Should Pacquiao come back to face Adrien Broner?
By Hector Franco
Last April in Las Vegas fans thought they had seen the last of Manny Pacquiao. For the minority of fans that thought Timothy Bradley won their first encounter, Manny Pacquiao closed out their series with an emphatic, clear victory. Fans were treated to flashes of the Pacquiao that made him a beloved figure among boxing fans. It seemed like a fitting end to the career of a fighter that will go down as an all-time great.
When Pacquiao announced that he would be retiring from the sport after his win over Timothy Bradley it was met with skepticism. In the history of boxing, there are only a handful of fighters that actually retired from the sport instead of the sport retiring them. With the amount of money that Manny Pacquiao makes in each of his fights, it’s no surprise that less than three months since the Bradley fight; there are rumors of his return to the ring in October. At this point, it seems to be more than just rumors. It started when Eric Gomez, the VP of Golden Boy Promotions, mentioned to boxingscene.com, that Pacquiao was not a viable opponent for Canelo Alvarez as he had a deal in place with another opponent.
This opponent would be Adrien Broner. The former 4-division champion for years has said that he would like to step in the ring with Pacquiao. For Pacquiao, a fight with Broner does nothing for his career. Except it does line his pockets with more cash. In defense of Pacquiao, after some glimpses in the rubber match with Bradley of a returning fire inside the ring, he may be itching to get back in the ring. After all, he just defeated one of the top welterweights in the world and certainly a more accomplished fighter than Broner. The Bradley fight, however, bombed in the PPV market. It was one of the few times that a Pacquiao fight lost money.
A Pacquaio-Broner fight would be an easy sell to the American public. It’s a fresh match-up that can be marketed with the classic story line of good guy vs. bad guy. Broner headlining his first PPV event would likely excel in selling the fight during the press conferences and all the HBO produced 24/7 episodes. For Pacquiao, Broner is an opponent he would even at this stage of his career be heavily favored against. Even with the money and odds in his favor, is Broner the right opponent for a comeback?
There are more options available to Pacquiao in a comeback. With the amount of money made in May 2015, a rematch with Mayweather is always a possibility. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has stated that the date of October 15th at the Mandalay Bay has been reserved. According to boxingscene.com, Arum told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that not only was Broner being considered as an opponent for Pacquiao, but so are Danny Garcia and Terence Crawford. The Crawford fight was discussed as a possibility earlier this year. Crawford has business to take care of against Viktor Postol later this month first before a Pacquiao fight can be discussed again.
A fight with Danny Garcia for Pacquiao makes the most sense to make. Garcia holds the WBC welterweight title and record wise is undefeated. Garcia would be the biggest puncher Pacquiao has faced since Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. It could prove to be an exciting fight for Pacquiao. Beating an undefeated world champion in his prime for his comeback fight would show without a doubt that Pacquiao is still one of the best in the world.
Until we have an announcement from Top Rank in a press conference stating the return of Manny Pacquiao, this could all be speculation. The reserving of the Mandalay Bay for October 15th makes a return for Pacquiao more than likely. We need to hear from the man himself, to find out for sure.
(Featured Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank)