Boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) successfully defended his WBA welterweight crown against Adrien Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in front of a sold out pro-Pacquiao crowd in his return to Las Vegas after more than a two-year absence.
The 40-year-old fighting senator from the Philippines turned back the clock as he overwhelmed the much-younger 29-year-old Broner with his signature relentless style right from the opening up to the final bell en route to a unanimous decision win. The three judges scored it ringside 117-111 and 116-112 twice. On my most generous night, I’d give Broner one round, two at the most as he simply didn’t do enough to convincingly win any round as evidenced by Compubox numbers.
Pacquiao more than doubled his younger opponent’s punches thrown and landed stats going 112 of 568 compared to Broner’s 50 of 295. 82 of those were power punches while Broner managed to only land 39 of his own.
The question I posed prior to the fight was if Pacquiao would wake up feeling like a young, hungry lion or a tired, old house cat. The 13,025 people in attendance for the fight definitely saw Simba, not Garfield. Pacquiao kept on stalking and assaulting Broner even during the championship rounds when it should’ve been the other way around.
Broner cried robbery after the fight saying he felt like he controlled the pace and landed the cleaner punches, while Pacquiao actually wanted to go for the knockout, but was advised by his trainer Buboy Fernandez to be more careful and slow down a bit in the final rounds advising that he was ahead on the score cards.
“Buboy told me we’re ahead on points, so relax, don’t be careless, he (Broner) is waiting for a counter punch, so be aggressive, but don’t be careless,” Pacquiao told the media at the post-fight presser.
Nicknamed “The Problem”, Broner didn’t really pose too many obstacles for Pacquiao, as the future Hall of Famer imposed his style and will all evening long and took the potty-mouthed, self-proclaimed “hood brother” to his version of “Night School” (yes, that’s a Tiffany Haddish reference, who decided to grace the post-fight presser).
With the win, questions regarding a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. naturally resurfaced. Mayweather was in attendance at the fight as well as his promotional outfit, Mayweather Promotions, involved in making the event. But according to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, the unbeaten and retired legend has absolutely “no interest” in coming out of retirement to face Pacquiao. “He has nothing else to prove. I’m very happy for him. He’s retired,” Ellerbe said.
“Tell him to come back to the ring, and we will fight,” Pacquiao shot back at a reporter who posed the question. “I’m willing to fight Floyd Mayweather again if he’s willing to come back to boxing.”
Crap. Here we go again.
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