By: Sean Crose
“I don’t need to continue boxing,” Manny Pacquiao said during the final press conference before his WBA welterweight title showdown with Adrien Broner on Saturday, “but because of my passion for the sport, I am here.” Pacquiao, now forty, is being presented as the lion in winter as he sets off against the flashy, but uneven Broner, whose being portrayed as a man taking his last shot at glory. “Me and Broner,” said Pacquiao, “we want to make sure the fans on Saturday will be happy.” While this certainly may be true, Broner himself claimed to be put off when it was his turn to speak at the microphone.
“I really ain’t up here to talk a lot of shit,” the Cincinatti native said in his colorful, crude manner. “I put in the work. I’m pissed off for real.” Broner went on to indicate he feels slighted in the leadup to the Pacquiao fight, that he believes the press is writing him off as a mere tuneup for Pacquiao on the road to an inevitable rematch with Floyd Mayweather. “I just feel like y’all trying to play me for real,” he snapped. “To my recognition, Floyd is fucking retired, man.”
Both men, however, made it clear that they were eager to get in the ring on Saturday. “We gonna have a hell of a fight,” claimed Broner. “I trained my ass off.” Broner also made it clear that, despite his reputation for not taking the fight game as seriously as he should at times, he’s well prepared when it comes to facing Pacquiao. “I play a lot,” he said, “but when that bell rings, I’m going to be ready.” Broner co-trainer Kevin Cunningham openly exuded confidence in his fighter. “I’m guaranteeing that he (Broner) will send Many back to the senate beltless,” he said.
It was obvious throughout the press conference that these were entirely different men. Pacquiao was calm and seemed happy – the picture of an elder statesman for the sport. The Filipino legend wrapped up his time at the mic with a Bible Quote. Broner, on the other hand, engaged in vulgarity, as well as flashes of humor, as is his habit. Both men thanked God and seemed to respect each other, at least on a professional level. The fight, which will go down at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will be aired live on Showtime Pay Per View.
After both fighters spoke, Showtime’s Al Bernstein got up and asked them questions – or at least attempted to.
“I ain’t gonna lie to you bro,” said Broner after Bernstein asked him a question. “I don’t fuck with you bro. I don’t fuck with you. You be talking too much shit about me on twitter, bro.”
“Who, me?” asked Bernstein.
“Yeah you, bitch ass nigga,” responded Broner. “I’m gonna let you know. And I’m just being real, bro. I just already feel like you against me.”
“I’m not against anybody,” Bernstein retorted, “but this isn’t about me, it’s about you.”
“I’d rather Roy Jones or Stephen A Smith ask me some questions,” Broner said. “I don’t fuck with you.”
Afterwards Bernstein tried to get Broner’s team to respond – to no avail.