By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) revealed to the boxing fans on Wednesday that his next fight will be against Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) on January 12 or 19 possibly in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to spin.ph.
Broner, 29, will be the likely tune-up for Pacquiao to get him prepared for a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2019. Broner’s ability to create excitement for his fights by talking trash at press conferences will make a fight between him and the soon to be 40-year-old Pacquiao an interesting one. The pre-fight hype might outdo the actual fight between these two faded stars unfortunately. Broner hasn’t won a true fight without controversy in 2 1/2 years since stopping Ashley Theophane in the 9th round in April 2016. In Broner’s fights since then, he’s beaten Adrian Granados by a controversial 10 round split decision in February 2017, lost to Mikey Garcia by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in July 2017, and fought to a 12 round draw against Jessie Vargas last April.
“Broner, Adrien Broner,” said Pacquiao to spin.ph when asked about his next opponent. “I think either January 12 or 19.”
Pacquiao would create more buzz if he picked Amir ‘King’ Khan or Kell Brook as his January opponent, but he apparently isn’t interested in facing either of those guys for some reason. Broner is arguably more harmless than Khan an Brook, which might explain why Pacquiao is facing him. Brook’s slow hand speed, flat-footed fighting style, and his habit of being passive in the first half of his fights, makes him the ideal opponent for Pacquiao. If you let a fighter like Pacquiao to get a big six-round lead on you, it’s going to end badly for you unless you get the kind of judging that we saw in Manny’s fight against Australian Jeff Horn last year in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. With judging like that, Broner can beat Pacquiao even if the Filipino star jumped out to a 10-round lead.
Pacquiao vs. Broner will bring in good ratings just based on trash talking. Their name recognition will allow Pacquiao-Broner to do well. Showtime will likely place Pacquiao-Broner on PPV. There are probably enough old Pacquiao fans for it to bring in at least 300,000 PPV buys, but likely no more than that. The boxing fans that follow the sport will know that Pacquiao and Broner are both past their best fighters, and not the guys that they once were. In Broner’s case, he’s still young at 29, but he’s not shown the drive for the sport that he did years ago before he tasted defeat for the first time against Marcos Maidana in 2013. That loss seems to have taken something out of Broner, as he’s not been anything to close to the fighter he was before then.
Pacquiao won his last fight in beating Lucas Matthysse by a 7th round knockout to capture his WBA ‘regular’147 lb title on July 15 at Axiata Arena, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was easily the best performance by Pacquiao since his 8th round knockout win over Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. It was the first knockout for Pacquiao since his 12th round stoppage win over Miguel Cotto in 2009. Pacquiao’s physique looked more muscular and cut up in many years. The last time Pacquiao looked this muscular was back when he was beating the likes of Cotto. If Pacquiao can carry that kind of muscle and definition into his January fight against Broner, this is going to be a real wipe-out. The version of Pacquiao we saw against Matthysse is going to be too much for Broner. Pacquiao looks like a different fighter now than he’s been in years.