Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao heads into an intriguing clash against Adrien Broner on January 19 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao, defending the WBA (Regular) welterweight title, is aiming to add another win to his resume but will have his work cut out with the troublesome Cincinnati-native.
Both men had mixed success in each of their respective bouts. While the “Pac Man” scored his first knockout in nine years over Lucas Matthysse in April, “The Problem” fought to a draw against Jessie Vargas in the same month. Pacquiao is 3-2-0 in his last five heading into the welterweight title showdown, while Broner takes in 3-1-1 in his five prior bouts.
With a potential showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the horizon for Pacquiao if he can overcome the challenge of Broner, the Filipino will be looking to impress. It was recently announced that the 2000s Fighter of the Decade has reunited with long-time coach Freddie Roach for this bout and it remains to be seen if this can help him gain the upper hand.
Broner, who was once again arrested prior to the holidays – this time due to an outstanding warrant – will be fighting to save his career. “The Problem” has consistently lived up to his moniker outside of the ring, but will be dead set on causing his opponent as many issues as he can in order to win a title and work his way into bigger fights on a more consistent basis.
Broner will no doubt be used to being an underdog, given that he had the same status heading into bouts against Vargas and Mikey Garcia (a fight he lost). Pacquiao, unsurprisingly, has not been the underdog since his money-spinning bout against Mayweather in 2015. Even at 40 years old, the ring legend is considered by the bookies to be the man who takes this one.
The odds above, provided by BetOnline.Ag, see Pacquiao as a pretty strong favorite heading into the title clash. There is no doubt that the odds have been influenced by Pacquiao’s strong performance against Matthysse in April and the fact that Broner is, once again, fighting at 147-pounds. The American’s three losses – to Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Marcos Maidana – have all come at welterweight.
Another major factor in Broner’s status as a significant underdog is his troubles outside of the ring. Although once touted as a fighter capable of achieving at the very top of the game, various run-ins with the law and erratic behavior have seen him painted more as a clown than a champion. Of course, Broner still has the talent to trouble Pacquiao – and potentially win the fight – but his unreliability makes him a difficult man to back.
Pacquiao, despite his age, is still a big name in the sport. The future Hall of Fame fighter has shown signs of turning a corner since his shocking upset loss to Jeff Horn in July 2017 and seemingly wants another money-spinning bout with Mayweather. Given his talent, the caliber of opponent, and his ambitions to cash out before hanging up his gloves. he certainly seems to be the fighter with more promise.
In the case of Pacquiao beating Broner, a rematch can happen. One major reason why it can happen is that there would be a lot of money involved for both fighters. When there are tens of millions of dollars to be made, you can be certain that the two greatest fighters of their generation will be interested.
Mayweather recently took part in a bizarre exhibition with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, and according to reports, made just $9 million for the spectacle. A fight with Pacquiao could potentially make him over 5 times that amount. Pacquiao will certainly be doing his best to fulfill his part in making the fight happen, which is to beat Broner. Without a win, his chances of drumming up interest for a Mayweather rematch will be seriously affected.
If a second bout was to happen, Bovada.Lv would clearly favor Mayweather to win a second fight. The first bout, in 2015, equaled big paydays for both men, despite the fight being made around 6 years too late for most fans. It would take a hard sell to garner the same level of publicity and attention for a rematch, but in the wild and wacky world of modern boxing, we could end up with a trilogy of fights. Money talks, after all.
If there is one thing that will almost certainly spell an end to Pacquiao’s hopes of a rematch, it will be a loss against Broner. Whether the American beats his Filipino opponent convincingly or not, there will surely be no place to sell a $100 pay-per-view to boxing fans.
Pacquiao loves his sport. However, he has achieved more than most ever will. An eight-time world champion, Fighter of the Decade of the 2000s, hundreds of millions of dollars, and the adulation of fans all over the world. What else is there for Pacquiao to achieve? Money seems to be the lure, here. You could just as well say “Money,” given that Mayweather is the potential goldmine for the 40-year-old.
The more romantic among us may see Pacquiao as less of the mercenary and more of a man who just simply cannot leave the sport. Footage of his training camp that was broadcast prior to the Matthysse bout certainly indicated that there was a fire in Pacquiao’s belly like we haven’t seen before. When he seemingly “fired” Freddie Roach, many scratched their heads.
The decision not to work with Roach ahead of the Matthysee fight left fans wondering if there was some unknown conflict at play. For Pacquiao, he insisted that he wanted to try something new out. Whatever happened worked, and he picked up his first stoppage in nine years. Roach is back for this fight, although he will assume a lesser role in preparations for Broner.
Whether you believe Pacquiao is in this for a Mayweather rematch or not, boxing is prizefighting, by nature. The reason these men get into the ring at this level is for the purse, so what better inspiration can there be for overcoming the challenge Broner provides than a potential pot of gold at the bottom of Mayweather’s rainbow?
What can you say about Adrien Broner that has not already been said, time after time? The former light welterweight and welterweight champion has clear talent but seems to get himself embroiled in so much chaos that you almost wonder just how he has managed to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. At one point, Broner was facing a possible 57-year sentence but “turned his life around” and “dedicated” himself to boxing.
