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Pacquiao to reunite with Freddie Roach for Adrien Broner fight

Adrien Broner Freddie Roach Manny Pacquiao

By Sean Jones: WBA World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) will be teaming up with his old trainer Freddie Roach for his title defense against Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) next month on Showtime at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada

Roach won’t be the head trainer for Pacquiao. Buboy Fernandez will still be Pacquiao’s lead trainer and will work the corner during his fight with Broner on Jan.19 in Las Vegas. Roach’s job entails surviving his training camp and gives instructions. With Roach’s expertise and experience in the game of boxing, he should be able to come up with a great game plan for Pacquiao to use to defeat the 29-year-old Broner.

“I just want to prove that I’m still in boxing and my journey in boxing is continuing,” Pacquiao said. “I want to entertain people and give a good show on January 19. I know my opponent is fast and a top caliber fighter.”

Broner isn’t one of the better welterweights in the division. He’s shown that he’s not capable of beating the top welterweights in the past. In Broner’s two toughest fights at welterweight, he lost to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana. Broner struggled with the work rate and power from both fighters. The last two years haven’t been kind to Broner. He fought to a 12 round draw against Jessie Vargas last April, and lost to Mikey Garcia in 2017. Broner looked timid, slow and one-paced. You can argue that Broner would have been knocked out if he had fought a top welterweight like Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford.

“I chose Broner because we can have a good fight and entertain the fans,” Pacquiao said. “Adrien is a top caliber fighter and a good boxer. We cannot underestimate him.”

A loss for Pacquiao against Broner would destroy his hopes for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. That’s the fight that Pacquiao is aiming for. He wants to get Broner out of the way and then face Mayweather next year.

Pacquiao needs to shine in beating Broner for him to be taken serious as a good option for Spence, Porter, Danny Garcia or Amir Khan. Those fighters would do well against a flat-footed boxer like Broner.

Broner’s best years of his boxing career were at super featherweight and lightweight. In those weight classes, Broner’s power carried further, and he had the size advantage over his opponents. Broner is a normal-sized light welterweight, and he’s considered on the small side when fighting at welterweight.

This is a fight that Pacquiao should be able to win even without Roach’s assistance. It obviously will help Pacquiao to have Roach taking him through his paces during training camp, but he’s not needed. Pacquiao knows enough now after 20+ years as a pro how to defeat a flat-footed fighter like Broner. If Broner had more hand speed and was a better combination puncher, Pacquiao would have something to worry about.

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