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Is age really just a number? A preview of Pacquiao v. Broner

Will Broner be able to finish off the legend or will Pacquiao have a few tricks up his sleeve?

For the first time since 2016, Manny Pacquiao heads back into a United States boxing ring to take on Adrien Broner. The 40-year-old Senator of the Philippines will be defending his WBA Welterweight Title against the man many considered at one point to be the next Floyd Mayweather.

How does one even begin to determine a winner here?

The key point in the opening of this article is that Pacquiao (60-7-2)  is much older than the challenger, and the overall gameplan he has successfully used through the years may not be as effective. His skills have not been lost, however. After a controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017, Manny took care of Lucas Matthysse for the title he now possesses. That was his first KO win since 2009, against Miguel Cotto.

Will the lack of knockout power come into play? The man who also plays basketball and acts has been looking for that power for a while, even since his loss to Floyd Mayweather. Each time he steps into the ring you see him reaching for that finishing blow. The sense of urgency is a far cry from the calm fighter we once saw, but that does not appear to change who is stepping into the ring.

In Broner, Manny sees a man who has patience. He sees someone who is looking to counter whatever he has to offer and take him down, just like Juan Manuel Marquez did in 2012. This time, he appears prepared.

“We know already about his counter-punching,” Pacquiao stated. “I know that he will wait for me and counter like Marquez did. I’m prepared for that and it will not happen again. I learned in the past and I have to correct my mistake.”

On the other side of things, Adrien Broner is just looking to end one legend and create another in himself. Leading up to the fight, Broner (33-3-1, 1 NC) did everything in his power to make him be the bad guy of the fight, a true villain if you will.

While that is his way of handling things outside of the ring, he needs to get out of his own head inside of it. Broner has been on impressive runs that were stopped by elite fighters like Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter.

Broner is his own worst enemy in that he tries to play the fight out long enough to secure the win. Between two knockout wins in 2015 and 2016, Broner’s last five wins have come via decision. His last fight, a draw to Jessie Vargas, was even based off of the lack of an ending. Vargas led the fight with 124-82 landed punches in the opening 6 rounds. While Broner led later on, the lack of momentum is concerning.

Broner does feel confident that his power (24 wins via KO) will be the superior factor here.

“Every fighter is different, but I know if I touch him flush, I’ll put him out,” Broner stated. “It’s no secret, he’s been to sleep before. A lot of people are saying that Pacquiao’s age will be a factor, but I’m not looking at it like that. You see guys like Floyd Mayweather who stay undefeated at an older age. I’m just focused on being me. As long as I do what I have to do, I will be victorious.”

Something to consider here: the demeanor of both fighters. Many have pointed out this is the loosest Pacquiao has looked in his entire boxing career. In good spirits, Manny knows his best days are gone and his legs aren’t the same. He will look to put that all behind him, even just for this one fight. Teaming back up with Freddie Roach could come into play here.

As we saw above, Broner’s attitude could give him momentum or kick him in his own rear. If Broner can lead the way, he might give Manny a run for his money. While his demeanor isn’t how a potential champion would normally present themselves, he is looking to change the narrative of his fighting ability, nothing else.

It is age v. cockiness, a legacy fighter v. the young and hungry star. Fireworks will be going off inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Who will stand tall in the end?

Prediction: Pacquiao via tenth-round TKO

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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