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Fight Picks: Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner

Manny Pacquiao (left) and Adrien Broner. Photo credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
15
Jan

Legendary eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao will fight on American soil for the first time since the fall of 2016 when he meets former four-weight world titleholder Adrien Broner in a 12-round welterweight clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday (Showtime Pay-Per-View, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

Pacquiao, now 40, won his first world title at flyweight when Broner was just nine years old. However, it was when he moved up to 122pounds that his career really took off. He made a big impression, wrecking Lehlo Ledwaba, as a late substitute in June 2001. His career arc from there was nothing short of extraordinary, going 6-2-1, against the Mexican triumvirate of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 knockouts) also boasts wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Tim Bradley, to name just a few. While his prime has past, it will still take a very good fighter to beat him.

Broner, 29, possesses all the tools to be a top fighter and has won world titles in four weight classes. However, for the past few years his career has stalled and he’s not looked capable of fulfilling the potential that many experts thought he had. While “The Problem” looked a force of nature at 130 and 135 in his early 20s, he has struggled at both junior welterweight and welterweight.

Online gambling group William Hill lists Pacquiao as a 4-11 (-275) favorite, while Broner is priced at 21/10 (+210); the draw is 18/1 (+1800).

Here’s how the experts see it:

THE RING MAGAZINE/ RINGTV.COM

MICHAEL WOODS: PACQUIAO UD
Broner, Broner, Broner. How long we all going to get suckered in by the redemption song, by the promises of the “this time is different” mindset supposedly held by the Ohio boxer? I get lured in and take the bait every time… but not this time. It will be as it was…Broner’s tendency to work on auto pilot will give Pacman the ability to take the decision with a volume edge which won’t be hard to decipher for judges. And no, don’t be taken in by the KO is coming talk on his side, either. It’s marketing, y’all. Pacman wins via wide UD.

ANSON WAINWRIGHT: PACQUIAO UD
Pacquiao looked very impressive last time out against what turned out to be a shot Lucas Matthysse. Broner hasn’t fought in nine months, is coming off a draw and a loss in his last two starts. While he trains hard, he’s not someone who lives the life. His recent issues with the law can’t help him in the biggest fight of his life. Everything points toward the Filipino senator. I think he’ll be too active, befuddle AB with his shot selection and movement and win a wide unanimous decision.

TOM GRAY: PACQUIAO UD
I’ll keep this simple. Pacquiao doesn’t throw half the punches he did in his prime, but he still throws twice as many as Broner. The same issue which has haunted Broner since he jumped above 135 pounds will be evident again. “The Problem” doesn’t have the punching power to take out the bigger guys and when they fire back at him, he doesn’t have a Plan B. Pacquiao isn’t a large man, but he has shared the ring with stronger fighters than Broner. The American is one-paced and he doesn’t have the defensive prowess to escape Pacquiao’s raids. Despite his advancing years, I expect the Filipino superstar to overcome a sticky moment or two to win on points.

RON BORGES: PACQUIAO UD
This is more about what Broner is not than what Pacquiao is at this stage of his career. Broner will do just enough to lose, as he’s done in most of his biggest fights. Character counts in big matches and Pacquiao has that in abundance. He is no longer what he once was but he still has enough speed, power and relentlessness to walk down Broner and beat out a decision. Pacquiao will win because he’ll out work Broner and he’ll take chances if he has to.

MARTY MULCAHEY: PACQUIAO UD
This is boxing’s version of WWE; with Adrien Broner no longer a viable threat now playing the role of heel in hopes of driving up pay-per-view numbers. Despite being 11 years older Manny Pacquiao seems the fresher fighter, and should win on the strength of his quickness and accuracy. Broner will play the role of spoiler, trying to counter but finding himself on the wrong end of fast combinations, leading him to retreat into a shell. The first two or four rounds may be competitive as each man looks for opportunities, but after that Pacquiao dominates the action winning a wide points verdict on all scorecards.

NORM FRAUENHEIM: PACQUIAO UD
Time will beat Pacquiao eventually, but Adrien Broner won’t in what looks to be his only chance at the Filipino legend. Pacquiao looks renewed and re-energized for his first fight since turning 40. A birthday appears to have motivated him for one last run in a Hall of Fame career. Broner has youth, speed and a good right counter, yet has never fulfilled apparent potential in his biggest bouts. None is bigger than his date with Pacquiao, whose power and work rate in the early rounds figure to send him into rapid retreat and a one-sided scorecard defeat.

GARETH A. DAVIES: PACQUIAO UD
Manny Pacquiao looks in peak condition. Huge scalp for Broner if he can get to Pacquiao, but the Filipino’s work rate and aggressiveness should give him a healthy lead throughout the contest. Manny Pacquiao unanimous points decision.

BOXING INSIDERS

ROBERT DIAZ (MATCHMAKER, GOLDEN BOY): PACQUIAO UD
Broner has tons of talent, unfortunately for him he doesn’t have the dedication to go with it. Manny Pacquiao has the talent and the dedication, and most importantly the experience. It’s a fun fight because of the styles. I see Manny’s speed causing problems and also he will be the busier fighter. Broner likes to fight is spurts and will not be active for three minutes of the round. I see Manny winning a clear cut UD 117-111.

SHAWN PORTER (WBC WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION): PACQUIAO
I think this fight is Manny’s to take. I think his fighting style, his experience, and clearly the drive that he still has to compete, simply because he loves the sport, is more than what Adrien can bring to the ring. It’s very hard to fight a perfect fight, and yes this is boxing and one punch can change a fight, but anything short of that, I believe Adrien will come up short in this one.

