On January 19th, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBA welterweight title against Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two superstars have won world titles in a combined twelve weight classes, the third most for any match-up in history. Viewers in the USA can watch the event on Showtime (PPV) and on ITV4 in the UK.
Tale of the Tape – Pacquiao vs. Broner
|Manny Pacquiao||Adrien Broner|
|Record||60-7-2 (39 KOs)||33-3-1 (24 KOs)|
|Nickname||“Pac Man”||“The Problem”|
Fight Breakdown – Pacquiao vs. Broner
Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters to ever lace up a pair of boxing gloves. Boxing’s first and only eight-division world champion, he has been at the pinnacle of the sport for well over a decade. In his prime, the “Pac Man” defeated legends like Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, and Shane Mosley, and while he is nowhere near the fighter he used to be, he is still a very dangerous opponent for almost anybody at 147. Pacquiao scored a seventh-round knockout of Lucas Matthysse in July of last year.
While many believe he has thus far failed to live up to his full potential, Adrien Broner is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the sport. Broner became a four-division champion when he defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev for the vacant WBA super lightweight title back in 2015. The Ohio native has only fought four times since then, but at age 29 he is expected to be at the top of his game physically going into this fight.
Broner is a counter-puncher who normally fights in short bursts. An expert at using the Philly shell defense, Broner throws sharp counter right hands and has the ability to square up and hurt you with quick-but-powerful left hooks when needed. Broner also possesses a great chin and the heart of a champion; he tends to get better as the fight goes on. Though he has good defense and is usually hard to hit cleanly, sometimes Broner will get flat-footed and rely too much on his guard to block shots, which makes it easier for (some) opponents to outwork him and steal away rounds even though he is not taking much damage.
In his heyday, Manny Pacquiao relied on elite hand speed, punch volume, and footwork to overwhelm his opponents. Though his physical attributes of explosiveness and athleticism have waned over the years, the Filipino senator is still an exciting must-watch fighter. Pacquiao’s signature weapon is his power left hand, which he often uses to counter his opponent’s jabs. Though he only has one knockout since 2009, Manny has consistently displayed power against solid opponents in recent years. At this point, I would say Pacquiao’s main weakness is simply his age. He is fast, but will he show up on the night fast enough to cause a motivated, skilled Adrien Broner problems?
Broner needs to time and counter Pacquiao’s left hand whenever he can early on to try and discourage him from keeping up his usually high work rate. If Broner can win some of the early rounds, Pacquiao might get frustrated and try to force shots instead of fighting smart, making him more susceptible to counters. For Pacquiao, he needs to be patient and try to win each round one at a time; trying too hard for the knockout is not necessary against an opponent he can simply outwork.
Prediction – Pacquiao vs. Broner
I predict a unanimous decision victory for Manny Pacquiao. Although he is not the same fighter who dominated Hall of Famers a decade ago, Pacquiao has shown that he still has enough of his God-given ability left to beat a lot of top welterweights. Broner has stated that he is going to be looking for one big punch, which I believe hurts his chances to winning on the cards but makes him more dangerous if Manny is not able to hurt him.
“The Problem” is a natural counter-puncher with fast hands and good power. I would definitely not be surprised if Broner landed a shot similar to the one Juan Manuel Marquez did years back which, as we all know, put Pacquiao to sleep. But aside from another Marquez-like scenario, I fully expect Pacquiao to have a great performance and prove he still belongs in the upper echelon of boxing’s most competitive division.
Who wins this one? Does a convincing win by Pacquiao lure Mayweather out of retirement for a rematch? Comment below with your take.