioning physique dishes out.
Upon listening to of the large showdown set for Manny’s return, the WBA was then reported as contemplating reversing that call, presumably in order that they will get extra concerned within the August superfight that simply so occurs to vow to be very profitable.
For now, two world titles are a lock. But when the WBA resolve to re-recognise Pacquiao heading into the combat, the winner will management 3/4 of the division with solely WBO champion Terence Crawford in a position to dispute their rule. And Crawford-Spence or Crawford-Pacquiao for undisputed glory is strictly what followers hope to see the 147lbs ship in 2022.