Pacquiao looking powerful in training for Broner fight
By Tim Royner: Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao is looking powerful in training for his fight against Adrien Broner in three weeks from now on January 19 LIVE on SHOWTIME pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. In looking at training video, it appears that Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) has sacrificed speed for enormous punching power. He’s really sitting down on his shots more now than at any time in his 23-year pro career.
Pacquiao, 40, appears to be interested in just one thing, and that’s to make sure he knocks out former four division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) on January 19. In the past, Pacquiao would win his fights by focusing on his blazing hand speed and high volume punch attack. Age has taken away a lot of Pacquiao’s hand speed, but his punching power is still as good as ever. Some boxing fans are saying that Pacquiao is looking slow, but it’s clear that he’s focusing on his strength rather than his speed like he’d been doing in the past.
If anything, Pacquiao is looking more powerful now than at anytime in his pro career. He seems to be working on his punching power more now, and that’s led to big improvements in that area of his career. It’s likely that Pacquiao learned from his loss to Jeff Horn in 2017 that he needs more power to beat the bigger welterweights.
“Training camp has been no day at Palm Beach for Manny or his sparring partners,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. “You can tell that the word is leaking out on how strong Manny is looking in camp by the reaction on Wall Street yesterday. Even the market is bullish on Manny. I rate Manny as a strong buy at the MGM Grand’s Race & Sports book.”
The eight division world champion Pacquiao will be making his first defense of his World Boxing Association ‘regular’ welterweight title against Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) on SHOWTIME PPV at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Pacquiao looked like a different fighter in his last bout against WBA World welterweight champion Lucas ‘La Maquina’ Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) in stopping him in the 7th round on July 15 in Malaysia. Knowing that he was fighting a guy with monstrous punching power in either hand in Matthysse, Pacquiao worked hard on further developing his own punching power, and it paid dividends with him dropping the Argentinian fighter in rounds 3, 5, and 7. Matthysse was finished in the 7th round. It was only the second time in Matthysse’s 14-year pro career that he was knocked out. It was the first time that Matthysse was knocked out from being hurt. Matthysses’s 10th round stoppage loss to Viktor Postol in October 2015 was a result of him suffering an eye injury. What Pacquiao did to Matthysse was drop him three times with big single-shot power punches. Pacquiao was loading up each time, and Matthysse couldn’t take the power that of the Filipino star. The improvement in Pacquiao’s power is impressive. A lot of fighters talk about how they’re working on their power, but they fail to show improvement in the ring. Pacquiao didn’t talk about how he was working on his strength, but it was clear from watching his fight with Matthysse that he’d made big inroads in that area of his game. Pacquiao isn’t going to be able to bring back his youth and hand speed, but his punching power is something that he can change, and he seems to be doing an excellent job in that department.
Broner, 29, is training hard on his punching power as well, and he’s looking good. Broner isn’t known for being a tremendous puncher, but he’s able to hurt his opponents when he loads up on his left hook and throws it with good form. Broner dropped Shawn Porter in the 12th round of their fight in June 2015. Although Broner lost that fight by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision, he finished strong and gave Porter a heck of a scare in the last round. There was something for Broner to build on in that fight. Unfortunately, Broner didn’t learn from the loss, as he’s struggled in his last three fights against Jessie Vargas, Mikey Garcia and Adrian Granados. One reason for that is Broner isn’t a natural welterweight or light welterweight. He started his career out at 130 at super featherweight, and he’s not been able to dominate in moving up in weight to 140 and 147 the way that his mentor Floyd Mayweather Jr. was able to. Broner doesn’t possess the blazing hand speed that Mayweather had, so he couldn’t move up in weight and shine in the same way that Floyd did.
Pacquiao needs a big win over Broner to move him forward for bigger fights against the likes of Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Porter and Errol Spence. Ideally, it would be nice if the 40-year-old Pacquiao is able to fight all of those guys before he retires from boxing. What could keep Pacquiao from fighting all of those fighters is his advanced age. For Pacquiao to beat the like of Porter, Spence, Thurman, Khan and Garcia, he’s going to need to knock them out or possess a great chin to make it through the fights and hope he can win a decision. Against a big puncher like Spence, Pacquiao might need a knockout for him to win. He can’t let Spence nail him with shots for 12 rounds and expect to get the win. It’s unlikely Pacquiao would be able to handle the power of Spence for 12 round without dropping for the 10 count like he did in his 6th round stoppage loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
Broner used to be a good fighter five years ago, but he seems have been distracted by his life outside of the ring. He doesn’t seem to have the same hunger and motivation that he possessed earlier in his career during his best years as a pro. When Broner was firing on all eight cylinders with his career from 2008 to 2013, he was special. Where Broner went wrong was going after the money in moving up to welterweight to search out bigger paydays instead of staying at lightweight where he belonged. Mikey Garcia is about to make the same mistake. We’ll soon see if it turns out as badly for Mikey as it did with Broner. At least Mikey, he has the sense enough to know that he’ll need to return to the lightweight division if he fails to succeed in challenging Spence.