By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao hopes Adrien Broner’s nickname, “The Problem,” doesn’t take on a more detrimental meaning outside the ring than has already happened.
Pacquiao expressed genuine concern for his upcoming opponent during his media availability Wednesday in Hollywood, California. When asked about Broner’s pending legal issues, the deeply religious Pacquiao took a compassionate tone and expressed hope that those ordeals don’t ruin Broner’s life away from the boxing ring.
“I don’t want to put myself higher than him or [more] righteous than him,” Pacquiao told a group of reporters at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club. “Of course, I’m praying that he will resolve his problems and he will get through his problems. I just want to share a good life outside the ring [with Broner].”
Broner, whose star-crossed career has been beset by various legal entanglements, faces sexual misconduct charges in two separate cases that stem from incidents last year in Atlanta and Cleveland. Coincidentally, Broner had court proceedings scheduled for Monday in relation to both cases.
The case in Atlanta is based on allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman at Lenox Square Mall last February. According to misdemeanor charges filed after that incident, Broner groped that woman against her will.
The case in Cleveland is based on his arrest in June for forcibly kissing the mouth and neck of a woman at ANATOMY Nightclub+Ultralounge. He has been charged with gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, as well as a misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition and abduction, a third-degree felony, in that case.
Broner pleaded not guilty to those charges in November.
The Cincinnati native was not required to attend either hearing Monday. The former four-division champion remained in Las Vegas, where he arrived last week for his fight against Pacquiao on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Broner traveled to Van Nuys, California, on Wednesday for his own media session with reporters at Ten Goose Boxing Gym.
Pacquiao, whose media event ended shortly before Broner’s began, doesn’t expect Broner’s distractions away from the ring to have hurt his preparation for their 12-round fight for his WBA world welterweight title.
“I don’t think so,” Pacquiao said.
Showtime will distribute the four-fight pay-per-view event headlined by the 40-year-old Pacquiao (60-7-2, 38 KOs) and the 29-year-old Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.