Manny Pacquiao cruised to a comfortable unanimous decision over Adrien Broner to defend his WBA welterweight world championship at a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The first thing on the Filipino senator’s mind afterwards was a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, who was ringside at his own promotional event.
The first encounter between the two men, won by Mayweather, grossed $600 million four years ago.
Asked by Showtime’s Jim Gray if he would like to rematch Mayweather in the future, Pacquiao said he would jump at the opportunity if Mayweather came out of retirement. “Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight,” Pacquaio said. “I’m willing to fight Floyd Mayweather again if he’s willing to come back to boxing.”
Pacquiao looked back to his best, inspite of this being his first fight over the age of 40, and 70th as a professional. The scores were 117-111, 116-112 twice. Your correspondent agreed with the first judge.
A global icon and boxing’s only eight-division champion, Pacquaio – who was fighting for the first time in the United State in more than two years – used effective jabs and sustained body work in a fight watched by an attendance of 13,025 fans, including the retired Floyd Mayweather.
“I proved in my last fight against [Lucas] Matthysse and now I proved it again: The Manny Pacquiao journey will still continue,” Pacquiao said.
“At the age of 40 I can still give my best,” Pacquiao said. “Although I wanted to be aggressive more, my camp told me don’t be careless and to counter him and wait for opportunities. ”
Both fighters were cautious late, as the fight slowed in the final two rounds.
Pacquiao, whose pro career stretches back 24 years, showed he still has the speed that carried him over his spectacular career. He also displayed some power, though he was never able to drop Broner.
Pacquiao was clearly the favorite of the crowd of 13,025, who gathered at the MGM Grand arena to see if the part-time fighter still had some fight in him. It turned out Pacquiao did, and then some, as he pushed the attack against Broner.
Pacquiao was the aggressor from the opening bell, and he had to be because Broner threw only occasional punches in the opening rounds. Pacquiao attacked at will, winning round after round before the fight started to heat up in the middle rounds.
Broner, meanwhile, fought like he was merely trying to survive, despite being 11 years younger than his opponent. He was booed loudly as he raised his hands in victory and jumped on the corner ropes as if he had won.
“I beat him, everybody out there knows I beat him,” Broner said. “I clearly won the last seven rounds.”
Mayweather watched it all intently from his ringside seat, and was coy about possibly coming out of retirement for a reprise of the 2015 lackluster fight Mayweather won by decision over Pacquiao.
“You keep asking me about Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather said during the fight. “He needs to get past Adrien Broner first. And right now I’m living a happy and healthy life.”
Showtime announcer Jim Gray tried to get Mayweather to climb in the ring after the fight and discuss a possible bout with Pacquiao, but Mayweather demurred.
It was the first fight in the U.S. in two years for Pacquiao, who reunited with trainer Freddie Roach for a bout that would determine how much he had left at the age of 40.
He had plenty, in a fight that was entertaining even if it wasn’t a classic.
Ringside punching stats showed Pacquiao landing 112 of 568 pounds. Broner threw only 295 punches and landed just 50.
Broner landed no more than eight punches in any round, and just one in the final round.