Pacquiao focused on Broner, not Mayweather
By Chris William: Manny Pacquiao says he’s got his mind completely focused on his next opponent Adrien Broner, and not on a big money rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr. for later in 2019. Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) and Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27 KOs) fought each other four years ago in the biggest pay-per-view contest in the history of boxing and it’s no secret that Manny would like to face him again.
Pacquiao received a career high payday, but the money was bitter sweet, as he lost the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision. Pacquiao, 40, would like like to avenge that loss to Mayweather in 2019, but first he must beat Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) in their fight on January 19 on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao cannot afford to overlook anyone at this age. He lost to Jeff Horn in 2017 by a 12 round decision in Brisbane, Australia. And while the loss was controversial, it was still a flawed performance from the former eight division world champion Pacquiao.
“I’m not thinking about that [the second with Mayweather],” Pacquiao said to ESPN Deportes. “I’m going one fight at a time. The question with Mayweather may have to come after January 19. My focus is Broner and nothing else. I do not take my rivals lightly and I’m not going to do it now.”
This will be the first title defense for Pacquiao of his World Boxing Association welterweight belt that he won last July in stopping Lucas Matthysse in round seven.
There’s a good chance Mayweather and Pacquiao will meet up later this year in a mega-fight on pay-per-view. Given their lack of size, it’s the best opportunity for both fighters to get a nice payday before they retire for good. Mayweather, 41, is technically already retired from the sport, but he’s turned into a boxing hustler.
Mayweather, with his hawk-like eye for spotting vulnerable MMA fighters for him to face in boxing matches, he’s made a lot of money since 2017 in these type of matches. The fans seem to love it. It’s working for Mayweather, so why should he stop doing it? If Mayweather fights Pacquiao, he’ll likely be taking a brief vacation from fighting MMA fighters. It likely won’t be the end for Mayweather in facing those type of guys.
The Filipino star is still one of the most popular fighters in boxing, and it’s a winnable fight for Mayweather. For Mayweather to make similar money that he can against Pacquiao, he would need to take on popular fighter like Saul Canelo Alvarez, and he’s not going to do that. That would be a dangerous fight for Mayweather at his age. Mayweather has inactive against boxers for too long for him to fight Canelo or Gennady Golovkin.
Pacquiao is clear that he wants to fight Mayweather, but he’s leaving it up to him to decide whether he wants to face him again.
“It depends on Mayweather, I’m focused on my next fight,” Pacquiao said.
Mayweather must decide whether he wants to come out of retirement to face Pacquiao again. It’s not an easy decision obviously for Mayweather to make. He looks slower now, and not the same fighter that he was four years ago when he beat Pacquiao. It was a hard fight back then for Mayweather, and that was with Pacquiao fighting with an injured right shoulder.
Pacquiao met up with Mayweather last week during an LA Clippers game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The brief meeting between the two superstars had a lot of boxing fans talking, hoping that they’ll put a rematch together that will rival their first fight. Their fight in 2015 generated $600 million. If all the rematch brings in is half of that total, it’ll still be a huge success.
Broner, 29, is in the position as a spoiler in this fight. He has nothing to lose. His career has already tanked in the last couple of years, and it’s slowly sinking into the abyss. There are no indications that Broner is going to be able to turn things around with his career to suddenly find a new gear to become the fighter he once was. Never the less, Broner still possesses enough punching power to knockout Pacquiao if he hits him with a clean enough shot. That might be one of the reasons why Broner is talking so much about wanting to knockout Pacquiao. He has to know that his chances of winning a decision against Pacquiao are slim, because he doesn’t possess the speed or the work rate to beat him.
“We have worked very hard to give the best I have,” Pacquiao said. “This is a good challenge for me. I feel it will be exciting because I come to give everything I have. I think the key in this fight will be speed,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao is correct about speed being the key for him to beat Broner. He’s got to take advantage of his superior speed to get the better of Adrien. Broner is a relatively slow fighter, who slaps with his punches. Pacquiao will need to get in and get out of range quickly to avoid getting hit with Broner’s punches. Pacquiao shouldn’t stay in range for too long, in view of the fact that Broner has such a good left hook. If Pacquiao gets clipped by Broner’s left hook, it could be game over.