LAS VEGAS (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao proved that age is no obstacle on Saturday (Jan 19), putting on a 12-round boxing clinic against Adrien Broner to retain his welterweight title in his first fight on US soil in two years.
Pacquiao easily won with an impressive display of superior hand speed and destructive power that landed him a unanimous-decision victory over the American at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
The Filipino great almost knocked Broner down twice in the seventh and ninth rounds, and showed that he can still be a force in the sport despite turning 40 last month.
“I really don’t believe my career is over. I proved it in my last fight against (Lucas) Matthysse,” Pacquiao said.
“And now I prove it again at the age of 40 (that) I can still give my best.”
Admitting he had wanted to floor Broner for his second straight knockout win, Pacquiao revealed his corner had told him “to counter and wait for opportunities” even though “I wanted to be more aggressive”.
In his 70th fight as a professional, he retained the lesser version of the World Boxing Association’s two welterweight belts, setting the stage for a rematch with undefeated American Floyd Mayweather, who watched the bout from ringside.
Pacquiao improved to 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts, winning on all three judges’ scorecards, including by one tally of 117-111. The other two judges also had it one-sided at 116-112, while his 29-year-old opponent dropped to 33-5-1.
The eight-division champion is now hoping to avenge his 2015 loss to Mayweather, which became the richest one-day sporting event in history, raking in a record US$500 million (S$679.2 million).
Immediately after his fight, Pacquiao called out Mayweather, taunting the 41-year-old, who has not fought since a technical knockout win over mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in August 2017, to “come back to the ring”.
He added: “I am willing to fight Floyd Mayweather again if he is willing to come back in boxing.”
But Mayweather, who had helped promote the event’s boxing card, was non-committal when asked if he would take on Pacquiao again, claiming “right now, I am living the happy life”.
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