LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t vintage Manny Pacquiao in the ring against Adrien Broner on Saturday at the MGM Grand, but Pacquiao didn’t need to be anywhere near his best.
Broner offered little resistance against the 40-year-old Filipino senator as Pacquiao rolled to an easy unanimous decision to retain the WBA welterweight title. Judges Tim Cheatham and Glenn Feldman had it 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Dave Moretti had it 117-111. Yahoo Sports had Pacquiao by shutout, 120-108.
There were no knockdowns in the fight, but Pacquiao hurt Broner several times and had him reeling along the ropes after landing a solid left in the ninth. Broner tried to counter, but he didn’t let his hands go nearly enough and seemed to be bothered by Pacquiao’s quickness.
Broner landed only 50 punches, according to CompuBox, and was outlanded by a more than 2-to-1 margin. Pacquiao connected on 112 of 568 and Broner landed 50 of 295. Broner never landed more than seven punches in any round.
“I proved in my last fight against [Lucas] Matthysse and now I proved it again. The Manny Pacquiao journey will still continue,” Pacquiao said. “I wanted to push more, but my trainer said, ‘Don’t be careless. Wait for him, counter,’ and that’s what I did.”
Pacquiao let his hands go and caused Broner issues. He also made a good case for a bout with one of the PBC’s big stars, including the biggest fish of all, Floyd Mayweather, who watched from ringside. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in the same ring in 2015 in a bout that generated nearly $600 million, and it’s not out of the question they’ll fight again later this year.
During the fight, Mayweather was interviewed by Showtime’s Jim Gray and said, “It’s a chess match. I think Manny is edging Adrien in a chess match. It’s a good matchup. Some nights, that’s what you get in boxing.”
Mayweather didn’t seem all that enthralled with the bout, though the 13,025 who turned out at the MGM Grand in Pacquiao’s first U.S. fight since 2016 certainly did.
Pacquiao, though, made the case for a rematch.
“Tell [Floyd] to come back to the ring and we will fight,” Pacquiao said. “I’m willing to fight again with Floyd Mayweather if he’s willing to come back to boxing.”
While it was a good performance for Pacquiao, Broner didn’t make him work for it. He landed only one real punch of significance and didn’t cause the 40-year-old any serious concerns.
Broner yet again proved to be far more talk than action, as he spent much of the fight circling and didn’t seem all that interested in engaging. It was the biggest fight of his career and he all but failed to show up.
Broner angrily said, “I beat him,” when the fight was over. It was one of the most laughable lines of the night, given his paucity of punches. He added, “I clearly won the last seven.” The crowd booed lustily as Broner spoke, and it was likely he was just trying to create controversy because there was no way he was anywhere near close to winning that fight.
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