JOSE FOURNIER SANCHEZ (PUERTO RICAN BOXING WRITER AND TV ANALYST): BRONER POINTS
Pacquiao is one of the best fighters of all time, undoubtedly, but I think he’s right now like one of those great race cars, who is starting to show its mileage. He’s been in too many wars, too many difficult fights, especially the Marquez knockout and I think his ability is already compromised. He’s 40 now. On the other side, Broner is 29 with less wars, but he’s not in Pacquiao’s league. Now the question should be: Is Pacquiao that far gone that he is beatable by Broner? The way I see it, the Broner who showed up to fight Mikey Garcia will beat Pacquiao, the one who drew with Jessie Vargas loses to Pacquiao. Broner is also dealing with a lot of personal problems, but he knows this is his last opportunity to shine in the ring. If he loses to Pacquiao, his career as a headliner is basically done, so I think Broner will be in the best shape possible. He’ll probably beat Pacquiao, who still has the temperament and desire but doesn’t have the power anymore. His reflexes and speed have slowed. Broner is a quick fighter and tougher than people give him credit for. Although Pacquiao has a chance, I think Broner will show up with his A-game and win a decision. I don’t think he can knock him out.

JOLENE MIZZONE (MATCHMAKER, MAIN EVENTS): PACQUIAO UD
My reasoning for this pick is simple, I may be one of the few that is always rooting for Broner and hoping things turn around for him, because he has so much talent but, at the end of the day, he is his own worst enemy. Pac will be at 100-percent, but I don’t think Broner will. If Broner is then we have a fight, if not, Pac all day. Pacquiao UD.

KATHY DUVA (CEO, MAIN EVENTS): PACQUIAO KO
Broner will be fighting two people – himself and Manny. Broner has a ton of natural talent, but he is clearly not dedicated to his preparation; always distracted outside the ring and fighting in the wrong weight class. His opponent is and has always been a consummate professional. In addition, Pac Man is one of the best fighters of his generation. Pacquiao usually finds a way to win and the difference in class here will put him on top. I realize that Pacquiao has not been knocking people out in recent years, but I believe Broner is in so far over his head that I will pick Pacquiao to knock Broner out inside of 10.

TONY TOLJ (MANAGER): PACQUIAO UD
Pacquiao-Broner is a great fight. Manny is in the twilight of his career and eyeing his final payday against Floyd Mayweather in July. Broner cannot be counted out of the fight, but he does tend to be a bit of a loose cannon away from the squared circle. Manny will let his hands go and I believe he will win a close fight. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao via decision.

TOM LOEFFLER (PROMOTER, 360 PROMOTIONS): PACQUIAO UD
My prediction is that Manny wins a decision. He still has gas in the tank and a good punch to keep Broner off of him, good to see him back with Freddie (Roach). Broner having out of the ring distractions won’t help him. Should be a great fight that I am looking forward to seeing.

CARL MORETTI (VICE PRESIDENT OF TOP RANK): PACQUIAO UD
Pacquiao UD. Typical Broner; all bark no bite.

PAULIE MALIGNAGGI (FORMER TWO-DIVISION WORLD TITLEHOLDER/ TV ANALYST, SHOWTIME): PACQUIAO POINTS
Pacquiao on points. Broner to struggle finding his range and won’t get punches off because of it.

DUKE MCKENZIE (FORMER THREE-WEIGHT WORLD TITLEHOLDER/ TV ANALYST):PACQUIAO UD
So the evergreen Manny Pacquiao goes to war again against the unpredictable Adrien Broner. We’ve been saying for a long time now Father Time should have beaten Pacquiao, but he defies all the odds. I can’t see him losing this one either. Pacman on points UD. Nobody stops Broner and if nothing else he has a good chin.

RICKY HATTON (FORMER TWO-DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION): PACQUIAO
I think Pacquiao will win. I think with Pacquiao’s in and out style and straight punching he will be able to counter Broner’s shoulder roll, so I’m going for Pacquiao by points or late stoppage.

NISSE SAUERLAND (PROMOTER, SAUERLAND EVENT): PACQUIAO
For me Pacquiao, possibly through stoppage. I think he will be too much for Broner.

VICTOR SILVA (TV ANALYST, COMBATE SPACE): PACQUIAO UD
Let’s face it, Pacquiao is not the same, he is not as quick as he used to be but he understands this very well and still has the awkward punching angles. This and the punching power is what will make the difference for the fight. We never know which Broner will go into the ring, the skilled or the arrogant one. If they were wines Pacquiao would be a fine aged wine and Broner just vinegar. Pacquiao will win by UD.

MIKAEL ZEWSKI (WELTERWEIGHT CONTENDER): PACQUIAO UD
I think it’s going to be a competitive fight. I don’t think Broner has the power to hurt Pac and I see Manny getting a close decision. Pacquiao is getting older and his strength are his explosions and the amount of punches he throws, two things that can be highly affected by age. Very curious to see how it’s going to turn out. Close unanimous decision.

SERGIO MORA (FORMER WORLD TITLEHOLDER/ TV ANALYST): PACQUIAO UD
If Manny still has at least half his foot speed – even at 40 – he wins a decision. It’ll be a good fight. Broner strong and tough and will be competitive, but Pac knows how to win rounds. I got Manny by decision.

FINAL TALLY

21-1 in favor of Pacquiao

 

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright

 

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