Broner is Perfect Fight for Pacquiao, Except…

By Paul Magno on November 19, 2018
Broner is Perfect Fight for Pacquiao, Except…
Pacquiao was promoted as some sort of cross between St. Thomas Aquinas and Bruce Lee.

On Saturday, January 19, Pacquiao gets to be the cartoon good guy again and gets to take a crack at smiting “evil” one more time…

When Manny Pacquiao returns to fight in the US for the first time in two years on January 19, tasked with facing Adrien Broner, he’ll be walking a familiar, comfortable path. The multi-division former world champ and current WBA welterweight titlist will be wearing the white hat in a good vs. evil battle.

Although Pacquiao was always a likable sort with a fan-pleasing style, what really made Manny a superstar was the good guy-bad guy dynamic as it played off against the much-hated Floyd Mayweather.

Key to the mainstream-aimed promotion of Pacquiao had been this cultivated image of the Filipino icon being the humble superhero, a man who speaks softly but brings violent comeuppance with his fists. Juxtaposed against the trash-talking, cash-flinging “Money” Mayweather, Pacquiao was promoted as some sort of cross between St. Thomas Aquinas and Bruce Lee.

And it worked.

Pacquiao became bigger than anyone could’ve imagined. He rode that wave of fame and accompanying money until promoter Bob Arum ran out of secondary opposition for him to thrash and it came time to finally cash out against Mayweather, himself.

Post-Mayweather loss, Pacquiao returned to being what he was before his people tied him to Floyd—an elite fighter with an entertaining style who “just” appealed to hardcore fans and core Pacquiao loyalists. Throw in some IRS issues and a few controversial anti-gay, pro-death penalty comments over the last few years, and Manny’s white hat is not so white these days.

But all of that can change and Manny can be that humble superhero again in 2019, picking right up where he left off in his prime earning years.

Upon signing a reported two-fight deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, Pacquiao was immediately put on a path to fight Haymon fighter Adrien Broner and then Haymon-aligned Mayweather in a big money rematch of their 2015 blockbuster. Aside from the money involved in the proposed fights, slotting him against Broner and Mayweather guarantees him being the good guy and gives him a second chance at capturing the attention and goodwill of fight-curious mainstream fans.

Broner is key to this jumpstart for Pacquiao’s salability. The controversial 4-division world champ from Cincinnati is a better provocateur than fighter at this point, adept at getting under the skin of boxing purists and straight-laced fans who thrive on seeing the day of his ultimate comeuppance. Considered “Mayweather Light” by many, he’s also the perfect lead-in to a Mayweather rematch.

Even though Pacquiao turns 40 this December, a strong 2019 can put him right back where he was in 2009-2010 and give him at least another year or two where paychecks don’t have to come on the run and big-time US endorsement deals find their way back to him. It also can’t be overlooked just how much Manny, who’s carting along a political career as well, likes to wear the white hat and play that comfortable, ego-pleasing good guy role.

“All I know is to fight in the ring and to give excitement and entertain people,” Pacquiao recently told media. “That’s my job. If Floyd comes out of retirement after this fight we’ll see. But I cannot underestimate Adrien Broner.

“I want to fight the greatest opponent, the greatest fighters in the world, one of them is Adrien Broner. I can fight anybody.”

The one problem with this plan is “The Problem,” himself.

An in-shape, focused Adrien Broner can turn Pacquiao’s first step towards reestablishing his star power into a final nail in his career coffin.

Broner has the raw ability to offset Pacquiao’s waning physical abilities and at least the semblance of a style that could be problematic. All that remains to be seen is whether the 29-year-old cares enough to put it all together. But from everything seen and heard so far it’s clear that he fully understands what a win over Pacquiao means to his career.

“It’s going to be a hell of a fight, all bulls*** aside,” Broner said. “I’m not coming to just pick up a check…It means a lot to me honestly. A win, I turn into a legend overnight.”

January 19 is going to be an interesting night. Fans will either see the rebirth of Superman or the last ride of a legend. In either case, though, Manny gets to be the cartoon good guy again and gets to take a crack at smiting “evil” one more time.

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  1. Kid Blast 08:45am, 11/22/2018

    Mau, I’m impressed—you know your serial killers. Thought I was the keenest, but you are quite on the mark Of course, we must distinguish mass killers from serial ones like Richard Speck—another fine Chicagoan. .

    I’d rate Wilder a serial killer at this point but that might end soon.

