Tuesday, June 25, 2024  |



Adrien Broner’s trainer makes the case for AB vs. Pacquiao

Fighters Network

Manny Pacquiao seems to be leaning beyond hard in the direction of returning to the ring, and deciding to continue to be the top multi-tasker in the pugilistic realm.

He was the Fighting Congressman and we’d bet he’ll fairly soon assume the role of the Fighting Senator, after snagging a seat in the May runoff in the Philippines.

An Oct. 15 date at Mandalay Bay has been rumored as his return slot, but his consigliere, Michael Koncz, told NYFIGHTS.com that week is a packed time frame in the Senate so we would probably see another Saturday serve as the landing pad for Manny’s post-retirement scrap.

And against who would he challenge himself? Adrien Broner is, or maybe was, lead dog for that opp. But his ask is too high, Koncz said.

Broner trainer Mike Stafford believes terms can still be met, and told me that his kid is the best – and really only – option for Pacman’s return.

“They probably will work it out, because nobody is going to watch Manny against Amir Khan. Khan is a bum,” Stafford told me. “He’s been knocked out too many times without knocking nobody else out and he’s a boring fighter. I know Khan is trying to cash out. He’s not worth watching! He doesn’t have a punch!” AB, Stafford continued, does. He had Shawn Porter buzzed and then stopped Khabib Allakhverdiev and Ashley Theophane.

Koncz didn’t care to delve into other options, when I asked if the Brit Khan, coming off a stoppage loss to Canelo Alvarez, was Plan B after Broner, for the record.

Stafford continued to build his case. “AB will fill the house,” he declared.

“Freddie Roach knows it’s a better matchup. Let’s do it, two top trainers and two top fighters, that’s what it’s all about. Plus we got more belts than Khan, he has nothing. AB deserves the money and the fame, he’s one of a kind. He came from nothing; people don’t understand the life he’s lived ÔǪ he could have been dead or in jail. We need everyone to know that he’s really changed his life. If it wasn’t for me and boxing he wouldn’t be here today making history! I’m so tired of this bullsÔÇöt ÔǪ he’s not out here selling drugs and using drugs, he’s clean! Let them know, he’s a loving person that God put on this earth. Quit effing with him!”

There you go, a fairly convincing and totally impassioned plea made by father figure Stafford about why his guy is the best man for the job. As per usual, it could come down dollars making the most sense. There is a new economic reality within the game, something of an austerity age. HBO has a reduced budget and Al Haymon has dialed back on the moneypalooza, but it’s not clear if all have received the memo. Without knowing total specifics, I’m thinking Broner could make twice his previous high, especially if a PPV does OK. The risk is high – Pacman would be favored to beat AB – but a win would send the Cincy-based boxer to another realm of stardom. And then he’d really be in a position to make bank, because he’d be the obvious choice to fight Floyd Mayweather.