Derrick James On Pacquiao: “You Can’t Think About Him Like Some God”

Derrick James is keeping his feet on the ground

Derrick James poses with unified world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., WBA champion in recess Manny Pacquiao
Derrick James with Errol Spence Jr. (left), Manny Pacquiao

Derrick James is keeping his feet on the ground

In the sport of boxing, there is not a great deal of ‘golden ticket’ fighters running around. Without question, unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez is one such golden goose. Another pugilist of this variety is the living legend WBA World welterweight champion in recess Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO’s). So it’s only natural to think that IBF and WBC World welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KO’s) would be electrified to hear he got the call next. However, this was not entirely the case with Spence.

Sure, he was happy to know that he was fighting such a decorated warrior, but it does not fit his personality to get overly giddy. The same is true of his chief second, Derrick James. Neither the fighter nor his trainer could allow themselves to get overly caught up in the glitz and glamour aspect of their next prizefight. Like Spence, James explained his feelings about the matter in his laid back manner in a recent interview with Fight Hype.

“It’s just like everybody else. You can’t view him as this thing, and at the same time I think that you have to be able to treat him like an everyday individual. You can’t think about him like some kind of god or some kind of whatever, even though he is considered a boxing god, royalty.”


This level-headed approach is essentially the key to their desired success. Naturally, both Spence and James believe in The Truth’s skillset and ability. They just also understand the supreme importance of a great game plan and mindset. In fact, in his opinion, Derrick James believes getting caught up in the bright lights of the moment has gobbled up a number of Pacquiao adversaries.

“But you can’t catch yourself watching Manny Pacquiao box you. That’s what happened to a lot of guys, they watched Manny Pacquiao beat them up, [as] opposed to getting engaged and being involved with the fight.”

Whether fight night goes as planned or not, it will be fun to see how Spence and Pac Man mesh in the ring. It will also be interesting to see whether the aging titan can shock the world one more time or will Spence pummel him into a reluctant retirement.

By: Bakari Simpson

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