Pacquiao-Broner? Stranger Things Have Happened In Boxing
By: Sean Crose
Manny Pacquiao is supposedly retired and embracing his new job as a Filipino senator. Yet there’s word that the aging great may be coming back to face one Adrien Broner. That right, the one and only Adrien Broner. While this bout may seem absurd on the face of things, there’s little doubt that there’s a certain appeal to it. Boxing is very much a personality based business, after all, and the contrast in personalities here would be glaring. Bad boy Broner, with his history of legal trouble, is a brash, showy, obnoxious guy who some say puts his persona over his genuine talent.
Smiling Pacquiao, on the other hand, doesn’t have much bad to say about his opponents in the lead up to fights. He’s just not into trash talk. He is, however, quite into beating the hell out of his opposition in the ring. Sure enough, it’s hard to imagine many people picking Broner to win the matchup, should it occur. Even if Pacquiao is indeed growing long in the tooth, Broner has simply never looked great against the most serious of his opponents. The Cincinnati native may simply have to become an all-around new man if he wants to be serious enough to beat Pacquiao.
Still, some very smart people in and around the fight world are claiming this is all a lot of talk – at least for the moment. Golden Boy, the promoter of Canelo Alvarez, supposedly wanted its man to (ridiculously) fight Pacquiao (he’s a lot smaller than middleweight Gennady Golovkin, after all) but that they were led to believe (by who, we don’t know) team Pacquiao essentially had its eyes on a Broner fight. Whether this bit on information is true or not remains to be seen, though it’s worth noting Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum claims he has Broner in mind should Pacquiao return to the ring.
As for how this fight might play out, we’ve only got what has come before to use as a guide. Pacquiao isn’t what he was as a fighter, but he’s still one amazing athlete. Lightning fast and aggressive, the guy employs angles that may truly fluster Broner, who, let’s face it, doesn’t have great foot movement. As for Broner, well, he’s disappointed a lot of people. He’s fast and has a solid skill set, but his Mayweather influenced defense is a pale imitation of the original. Still, it’s ridiculous to write the guy off. Broner is a VERY talented fighter. If he were to somehow develop that talent while Pacquiao were simultaneously to slip deeper into decline, an upset might well be in order.
That, however, is a very big if.