  2. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 06:46am, 11/22/2018

    Kid Blast…. I believe Gacy said, “kiss my ass.” Unrepentant to the end. No doubt that IF there is a Hell, Gacy is there. It was bad enough that Gacy was a democrat, that alone should send him to purgatory. hehe. Who can forget the iconic photo of Gacy and FLOTUS,  Rosalynn Carter. The only serial killer that I had a bit of empathy for was Aileen Wournos. Without a doubt her first victim was clearly a case of self defense. Horrible, horrible life the woman lived, no wonder she struck out against men and society, but someone like Gacy was just a complete waste of human flesh.

  3. Kid Blast 05:46pm, 11/21/2018

    Mau, do you know what Gacey’s last three words were?

  4. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 07:16am, 11/21/2018

    Kid Blast….I used to have a book that had a section on what death row inmates requested for their last meal. That sort of stuff always fascinated me. Must have misplaced it somewhere. But some of the selections were odd as hell. A guy might want a candy bar and his favorite soda and that was it, others would request enough food to stuff Diamond Jim Brady. I did a search and it seems that last meals are still granted in most states, but the request must be reasonable and a state like Florida for example, is only picking up a 40-dollar tab and not a penny more. Key Lime pie is definitely one of my favorites as well, but I wouldn’t want to run my tab up too high. I saw a program on John Wayne Gacy last night and his last meal request was a bucket of KFC.

  5. Kid Blast 06:47am, 11/21/2018

    Great choices for that last meal. That crab dinner would be mine as well.

    Fries with plenty of catsup and vinegar and even some putine.

    Maybe some Key Lime pie also.

  6. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 08:56pm, 11/20/2018

    I’m not even sure if prisoners facing execution are still granted last meal request nowadays. It was always interesting what some would request as their last meal. Some would order something as simple as a Whopper and fries with a soda, others would have what the prison was serving that day, while others would amp it up a degree or two. I’m wondering if these guys had a limit on the price of the meal.  I think I would say goodbye with a seafood feast of steamed blue crabs, Maryland crab cakes, steamed shrimp, fried and raw oysters with German chocolate cake for dessert. Wash it down with Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke since no alcohol was allowed.

  7. Kid Blast 05:46pm, 11/20/2018

    pro-death penalty is not, per se, bad.

  8. Kid Blast 05:43pm, 11/20/2018

    Pac should break down AB’s will in the mid rounds and then go on to win a UD. AB is very difficult to put away. But he doesn’t let his hands go until it’s too late.

    If he could start a fight like he finishes one, he just might be able to win one.

    This is the perfect storm for Pac.

  9. razor 02:26pm, 11/20/2018

    We are witnessing one of the all time best in the sport of boxing in our generation, Let us savor this experience and see what ending will it be, Let us enjoy the ride..

  10. fan 07:34am, 11/20/2018

    Instead of boxing match up without meaning, we should have an easy to follow boxing tournament with title belt on the line.

  11. Your Name 06:31am, 11/20/2018

    Paul is a true journalist. He aspires to be a social justice warrior.

  12. Steve 06:29am, 11/20/2018

    Pac utterly destroys Broner after a tense first few rounds. Broner is tailor-made for him. No contest.  Another Rios beat down.

  13. Action Jackson 05:22am, 11/20/2018

    Agree with ceylon - odd article

  14. Arnulfo Cruz 05:19am, 11/20/2018

    A good fight for both of these boxers.  I hope a 60% of old Manny and a 100% Broner shows up and it will be an entertaining fight.  Although I will bet Manny wins by UD or even TKO within 7 rounds.  A good fight nevertheless

  15. ceylon 03:32am, 11/20/2018

    odd article.

    pacquiaos popularity dropped with the mayweather fight. he was past his peak popularity before that fight—that was a globally disappointing last gasp and further turned off casual sports fans in the USA to boxing.
    broner aint gonna raise his profile any at all. broner is not key for anything.
    broner chokes or underperforms every competitive matchup. this may be enough of a mismatch that broner actually tries cuz he cant win and has nothing to lose. thatd be cool.
    im happy to watch broner lose again.

  16. Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers 03:16pm, 11/19/2018

    When did being pro-death penalty become something considered, “evil?” There are some crimes so heinous that the thought of the criminal being given a needle seems much too merciful. I love how the bleeding hearts condemn the death penalty but have no problem with abortion. Explain that one to me.  I don’t know nor do I care what Pac said about homosexuality, but he has a right to his opinion just like everyone else. Back to bidness. I don’t see Manny playing Broner cheap. Manny will be in as good of shape as a 40 year old man can be in. The lifestyle that Broner leads might actually make him older than his real age anyhow. Some guys become old in their late 20’s and early 30’s.

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