Manny Pacquiao defeats Adrien Broner by Unanimous Decision in Las Vegas
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: January 20, 2019
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – At the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in front of a crowd of 13,025 fans Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) made his return to fight on United States soil after two years. The now 40-year old Pacquiao defended his WBA welterweight title against former four-division champion Adrien Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs).
At 40 years of age Pacquiao is no longer the explosive dynamo he was in his prime, however, at 70 percent of his former self he is still more than capable of beating some excellent fighters.
The bout was a tactical chess match with Broner waiting to counter Pacquiao to his own detriment as he was largely outworked and out landed in a vast majority of the rounds. While Pacquiao does not employ his head movement and feints on a consistent basis in this chapter of his career, he has made tactical adjustments to include a more prevalent jab that was used to set up left hands on Broner throughout the fight. The fighting Senator was also able to use well-timed straight left hands to the body that scored cleanly on Broner on almost every occasion he chose to throw them.
Broner did have his moments in the bout specifically in the fourth round where he was able to land a couple of hard counter right hands and left hooks. These were some of the cleanest landed punches in the entire match.
The complexity of the bout changed somewhat in the seventh round when Pacquiao landed a perfect straight left hand that visibly hurt Broner. After that punch landed, Broner chose to put most of his offense on layaway only choosing to engage in certain moments. In the ninth round, Pacquiao landed a straight left hand on Broner’s chin that knocked him back and off balance. Broner had a solid comeback round in the 10th, but went on to lose the championship rounds.
After twelve rounds Pacquiao was awarded a unanimous decision victory with scores of 117-11 and 116-112 twice. Pacquiao landed 82 out of 197 of his power punches at a 42 percent connect rate. The Filipino also out landed Broner in body punches landing 47 to Broner's three.
The fight with Broner marked the 70th professional bout of Pacquiao’s career and his 14th fight at the MGM Grand. Pacquiao’s record at the arena is 9-4-1, with four knockouts.
Now that Pacquiao has secured his first victory under the Premier Boxing banner fans and pundits will be wondering what will be next for the 40-year old Senator. Showtime for its part kept pushing a potential rematch with Floyd Mayweather as they kept bringing it up anytime they interviewed him or Pacquiao. While a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch will undoubtedly be a hefty payday for all parties involved, many fans would like to see Pacquiao take on some of the other elite welterweights such as Keith Thurman or the winner of the upcoming bout between Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia.
It was in June 2001 when Pacquiao first made his United States debut when he demolished Lehlo Ledwaba to win the IBF 122-pound championship. Now almost 18 years later Pacquiao is still a relevant part of the boxing world. Whether he has one or two more fights left, Pacquiao’s journey in boxing is not yet over.
In the co-main event, Staten Island’s Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) won a dominant one-sided unanimous decision over former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Badou Jack. Before the bout took place, most fans and pundits thought the match would be the most competitive on the card with the potential of being the most exciting fight of the night. Browne was able to take advantage of Jack’s tendency to start slow and never let Jack into the fight.
Browne was able to utilize his southpaw style with his straight left hands and counter right hooks to keep Jack from landing any significant punches. Jack attempted to get inside on Browne on multiple occasions with referee Tony Week’s even taking a point away from Browne for holding in the seventh round. Unfortunately for Jack, his fate was sealed in the seventh round as the two men accidentally head-butted each other during an exchange causing a brutal cut on Jack’s forehead.
The cut put Jack’s face into a crimson mask leaving blood all over the shirt of referee Tony Weeks. Jack at times looked like he was unable to see Browne with blood constantly all over his face. In the eleventh round, Browne landed a left hand that further opened up the cut. After twelve one-sided rounds, the judges awarded Browne with the victory with scores of 117-110, 116-11 and 119-108.
The cut on Jack’s forehead is one of the worst the sport of boxing has seen in quite some time. Following the fight, Browne called out current WBC light heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Gvozdyk who recently scored a knockout over long-reigning light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson.
In the first of two-world title fights on the PPV former amateur rivals Rau-Shee Warren (16-3, 4 KOs) battled France’s Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11 KOs) for the vacant WBC bantamweight (118) championship. The two men first met in the Olympics where Oubaali won a decision by just one point.
The first six rounds of the match were a tactical chess match with both men having their fair share of moments. After six rounds, Showtime’s Steve Farhood had the bout scored even at 57-57. The complexion of the match changed in the seventh round with Warren residing to looking for one perfect shot to land and Oubaali outworking the Cincinnati, Ohio native. Oubaali who was making his United States debut fighting outside of his native France for just the second time of his career was able to land right hooks and left hands throughout the second half of the bout.
Warren’s corner urged him to throw more punches, however, whenever he did let his hands go, Oubaali was right there to match him in volume. By the time the championship rounds came around it was clear that Warren needed a knockout or a couple of knockdowns to win the fight. Unfortunately for Warren, he was unable to score either a knockout or knockdown leaving the fight in the hands of the judges.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Oubaali with scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. The Frenchman was able to outland Warren by a large margin in power punches having landed 126 power punches compared to Warren’s 60. In total Oubaali landed 156 out of 662 punches at a 24 percent connect rate.
Opening the PPV broadcast was a ten-round featherweight bout between former WBC super bantamweight (122) champion Hugo Ruiz (39-4, 33 KOs) and contender Alberto Guevara. In the first round, Ruiz scored an unexpected knockdown when he landed a right hand and followed it up with a left hook that sent Guevara to the canvas.
After the first round, the bout turned into a relatively one-sided affair with Ruiz getting the better of Guevara in each round. At the end of ten rounds, Ruiz was awarded the unanimous decision victory with scores of 100-89 and 99-90 twice.
(Featured Photo: Showtime Sports)