Make no mistake: a win for Broner is crucial in this fight. A loss would surely spell the beginning of the end of his career.
After turning professional in 2008, Broner found success, winning his first 27 fights and collecting titles along the way. His troubles, however, have seen him earn the disdain of many in the boxing community. While many will point to Broner being a four-weight world champion, his caliber of opponents was never great. His first major challenge, against Marcos Maidana – resulted in an embarrassing wake up call.
However, buoyed by a decent performance against Vargas in April, Broner is hoping to shut the mouths of detractors that say he is out of depth at welterweight. His last win was against Adrian Granados back in February 2017, which is almost two years ago. Regardless, he is carrying himself into this fight like a champion and appears confident of adding the name of a genuine legend to his resume.
The problem for “The Problem” is that he is fighting against a rejuvenated Pacquiao and one that made light work of the very solid Lucas Matthysse in his last bout. “Pac Man” wants to knock Broner out and this is certainly achievable. While Broner looked exceptional at lower weight classes, he has never truly looked good at welterweight. Pacquiao has fought as high as super welterweight but is a natural at 147.
Regardless, Broner knows exactly what is at stake here. At a recent press conference, he described himself in this bout as a “bum fighting for a sandwich.” If he cannot raise his game to fit the biggest fight of his life, then he will probably have to face the realization that he is not cut out for life at the top of the sport. No one, let alone a man of Broner’s unwavering confidence, would relish the thought of being confronted with that realization.
Broner can win, but the momentum here is with Pacquiao. It will take something special for the American to pull this out of the bag, given that his opponent will have the better conditioning and Broner’s power has not been consistent at this weight. Yes, he won the last six rounds of the Vargas bout, showing good conditioning. Yes, he dropped Porter. These seem to be exceptions to the rule, however.
It is one thing making a prediction with nothing riding on your words, but when putting money down, things become a lot more serious. This is a fight that seems to be set to go one way – a win for Pacquiao – but Broner will be there, in the ring, gloved-up, and gunning to show the world what he can do. When it all comes down to the performance, however, does he have enough to take the win?
Manny Pacquiao is fired up and ready for this bout. He showed great skills against Matthysee in his last bout, showing the world that he can still exchange with big power, something that Matthysse has never really shown a problem with before. Other than a KO loss to Viktor Postol in 2015, the Argentine had never lost a fight by stoppage. This is something to take into account.
While Pacquiao has made it known that he is aiming for a second stoppage in a row, it is unlikely that he will be able to put Broner away. Well, he has never been knocked out or stopped in 38 fights – and that includes being beaten badly by Maidana – so it is difficult to see him falling to the Filipino. That being said, I do see Pacquiao dropping Broner at least once during the fight.
Conversely, Broner’s best chance of winning this fight is by knockout. Pacquiao has been stopped three times in career, with the last being a brutal knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, but he is not known as a fighter with a glass chin. Yes, he has proven that he can be dropped but I can’t see Broner having the power to pull it off.
While I don’t see Broner coming into this fight unconditioned, I believe Pacquiao will be in better shape on the night. Even at 40-years-old, Pacquiao is in great shape and looks to have taken on a new life since his loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. The Senator’s conditioning will be crucial to how he wins this fight, as it will dictate his output. If Pacquiao looks anything like he did in his last bout, this will be a huge problem for Broner.
I believe Broner could find some early success in this fight but will fade as the rounds go by. While he does like to fight in the pocket with the shoulder roll, just like Mayweather, he will need to move his feet and be prepared to counter against Pacquiao. The older man will be throwing plenty of combinations and will be swarming Broner, so if he stands still and allows him to take the fight to him, he will be under pressure from the get-go.
Pacquiao’s speed can really make the difference here. His ability to get in and out while cutting numerous angles and befuddling Broner with quick punches will wear him down. If “Pac Man” gets the upper hand early in the fight – and overwhelms his opponent – there is a chance that he could have the fight won, mentally at least, before the midway point of the bout.
Broner, I believe, is a clear-cut replica of the Mayweather style, although nowhere near as talented or effective. For this reason, you can see why Pacquaio – a man who is clearly aiming for a rematch with Mayweather – would want to use this bout as a tune-up. Unfortunately, I believe that this fight is just that for Pacquiao (a warm-up for Mayweather), albeit one with a huge prize up for grabs.
This bout is an interesting one given the stakes. On one hand, you have a 40-year-old legend angling for a super fight, while on the other, a 29-year-old aiming to salvage his career. One might think that the roles here should be reversed, but boxing is a funny old game.
The fight itself looks poised to go the distance. Neither Pacquiao nor Broner will be underestimating one another and both should be in good condition heading into the clash. It seems that Pacquiao’s experience and comfortability with the big occasions will be to his advantage, and he is, even at 11 years old than Broner, a better boxer. His output will dictate the fight and he will simply have too much for the younger man.
Final Prediction: Manny Pacquiao (-271) to beat Adrien Broner (+231) by decision
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