Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBA world welterweight title against Adrien Broner on 19 January in Las Vegas. Pacquiao has held world titles in eight divisions from flyweight to light-middleweight and is set to continue his long career in what will be his 70th professional contest.
The 39-year-old had been linked with a return bout against rival Floyd Mayweather as well as a showdown against Britain’s Amir Khan, but announced on Twitter he will instead take on Broner.
Pacquiao captured a secondary welterweight crown – Keith Thurman is the WBA’s Super champion – by stopping Lucas Mattysse in the seventh round of their fight in Kuala Lumpur in July. That was his first knockout since 2009 and the Filipino improved his record to 60 wins, seven defeats and two draws, but is 5-5 in his last 10 professional contests.
Broner, a former super-featherweight, lightweight, light-welterweight and welterweight world title holder, was once considered the heir apparent to Mayweather. The American’s speed and power carried him to a 27-0 record, but he has since lost his way and has suffered three defeats in his last 10 outings.
“I’m really thankful. There were a lot of people who wanted this fight and God blessed me to get it. I guess I am just the chosen one,” said Broner. “He’s a future hall-of-famer. It’s going to be a helluva fight. All the things he’s done in this game is unbelievable. I have only got a chance y’all could dream of, I don’t even know how I’m feeling right now. It means a lot to me. A win, I turn a legend overnight.”
However, Broner took exception as Pacquiao explained how a rematch with Mayweather failed to materialise.
“He ain’t fighting Floyd, he’s fighting me. I’m gonna beat your ass, you worry about Floyd, he’s already beat you brother,” said Broner. “F*** the money, I know when I win this fight, there is more money to come. Excuse my language but this ain’t Nickelodeon, this is pay-per-view.”