Fresh off an impressive seventh-round knockout over Lucas Matthysse in April, Manny”Pac-Man” Pacquiao is back in action on January 19 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, defending his WBA welterweight title taking on Adrien”The Problem” Broner.
Broner, 29, is coming off a wild majority draw decision contrary to Jessie Vargas in April and is a +250 underdog in this fight with Pacquiao, 40, coming back as a -325 favourite.
This is actually the third straight fight where Broner has been an underdog, previously closing at +150 vs Jessie Vargas and +900 from Mikey Garcia. Meanwhile, Pacquiao was a favored in each of the last four fights, falling just to Jeff Horn in July of 2017 during this span. Pac-Man’s knockout over Lucas Matthysse last July was his very first T/KO victory since he ended Miguel Cotto in 2009 at the same arena he is fighting Broner in.
For Broner, this is the third return to welterweight, a class in which every one of his three livelihood losses have come. It is not surprising to watch Pacquiao as the favorite at -300 as he is a future Hall of Famer and is coming off an impressive knockout. Broner had a good deal of hype behind him a few years ago but was plagued by legal problems and has failed to live up to expectations.
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Pacquiao (-325) is an eight-division world winner and for a little while he was ranked as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, with enormous heart and thunderous hitting power. The 40-year-old has won three of his last four fights, including his aforementioned knockout over Lucas Matthysse in July, his first knockout victory since November 2009 against Miguel Cotto.
The southpaw was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 for the first back-to-back losing slide of his livelihood after falling to Timothy Bradley six months prior. However, since the weight loss loss, Pac-Man is 6-2 with his only losses coming from Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Jeff Horn (in controversial fashion), either by unanimous decision. He also outstruck Horn 182-92 while landing 32 percentage of his cries to just 15 percent by Horn — that is boxing judges for you.
Broner needs to be concentrated to beat Pacquiao
Broner (+250) has all the makings of an elite fighter but his career has been marred by out-of-competition antics who have gotten him legal issues. Most recently, the 29-year-old was booked on a misdemeanor sexual battery charge in February 2018. The Problem struggles a defensive style, somewhat emulating Floyd Mayweather Jr., and was even drawing some comparisons throughout his rise through the rankings, including his split-decision victory over Paulie Malignaggi at 2013. The Ohio native also has had problems with his attention, it seems, looking quite pedestrian against Mikey Garcia at 2017, but he seemed much better in his bulk draw Jessie Vargas at 2018.
Against Vargas, Broner used a second-half battle strategy, losing the initial six rounds but winning the last six. He had been outstruck 203-194 but gained 38 percent of his cries to Vargas’ 24 percent. The Problem does have power in his hands, like his counterpart, as he managed to knock Shawn Porter down into their bout in 2015, a struggle that Porter won via unanimous decision. The knockdown was Broner’s only bright spot of the bout.