While Manny Pacquiao has yet to make a categorical statement on the matter, it appears that the pro boxing universe has already started a countdown on the impending return to the ring of the sport’s only eight-time division champion. In fact, if reports circulating are to be believed, Pacquiao may just lace on the gloves again in October against former world champion Adrien Broner.
Yes, it’s ‘T-minus Broner’ as far as the countdown goes. Then again, the first question that pops out is, “why Broner?”
Nicknamed “The Problem,” Broner (32-2, 24 knockouts) won world titles in three weight divisions (junior lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight). He has a fighting style that resembles Floyd Mayweather, Jr., although many are quick to dismiss it as cheap imitation. Be that as it may, Broner’s style makes him the ideal foe for Pacquiao, that is if the “Pacman” is looking for an eventual rematch with Mayweather.
From where this writer sits, a Pacquiao return sans a Mayweather rematch in the agenda will not be worth following. Even when he “retired” after handily beating Tim Bradley in April, Pacquiao never minced a word about his desire to get in the ring with Mayweather again. The world also likes to see how a healthy Pacquiao would fare against Mayweather. Pacquiao busted his shoulder in the first meeting in May 2015 but still went the full distance with Mayweather.
It appears that if he does return, Pacquiao will be taking a more prudent approach. The choice of Broner, if true, is to make “The Problem” the “tune-up” for the second tango with Mayweather. Broner not only fights like Mayweather, he also has the latter’s swagger. Perhaps even too much of a swagger, as Broner has been embroiled in a slew of domestic charges lately. Just two months ago, Broner was indicted on charges of felonious assault and aggravated robbery.
Broner’s problems with the law figures to be the big hindrance in the fight. There is also the matter of the American looking lackluster in his recent fights. Broner stopped Ashley Theopane in nine rounds in April supposedly for the World Boxing Association junior welterweight title, but he showed up overweight in the fight and the belt was at stake only for Theopane.
In the event that Broner’s name is yanked off the list, other names have been mentioned, notably World Boxing Council welterweight (147 pounds) champ Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 knockouts) and former middleweight (160 pounds) kingpin Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Garcia makes for an interesting foe, although he has been inconsistent in his recent fights. The talks for a showdown with Mexican Alvarez should be shot down with a verbal Uzi; the Mexican is just too big for Pacquiao.
Broner is the ideal guy because he fights within the 140-pound junior welterweight range, the weight class where many thought Pacquiao was at his most explosive. The character of Broner will also make the fight colorful and this translates to ticket sales. One can already envision Broner hyping the fight with a mouth resembling Mayweather’s.
Eventually, Pacquiao will have to clear the air on whether he is returning to the ring. Pacquiao promised Filipino voters that he will completely devote his time to the Senate if he is elected Senator. Pacquiao got the votes but just recently, at the orientation for new senators, the former boxing champ was nowhere to be found.
Well, like the impact of Pacquiao’s straight left to the jaw, some promises are meant to be ‘broken.’
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