Boxing's only eight-division champion proves there is plenty left in his tank as he blitzes Broner to a unanimous decision win in his PBC debut at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Manny Pacquiao’s return to fighting on U.S. soil was a successful one. Pacquiao made it look easy most of Saturday night versus former four-division titlist Adrien Broner, winning a 12-round unanimous decision to retain his welterweight title in the main event of a Showtime PPV card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Final cards read 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112.
For Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), this is what 40 years of age looks like. His blurring hand and foot speed, along with prodigious power, were still evident, to the delight of the sell-out crowd of 13, 025, which cheered heavily in his favor from his ring walk to the final bell.
Pacquiao—who was making his PBC debut— says he could fight twice more before the year is over.
“Tell him (Floyd Mayweather) to come back to the ring and we will fight,” Pacquiao said. “I’m willing to fight again Floyd Mayweather if he’s willing to come back to boxing.”
Mayweather, who was seated ringside, wouldn’t commit to a rematch with his former rival. The two fought in May 2015 in a battle of the two greatest fighters of their generation. Mayweather cruised to a unanimous decision. Pacquiao has been in search of revenge since.
Nevertheless, the Filipino Senator has a huge crop of prime welterweights to choose from: Keith Thurman, the winner of Errol Spence Jr. versus Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.
Based on his performance on this night, all of those bouts would be crowd-pleasers. As many predicted, Pacquiao outhustled Broner. Once the challenger tasted Manny’s power, he went mostly into retreat.
According to PunchStats, Broner, 29, never landed double-digit punches in the fight. Yet afterwards, he claimed he really won the fight.
“I beat him,” Broner said incredulously. “Everybody out there knows I beat him. I controlled the fight, he was missing. I hit him clean more times. I beat him.”
Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs), is still a big name in the welterweight division. He’ll likely find another major fight in the crowded 147-pound division as soon as he’s ready. There were periods versus Pacquiao when his speed seemed overwhelming. When Broner let his hands go, he was able to land counters. But those moments were few and far in between.
After a close feel-out opening round. Broner scored with accurate counter rights in the second frame but was outworked by Pacquiao, who landed solid power punches of his own.
The pattern continued in the third. Broner responded in the fourth, stealing the round at the end with a couple of big power shots. After decreasing his punch output in the fifth, “A.B.” came alive again in the sixth, perhaps stunning Pacquiao toward the end of the stanza with a combination.
From there, it was all Manny. Pacquiao’s best round was the seventh. A beautiful, vintage left cross rocked a retreating Broner. Pacquiao poured it on, continued to land in search of the knockout. But Broner showed heart, veteran guile and iron whiskers, escaping the round with a combination of moving and clinching.
Already not throwing enough, Broner was even more inactive after that. He got on his bicycle for much of the championship rounds, and then threw his hands in the air in celebration at the final bell, although it was clear who won.
“I’m so happy because God gave me this good health,” said Pacquiao afterward. “At the age of 40 I can still give my best. Although I wanted to be aggressive more, my camp told me don’t be careless and to counter him and wait for opportunities.”
Marcus Browne outpoints Badou Jack in bloody, lopsided affair
Light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne (23-0, 13 KOs) scored the biggest win of his career, earning a lopsided 12-round decision over former two-weight champion Badou Jack (22-2-3, 16 KOs) in the co-featured bout.
Browne prevailed via scores of 119-108, 117-110, and 116-111.
Jack just couldn’t get anything going and suffered a horrific cut in the seventh round on his forehead due to a headbutt. He gamely fought through it, blood dropping down his face.
“He couldn’t find me before that [head butt],” said the 28-year-old Browne, who made his professional debut on ShoBox: The New Generation following the 2012 Olympics. “He couldn’t find me. I was just too sharp, too slick, too anything. He was coming with his head all night. He kept coming with his head.”
Browne lost a point in that round for holding. Still, he outworked Jack, making the 35-year-old craftsman gunshy with a series of power shots in the fourth. A cautious Jack mostly threw one punch at a time.
Browne knew he was well ahead on the scorecards heading into the championship rounds and chose to coast to a decision win. He picked up the interim WBA light heavyweight title with the victory.
Nordine Oubaali wins bantamweight title in exciting victory over Rau'shee Warren
Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11 KOs) lifted the vacant WBC bantamweight title in an exciting bout against former titleholder Rau’shee Warren (16-3, 4 KOs). It was a rematch between two former Olympic rivals. Oubaali repeated, winning a unanimous decision by scores of 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113.
“This was my dream,” said Oubaali, who was making his U.S. debut. “I made my dream come true, my American dream. I want to thank all the people of America and France who supported me.”
The two fought on even terms for the first half of the fight, eliciting ooh’s and ahh’s from the crowd when they exchanged on the inside. Oubaali was slightly quicker with his shots, buzzing Warren several times, particularly in the seventh, the most dominant round of the fight.
Warren allowed Oubaali to take control midway through the fight and tried coming on in the championship rounds, but ultimately came up short.
Hugo Ruiz notches lopsided win over late-substitute Alberto Guevara
Hugo Ruiz earned an uneventful 10-round decision over late replacement Alberto Guevara. Guevara came in as a late substitute for Jhack Tepora, a Manny Pacquiao-promoted fighter that came in five-plus pounds overweight. Ruiz outworked Guevara to the tune of 100-89, 99-90, and 99-90 scores, scoring an early knockdown.
For a closer look at Pacquiao vs Broner, check out at our fight page.