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Pacquiao vs. Broner Super Fight Analysis: The Old Man and The Sea

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

Las Vegas, NV (January 14th, 2019)– Manny Pacquiao versus Adrien Broner, scheduled for January 19, 2019, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the first super fight of 2019, following Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder, and GGG versus Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. WBA interim World Light Heavyweight champion Badou Jack versus Marcus Browne is at least of mild interest on the same card as Pacquiao-Broner this month. However, Pacquiao versus Broner is a mega draw, as both fighters are noteworthy due to their highly publicized careers and popularity, and in Broner’s case, his share of controversy and notoriety.

Pacquiao truly is the epitome of Ernest Hemingway’s character Santiago in ‘The Old Man and The Sea’. His boxing career and power of the big draw could at the end of the stick. Pacquiao, the Freddie Roach protégé, is now 40 years old, holds the World Boxing Association World Welterweight title, is an established champion in many weight classes, and a future pro boxing Hall of Famer. The winner of this bout is perhaps in the hunt for a super payday titular bout with undefeated welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. or divisional co-champion Errol Spence. Manny Pacquiao, 60-7-2 with 39 knockouts, General Santos City, Cotobato Del Sur, Philippines, will face Adrien Broner, 33-3-1 with 24 knockouts, Cincinnati, Ohio, whose ability to fight could be in question due to numerous problems with the law.

Pacquiao versus Broner is part of a scheduled six bout card with three world title bouts. Could it be Pacquiao’s last if he loses? Probably. Could the winner get Errol Spence? Maybe. Could the winner get Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Who knows?


The key to this bout is whether or not Freddie Roach and Pacquiao himself can, at age 40, put himself in the sort of peak condition required to defeat Broner over 12 rounds. Pacquiao’s mental edge comes from Broner’s confusion, due to his ongoing troubles with the law. While the details of Broner’s legal woes are not a focus of this editorial, Broner’s ability to fight with a clear mind is certainly in question.

Pacquiao looked great overpowering Lucas Martin Matthysse this past July, decking him three times in his first stoppage win since Miguel Cotto in November 2009. Pacquiao is now back with Freddie Roach and Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, and has apparently cleared up his differences with Roach since deciding to go into Filipino politics and become a senator.

Pacquiao has the advantages of hand speed, footwork, timing, lateral movement and punch volume over Broner. Pacquiao is going to have to stick and move with amazing speed to outwork Broner and outpoint him. Pacquiao got careless with Juan Manuel Marquez. Broner will have to overcome the instinctive desire to showboat and concentrate on breaking Pacquiao down and stopping him or outpointing him. At 29, Broner is younger and stronger, but not necessarily a superior scientific boxer. Broner has switched trainers from Mike Stafford to Kevin Cunningham to increase his mental concentration and structure. Broner must maintain a furious championship pace, and hope Pacquiao cannot keep up with him. Broner could knock Pacquiao out. Overall, both boxers could get careless in a bout where a knockdown or two could be telling, and any knockdown could turn the bout in one contestant’s favor.


The bout is very drawish, but overall, Broner has a slight edge in youth and the right kind of experience in the welterweight weight class. Both men have fought the best of the best. Pacquiao, who did not get the scorecards against Jeff Horn, would have to build a strong point lead against Broner. That would appear difficult as Broner is too active a challenge for Pacquiao to dominate him early. This is not impossible, however. It all hinges on what version of Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner shows up. The fight is predicted to result in a majority decision 12 for Pacquiao, or a majority draw in 12. Any knockdowns could flip the cards in favor of one fighter over the other. Pacquiao has been knocked down and knocked out.

Broner has a great right hand, good left hook and a very good right counter uppercut. Broner did deck Shawn Porter in 2015 with a left hook but still lost a 12 round unanimous decision to him. This could be Pacquiao’s last hurrah to go out in a blaze of glory, win, lose or draw. However, the Senator has said he has more fights left in him. Overall, this is a great matchup on paper. Broner might overcome Pacquiao, but still not overcome his troubles with the law. Accused of battery in Georgia, dealing with outstanding warrants in Kentucky after his SUV was pulled over with eight bullet holes in it, arrested in Las Vegas for punching a man and pushing a woman on a street corner, spending three days in jail for contempt of court, Broner it seems has as many wars outside the ring as he does inside the ringer. He’s always getting into trouble.

Pacquiao is fighting with a clear mind, and his mental state, not his physical one, gives Pacquiao the slightest of edges in this close and exciting matchup. Adrien Broner is Pacquiao’s marlin and shark in the grand tradition of Ernest Hemingway. Pacman will have to hold his own to defeat ‘The Problem’ in this war.





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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.