Pacquiao vs. Broner selling for $74.99 on SHOWTIME PPV
By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao’s title defense of his WBA ‘regular’ welterweight strap against Adrien Broner on January 19 will be going for $74.99 on SHOWTIME PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s an expensive card considering that the 40-year-old Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) only has a secondary welterweight title, and not the real one that is in the possession of WBA Super World 147 pound champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.
Given Pacquiao’s lackluster opponent in Broner, it’s hard to imagine the fight generating more than a small handful of PPV buys on SHOWTIME. If Pacquiao wants to continue to be a PPV attraction in the U.S, he needs to fight quality fighters, not faded guys on their last legs. Broner was a good fighter many years ago in 2012, but he’s been on a slow slide to oblivion since his loss to Marcos Maidana in 2013. Broner hasn’t even won a fight in two years since 2017, and that was a HIGHLY controversial 10 round split decision win over Adrian Granados. Had that fight not taken place in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, you can argue that he would have lost the match by an eight rounds to two score. Granados dominated a very lazy looking Broner, who fought with his back against the ropes for the entire 10 round fight.
Pacquiao used to be a huge PPV star in the U.S during the prime of his career, but his popularity has arguably dipped dramatically since his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. It’s unclear whether it was the loss itself or the non-effort that Pacquiao put in for that bout that has resulted in him losing popularity. One theory is the match-making for Pacquiao has been so awful for him since the fight with Mayweather that the boxing fans haven’t been excited about seeing the Filipino star fight Jeff Horn, Lucas Matthysse, Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. Those were not the fights that Pacquiao needed to take. Pacquiao had already fought Bradley twice, so there was no point in Top Rank putting those two together other than to make it an in house fight. It was a bad idea, and Pacquiao should have resisted it with all his might. The same goes for Pacquiao’s fights against Horn and Vargas. Those were a waste of time. But there wasn’t much Pacquiao could do, because he was limited to the guys that his promoter was putting him in with at the time. It would have been interesting to see if Pacquiao’s popularity would have remained high if his promoters at matched him against the likes of Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia or Amir Khan. Pacquiao wanted to fight Khan in 2017, but instead his promoters matched him against Horn in a fight that took place in Brisbane, Australia. The fight had trouble written all over it the moment it was made.
Pacquiao is now with Premier Boxing Champions, and his match with the fading 29-year-old Broner will be his first with them. As deep as PPC’s stable is, they likely could have easily found a far better opponent to put in with the 40-year-old on SHOWTIME PPV than Broner. Pacquiao vs. Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter would have been a good fight. At least those guys are still in their prime and fighting at a high level. For the Pacquiao-Broner fight to bring in good PPV numbers on SHOWTIME, it’s going to count on the casual boxing fans not realizing that Broner is no longer winning fights, and hasn’t been a world champion since he briefly held the WBA light welterweight title from 2015 to 2016. Broner did a good job of talking up his recent fights against Jessie Vargas and Mikey Garcia to get the boxing fans interested in seeing those matches, but then he failed to win and looked awful in both.
Putting Pacquiao-Broner on SHOwTIME PPV could hurt Pacquiao’s brand. If the boxing public thinks that they’re going to have to pay to see Pacquiao fight over-the-hill fighters like Broner in what amounts to being a stay busy, it’s going to leave a bad taste in the mouths of the public. PPV fights should only be done for matches, not warm-up fights involving a shot fighter. Pacquiao can do better than this, much better.
It’s unclear what Pacquiao and Broner’s guaranteed purses are for this fight. If they’re both getting a lot, it’s going to be potentially tough for this fight to make money. Broner’s recent string of legal problems isn’t going to help bring in the PPV buys. With all the news of Broner’s legal issues that the boxing fans are bombarded with on a constant basis, it’s not helpful for the Pacquiao-Broner fight build up. Pacquiao might have been wise to reject this fight when it was offered to him by PPC. Given all the problems with Broner’s career and his outside of the ring issues, this fight should be shown on regular SHOWTIME or on free television on FOX.
The Pacquiao vs. Broner undercard on January 19 is nothing special. Former two-time world champion Badou Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) takes on unbeaten 2012 U.S Olympian Marcus Browne (22-0, 16 KOs) for the interim World Boxing Association World Light Heavyweight title in the co-feature bout. Former WBA bantamweight world champion Rau’shee Warren (16-2, 4 KOs) takes on unbeaten #1 WBC Nordine Oubaali (14-0, 11 KOs) for the vacant WBC World bantamweight title.