One of boxing’s most timeless figures is back on Showtime pay-per-view (PPV) TONIGHT (Sat., Jan. 19, 2019), as 40-year-old WBA Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao looks to make a statement against Adrien Broner in Las Vegas, Nevada. MGM Grand Garden Arena will also host a Light Heavyweight bout between top contenders Badou Jack and Marcus Browne, plus a pair of vacant title fights that see unbeaten Jhack Tepora take on former champ Hugo Ruiz and Rau’shee Warren face Nordine Oubaali in a rematch of the 2012 Olympics.
“Pac-Man” is still the star, though, so let’s see how he’ll do.
Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao
Record: 60-7-2, 39 KO
Last Five Fights: Lucas Matthysse (TKO-7), Jeff Horn (UD Loss), Jessie Vargas (UD), Tim Bradley (UD), Floyd Mayweather (UD Loss)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Juan Manuel Marquez (2x), Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera (2x), Erik Morales (2x), Lehlo Ledwaba.
Adrien “The Problem” Broner
Record: 33-3-1, 24 KO
Last Five Fights: Jessie Vargas (Majority Draw), Mikey Garcia (UD Loss), Adrian Granados (SD), Ashley Theophane (TKO-9), Khabib Allakhverdiev (TKO-12)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Paulie Malignaggi, John Molina Jr., Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Ponce de Leon
Believe it or not, there actually was a time when Broner was more than just an ever-expanding cautionary tale. He was a legitimate wrecking machine during his time at 130 and 135 pounds, struggling with the ever-tricky Ponce de Leon, but smashing a resurgent Antonio DeMarco. Once he moved up in weight, however, the wheels fell off — he barely scraped by the feather-fisted Malignaggi because of his own lack of punch output and Marcos Maidana straight-up spanked him.
Frankly, Broner has the highest name-value-to-danger ratio among those who Pacquiao could reasonably have in his sights. When fighting people his size, he lacks the knockout power to make up for how few punches he throws, and he’s too flat-footed to exert effective pressure. Pacquiao hasn’t lost his legs yet, allowing him to rack up the damage with his customary in-and-out movement.
Admittedly, though, Broner isn’t the true one-punch threat he was in the lower weight classes, he hits hard enough to be a concern; he dropped the extraordinarily tough Shawn Porter late in their fight, though too late to make a difference. Pacquiao hasn’t shown any durability issues outside of two perfect right hands from Juan Manuel Marquez, but he also hasn’t fought a strong puncher who wasn’t past his sell-by date in some time.
Still, Broner just throws so little that the odds of him landing the game-changer are slim. He doesn’t seem inclined to change that flaw in his style, either; he threw just 400 punches in 12 rounds against Garcia and just 508 against a much easier target in Vargas. Pacquiao is going to out-land Broner by a sizable margin, which alone is enough for me to give him the nod.
Broner’s got an uphill battle outside the ring, too, facing court dates for two separate sexual misconduct cases before fight night. I can’t imagine that helping his preparation, and he’ll certainly need to be on his A-game to handle the whirlwind of offense Pacquiao offers.
I don’t favor Manny against the new crop at the top of the 147-pound division, which includes generational talents in Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford. Luckily, Broner is a tier or two below them. Pacquiao racks up some impressive statistical disparities en route to a one-sided decision victory.
Prediction: Pacquiao via unanimous decision
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of “Pacquiao vs. Broner” later this evening RIGHT HERE, with the Showtime Boxing PPV beginning at 9 p.m. ET (Pacquiao and Broner will enter the ring closer to midnight).
To check out the latest boxing related news and notes click here.