By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao didn’t see Kevin Cunningham call him essentially an old man during the most recent episode of Showtime’s “ALL ACCESS: Pacquiao Vs. Broner.”
The Filipino icon is certain he knows, though, exactly what Adrien Broner and Broner’s trainer think of him.
“They think that I’m old,” Pacquiao told a group of reporters Tuesday following his “grand arrival” at MGM Grand. “They say that because they think I’m old, but they’re wrong. I mean, the way I work hard – my sparring partners, they’re 29, 25 years old.”
Broner is 29, plenty young enough, according to Cunningham, to upset Pacquiao.
“We gonna send him back to the Senate,” Cunningham said during “ALL ACCESS,” which premiered Friday night on Showtime. “Take your 40-year-old ass back to the Senate.”
Pacquiao, who turned 40 last month, scored his first knockout in 8½ years in his last fight. He knocked down Lucas Matthysse three times on his way to knocking out the Argentinean power-puncher in the seventh round July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
That impressive victory, his first fight in just over a year, encouraged Pacquiao that he can continue fighting at a high level while he’s in his forties. Before beating Matthysse to win the WBA world welterweight title, Pacquiao hadn’t fought since then-unknown Jeff Horn upset him to win the WBO welterweight title in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
“After the Jeff Horn fight, I was challenged,” Pacquiao said. “And I was challenged because some people say, ‘Manny Pacquiao is no more. He’s old.’ Like that. And then, I’m so disappointed and challenged, supporting myself. ‘Nah, I’m not old. I can do more. I can still do the same as before, what I did before. And we will see.’ And then I work hard, developing my power and, of course, God gave me this blessing of good health, strength, and that’s what happened in my last fight.”
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) is consistently listed as about a 3-1 favorite over Cincinnati’s Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC). Their 12-round, 147-pound title bout will headline Showtime Pay-Per-View’s four-fight telecast Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT; $74.99).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.