Fight Preview: Manny Pacquiao vs Adrien Broner

Current WBA (Regular) Welterweight Champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) is set to take on Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) on Saturday, January 19th,at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s a big fight for both boxers. For Broner, it’s the end of the road – if he wins this fight, he is back in the spotlight, people will take him seriously again, and he could potentially get a title shot against other champions at 147 pounds. If he loses, he will be a journeyman and possibly a “gatekeeper” at 140 or 147 pounds. For Pacquiao – he has nothing left to prove, and he has already punched his ticket for the Hall of Fame. He’s 40 years old, and very much past his prime, but hasn’t seen a rapid decline in skills, like many fighters his age have in the past. If he loses, people will say he needs to retire. If he wins, there have been rumors that he could fight the winner of the Errol “The Truth”Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) versus Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) fight. There’s not much time left to watch this legendary boxer fight, so fans should cherish every minute of it.

Pacquiao is coming off an impressive KO victory over Lucas ” La Maquina” Matthysse (39-4 36, KOs). If the same Pacquiao shows up versus Broner, it should be an easy night for him. He looked fast, strong, agile and more importantly, he looked like the old ‘PacMan” – the one we all loved watching pick apart his opponents. Matthysse isn’t exactly top flight anymore, so the KO win should be taken with a grain of salt.

Say what you want about Broner, but he is a survivor. It’s unlikely that Pacquiao will stop him, but more realistic that Pacquiao will outwork him most of the fight. I do think Pacquiao will throw and land a lot of punches and beat Broner up.

Adrien “The Problem” Broner is coming off a majority draw decision against Jessie Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) in a fight that most people thought Broner should have won. However, due to the fact that Broner does not let his hands go enough, and does not utilize all of his skills, he came up short. Broner has had many problems outside of boxing as well, which could serve as a huge mental distraction for him. He currently has two pending court cases against him and was recently arrested for missing a court date from 2017 in Florida. One would wonder if he is truly 100% focused on his training and this fight.

Hopefully he is because if not, he doesn’t even have a puncher’s chance to win. He must be on his top game or hope that something goes freakishly wrong for Pacquiao Saturday night. Broner has the talent and the tools to be great. He’s just never lived up to his potential. I’m sure a lot of it is mental and his outside of the ring antics have contributed heavily to his decline in the sport. Hopefully we see an improved version of Broner and not the same underwhelming Broner on Saturday.

Keys to victory for Adrien Broner:

  • He must let his hands go. too often does he “shell up” and not throw enough punches to win rounds. He must pick spots to be aggressive and not stay on the defensive constantly.
  • He needs to get off to a quick start. He is famous for getting off to slow starts in fights, and this is a fight against an opponent who throws punches in high volume.
  • Fight like he has nothing to lose. He must leave it all out there, know that he gave it everything, even if he has to turn it into a slug fest – whatever it takes for him to be non stop active.
  • Go to the body early and often. Pacquiao is 40 years old and he’s much faster than Broner. even with age. Broner must find a way to neutralize that speed and hopefully wind Pacquiao late in the fight.
  • Find his range early. Close the gap and once he’s inside he should mix combinations, making Pacquiao use his legs.
  • Test Pacquiao’s stamina. Does he still have it?

Keys to victory for Pacquiao:

  • Stay at range, control the space, don’t let Broner inside. Use his reach to prevent Broner from finding his range.
  • Conserve energy for the last 4 rounds. It is unlikely that Pacquiao will stop Broner, so he should be prepared to go the distance. He’s not the type to run out of gas, but with Pacquiao being the older fighter and not having gone twelve rounds in about a year and a half, he need to be smart, patient and strategic in his attack. Broner typically isn’t a high volume puncher, so Pacquiao shouldn’t have to worry about falling behind on the cards for not throwing 40-50+ punches each round.
  • Use superior ring IQ to his advantage. Pacquiao has had an illustrious career and fought the best. Use all of his tricks and smarts to out-think and out-box Broner.

Fight Prediction: Pacquiao by a wide unanimous decision. Adrien Broner has too much going on outside of boxing and one has to wonder if he’s 100% focused. He’s made lots of promises leading up to big fights in the past, just to come up empty. He’s never active enough during fights and in this case he will just get outworked. It will be a struggle to match Pacquiao’s output. One of his biggest problems is transitioning from defense to offense. He’s never done well against aggressive or pressure fighters. We’ll most likely see the same old Broner against an aging Pacquiao that is still dangerous. If Pacquiao has even half the speed he normally does, he’s going to pick Broner apart. Broner’s only chance at a win is if somehow Manny becomes reckless and overconfident and get clipped with the perfect power punch. However, it’s not likely that Pacquiao will allow that to happen against an opponent like Broner.

You can catch all of the action on Showtime PPV starting at 9pm EST.

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