Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBA regular title against Adrien Broner
On Saturday, January 19, we’ll see two multi-weight world champions collide when Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39KOs) takes on Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24KOs).
Challenger: Adrien Broner
Broner will not only be the challenger going into this fight, he’ll also be the underdog. He is a gifted fighter who possesses fast hands, good counter punching skills, and an excellent chin.
Throughout his career, however, he’s failed to live up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon him as a rising prospect in the sport. He has some excellent wins against the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Paulie Malignaggi and John Molina. That said, he also has had some bad performances and one-sided losses when taking a step up in competition.
Back in December of 2013, Broner elected to face the hard-hitting Argentinian, Marcos Maidana. From the moment the bell rang, Maidana was all over Broner; throwing the whole kitchen sink at him, hurting him and eventually dropping him multiple times; all en route to winning a wide, unanimous decision.
In his other two high profile fights against Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia, he yet again disappointed fans with lackluster performances.
In all of his losses, there have been two constant weaknesses that Broner tends to bear: a lack of punch activity and a questionable ring IQ. For a guy with the skills he possesses, the lack of ability to make in-fight changes has brought into question how smart Broner is as a fighter. He’ll need to increase his punch activity and recognize when to make adjustments to be successful against the great Manny Pacquiao.
Champion: Manny Pacquiao
One of boxing’s greatest fighters of all time heads into this fight as the considerable favorite. Just as well, he is the WBA regular welterweight champion.
Known for his explosive power, blazing hand speed and unorthodox footwork, Pacquiao will look to utilize all of the aforementioned attributes.
Pacquiao has fought a who’s who of future hall of famers and legendary fighters. Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Oscar De La Hoya are just a few.
Despite all of the success Pacquiao had, one major thing lacked that made him a household name. That would be a knockout victory that eluded for nearly a decade since stopping Miguel Cotto back in 2009. That all changed when Pacquiao stepped in the ring with Lucas Matthysse last July.
In that fight, he would turn the clock back by dropping Mattysse multiple times; firing off fast and punishing shots to the head and body. In round seven, Pacquiao would finally place the finishing touches of an excellent performance by getting the TKO victory to win the WBA regular welterweight title.
This fight has a chance to be a Fight of the Year type of fight. Both men have been in wars, showing the heart and determination to prevail in such brutal fights. While both men are very skilled, they also have glaring weaknesses that could cost either this fight.
For Broner, it’s the lack of punch activity and questionable ring IQ. He’s also a plodder who freezes up when under fire by his opposition. This bodes well for Pacquiao, who throws punches in bunches from crazy angles. His ability to move in and out and side-to-side could confuse Broner, who’ll be looking to stay in range to land shots of his own.
For Pacquiao, he tends to square himself up and admire his work; which leaves him vulnerable to incoming punches. He also overextends himself, which can be very costly against Broner; a fighter who can counter with hard right hands.
With all that being said, even at forty years old, you still have to tip your hat to Manny Pacquiao. While he’s not the same fighter he was a decade ago, he’s still very much capable of getting by Broner, who has been, quite honestly, a disappointment.
While I think Broner will have his moments, old habits die hard and Pacquiao will outwork and out-hustle him to win a controversial split decision in a fight that should be wider than the scorecards indicate.
By: Jerrell Fletcher