On Saturday, January 19, 2019, boxing will return to Showtime Pay-Per-View, as legendary former eight-division world champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) will put his WBA (Regular) Welterweight title on the line against Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1 (1 NC), 24 KOs) live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao, considered to be one of the very best boxers of his generation and a sure-fire Hall of Famer, will enter this bout as the favorite and for good reason. Despite being 40 years of age, the Filipino southpaw has proven to still have some gas left in the tank, winning three of his last four bouts.
That streak includes victories over Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas in addition to an impressive seventh round TKO victory over Lucas Matthysse that took place last July in Malaysia. The only loss in that stretch came against Jeff Horn in an incredibly controversial contest that many felt as if PacMan had won.
During the peak of his powers, Pacquiao was known for his incredible footwork, lightning fast hands, and thunderous punching power. Now 24 years into his professional career, his skills have undoubtedly deteriorated a bit, but he remains an intelligent and experienced high-level boxer. He also proved in his last bout that he still packs a punch and the killer instinct to finish an opponent.
Moving onto Broner, the 29-year-old has held world titles in four different weight classes, most recently holding the WBA Light Welterweight title from 2015-16.
Despite his success, however, Broner has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow outside of the ring, dealing with multiple legal issues in recent years in addition to posting a few alarming images on social media.
When he’s focused and has his mind in the right place, however, Broner has shown the ability to compete at a high level. Against Pacquiao, he’ll be the far less experienced fighter, but he’ll obviously be the younger fighter and he will be a bit larger, as he stands 5 ft. 6 1/2 in. and holds a 69 1/2 in reach.
Stylistically, Broner uses a bit of defensive approach to boxing, somewhat similar to that of Floyd Mayweather, who, at times, has served as a mentor to The Problem. He also has power in his hands as evidenced by his 24 career stoppage victories, but it’s also seemed as if he’s had trouble finding his rhythm and pulling the trigger at times.
With that said, however, a focused Broner can be a dangerous fighter. When he’s on, his defense his high-level and he can be quite accurate with his punches, though he doesn’t always punch at the highest output which may cause him trouble against Pac-Man.
When breaking down and predicting this fight between Pacquiao and Broner it may be useful to look at a common opponent and consider the weight class the fight is being contested at. First off, both men have competed against Jessie Vargas in recent years.
On the one hand, Pacquiao scored a one-sided decision victory over Vargas in 2016, putting on a masterclass performance. Broner, however, fought Vargas to a draw in 2018, seeing little success in the first half of the fight before turning things around.
Also, Pacquaio and Broner will fight at Welterweight and despite Broner being a bit bigger, all three of his professional losses have come at this weight class.
Ultimately, it’s difficult to predict what form of Broner will show up but at the end of the day, I feel as if Pacquiao may be too smart, too fast and too powerful for him. I expect the Filipino legend to put the pressure on The Problem and overwhelm him on his way to a decision victory or perhaps a late stoppage.