Despite having established and developed a myriad of other careers in his life, from brief inroads into professional basketball to his now storied service as Congressman and then Senator, Manny Pacquiao seems intent to follow his original path as a champion pro boxer for the rest of his life, age notwithstanding. With how he managed to knock out Lucas Matthysse last year – his first time in nine years, nobody could question Manny can still hack it. As Pacquiao’s latest fight played out this weekend in Vegas, speculation returns as to whether he can win anew at 40. That he did.
ESPN 5 reports that Manny Pacquiao did it again on January 19 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when he, on his first pro boxing match at four decades of age, beat American Adrien Broner to keep his WBA (Regular) Welterweight Championship. The venue is a special place for Manny since this was where he fought on American soil for the first time, so he is always ready to give his best performance when booked there. And there would be no disappointment on the part of the 13,025-strong audience at the arena when Pacquiao and Broner started coming to blows.
On the line for this match was the WBA Welterweight belt Manny won from his 2018 fight with Lucas Matthysse, a bout that led to the Argentinian’s boxing retirement. It was also a reunion of sorts with longtime Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who was at his corner. Manny went at Broner with a body-punch strategy, answered by the American keeping him at arm’s length with one-two punch combos. After getting hammered in Rounds 4 and 5, Broner had to go pure defense. By rounds nine and ten he was reduced to clinching Pacquiao to stop the latter’s barrages, which called into question Broner’s triumphant posing when the last round ended.
Stats-wise according to CompuBox, Manny Pacquiao landed 112 out of 568 punches to Adrien Broner’s 50 out of 295. This jives with the judges’ scorecards of 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112, plus ESPN’s own 120-108 rating, all for a unanimous decision in favor of the fighting Philippine Senator. Too bad Broner does not see it that way, as in post-fight interviews he insists that he beat Pacquiao, adding that the match was simply gravy for Manny to convince Floyd Mayweather Jr. to fight him once more, which was indeed the theme of Pacquiao’s own post-fight talks. The unbeaten champion’s camp however says now to further rematches.
Image courtesy of CBS Sports