By Lem Satterfield
Four-division champion Adrien Broner can "shut everybody up" with "a career-defining win" against left-handed WBA “regular” champion Manny Pacquiao on January 19 at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View, according to promoter Leonard Ellerbe.
If victorious, “The Problem’s” mark against southpaws will improve to 7-0.
“Adrien is very confident that he's gonna shut everybody up, and he’s putting in that work for a career-defining win over a future Hall of Famer in Manny Pacquiao on January 19,” said Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
“Adrien's a super-talented fighter who is still is in his prime. He has a great opportunity to beat Manny Pacquiao, and it would not surprise me one bit if he does. I give him a great chance to do it, and Adrien believes he's gonna put it all together and get it done."
The 29-year-old Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) has vowed “to do what I always do to southpaws and dismantle him” against Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), saying “The Pac Man" has "been knocked out three times,” and “can go out and go to sleep.”
“I feel like he can’t beat me," said Broner, who is 6-0 with five knockouts against left-handers. "Look at my resume – what do I do to southpaws? I stop them. Going into this fight, I’m very confident.”
Broner looks to do what Rustico Torecampo (February 1996), Boonsai Singurat (September 1999) and four-division champion Juan Manuel Marquez (December 2012) did in finishing Pacquiao, who turns 40 on December 17.
Pacquiao was 11-0 (four KOs) when Torecampo stopped him in the third round of a 112-pound bout, and 26-1 (17 KOs) when a third-round KO loss to Singurat cost him his 112-pound WBC flyweight title.
Marquez had swapped knockdowns with Pacquiao before flattening his archrival with a blistering, straight right hand counter with a second left in the sixth round. Pacquiao walked into the punch, which left him flat on his face near the ropes and his own corner.
Asked if Broner could score the KO against Pacquiao, Ellerbe said, “Anything is possible in a fight.”
“Adrien’s a good puncher. Manny’s been stopped before,” said Ellerbe. “Adrien’s putting in the work, he’s very motivated, and anybody can get caught with a shot, so it’s not out of the question.”
Broner’s list of vanquished left-handers includes eighth- and 12th-round TKOs of Antonio DeMarco (November 2012) and Khabib Allakhverdiev (October 2015) at 135- and 140-pounds for his second- and fourth crowns.
There was also a unanimous decision over former titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon (March 2011) and stoppages in the second, fourth and sixth rounds over Guillermo Sanchez (September 2010), Robert Acevedo (January 2010) and Carlos Claudio (June 2010).
The first man to stop the tough Russian two-time title challenger Allakhverdiev, Broner ended a 32-month knockout drought, his previous stoppage being a fifth-round TKO of 135-pound Gavin Rees in February 2013. Broner dethroned DeMarco and earned earned a vacant WBA crown and his fourth in as many divisions against Allakhverdiev.
But after Allakhverdiev, Broner lost his 140-pound title at the scales prior to his next fight in April 2016, a ninth-round TKO of Ashley Theophane. He then won a split-decision over former sparring partner Adrian Granados in a 146 ½-pound bout in February 2017.
After losing to unbeaten four-division champion Mikey Garcia in July 2017 by unanimous decision in a 140-pound non-title bout, Broner brought in trainer Kevin Cunningham to run his camp while also continuing to work with longtime corner man, Mike Stafford.
The result was an action-packed, crowd-pleasing, 144-pound draw in April with two-division champion Jessie Vargas, loser by one-knockdown unanimous decision to Pacquiao in November 2016.
Pacquiao is defending the crown he won in July by three-knockdown, seventh-round TKO against former champion Lucas Matthysse, representing his first knockout victory since November 2009, when he twice floored Miguel Cotto to become WBA/WBC 147-pound champion.
The victory helped Pacquiao to rebound from a unanimous decision loss in Australia to Jeff Horn, who dethroned him as WBO champion in July 2017.
Broner-Pacquiao sparks a sizzling series of welterweight fights over the first four months of 2019 that include WBC and IBF counterparts Shawn Porter and southpaw Errol Spence, switch-hitting three-division and WBO titlist Terence Crawford, and two-division title winner Danny Garcia.
On March 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his initial WBC title defense against 2008 Cuban Olympic bronze medal winner Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) on FOX return (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.).
A week later on March 16 on Fox Pay Per View, “The Truth” Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs) pursues his third defense and 12th straight knockout against four-division champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
On March 23 at New York’s Madison Square Garden on ESPN, switch-hitting three-division champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) could face either left-handed former champion Luis Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs) or ex-titleholder Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), the latter of whom scored three knockdowns in May 2014 during a unanimous decision over Collazo.
Finally, on April 20 at a site to be determined, Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) looks to rebound from September’s unanimous decision loss to Porter against brawler Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC) on FOX (8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.).
"From Danny, to Keith, to Shawn, to Spence, you have a welterweight division that's the hottest in all of boxing, right now. All of those guys are fighting for the No. 1 spot. Adrien's fighting for Manny's 147-pound WBA title, and styles make fights,"said Ellerbe.
"I know Adrien has the style to beat Manny Pacquiao and win his belt. Adrien’s been working really hard, plus, he’s had a tremendous amount of support from people, including myself. He just has to have a great camp and stay on his grind. If he gets beyond Manny, Adrien has a lot of options and opportunities that are limitless."