'The Golden Boy' of boxing was soundly beaten by Pacquiao in what would turn out to be his final fight before retiring, losing via a eighth round stoppage.
Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KOs) will now face Pacquiao on August 21 and has been working hard in the gym with trainer Derrick James in the build-up to the biggest fight of his career to date.
But De La Hoya believes the American will face a much stiffer test than in his last outing against Danny Garcia and insisted 'The Truth' cannot afford to lose focus as he needs to watch out for Pacquiao's signature move.
“I love that fight and it’s a great match-up,” De La Hoya said to EsNews. “I think Spence is a great fighter.
"I think Spence, as great as he is, I think he has to be careful with… Manny has that little [hands raised move].
"When he goes like this [hands raised], you know he’s gonna throw [a punch]. He goes like this [hand raised] and then he throws.”
“He’s gotta [sic] be careful with that, but I love Spence and it’s gonna be a great fight."
Pacquiao had been due to face Spence's long-term rival Terence Crawford in a welterweight title clash in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
But the fight collapsed due to financial issues, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, leaving Spence to swoop in and steal his place.
Spence's former opponent, Garcia, has weighed in on the upcoming mega-bout and also insisted both fighters are fully capable of knocking each other out.
He told FightHype.com: “I think it’s a 50-50 fight, to be honest. I can see both of them knocking each other out.
"And I think this fight is not going to go the distance. I think somebody is getting knocked out. It could be either-or.
"If Manny fights the way he fought [Keith] Thurman, I believe he can stop Spence.
"But if Spence comes with his A-game, I think Spence can stop him with a body shot."
The two last fought each other in December 2020, when Spence won a wide decision to retain his WBC and IBF welterweight titles at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
As for Pacquiao, the legendary Pac Man, 42, hasn't fought since July 2019, where he defeated Keith Thurman Jr via a close split decision.News Now - Sport News