By Blake Chavez
Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter in history, period. It’s not even close. Just check his resume, as he hits the no-man’s land in the boxing game: age 40. And this list of opponents runs from the most recent on down. Only the Mayweather and 4th Marquez fight loss were clear-cut.
Lucas Matthysse-champ, Jeff Horn-champ, Jesse Vargas-champ, Timothy Bradley-champ, Floyd Mayweather- Champ, Chris Algieri-champ, Brandon Rios-champ, Juan Manuel Marquez-champ Shane Mosely-champ, Antonio Margarito-champ, Joshua Clottey-champ, Miguel Cotto-champ, Ricky Hatton-champ, Oscar De La Hoya-champ, David Diaz,-champ, Marco Antonio Barerra-champ-, 3-time world title challenger Jorge Solis, Erik Morales-champ, Oscar Larios-champ, Two-time world title challenger Hector Velasquez 42-10-2 (fought Pac with nothing at stake). Hector later fought for a world title---then sprinkle in the fact that in his three of his four previous fights Pac took on Morales, Marquez, and Barerra.
His only breather between those three murderers was a non-title fight with Narongrit Pirang 44-7-1 (who also later fought for a world title) And just so there was no doubt about who was who---Pac fought Marquez four times, and took on Bradley, Morales, and Barrera three times each, and holds the edge in wins over each of them in every series.
Folks, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosely, Miguel Cotto, Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, Antonio Margarito and perhaps even Ricky Hatton were all killers. Stone cold bad-azzes. Period. Pac basically bitch-slapped the lot of em. And Pac is just a lil fella. Everyone of them had the edge in size. But talent is the name of our game, and that boy got talent!
NOBODY in history has ever dared a 15-year, twenty-seven fight suicide mission schedule even remotely resembling that. And now he welcomes the challenge a four weight division champion in Adrien "The Problem" Broner. Adrien Broner is ten years younger than Pac. Wow.
The facts are facts, and those facts go back-to-back like two flats on a Cadillac!
But Father Time may be The Equalizer in this matchup January 2019. Fighters are famous for "getting old overnight". It happened to Hamed vs Barrera. Happened to Oscar vs Pac. Cotto tasted it vs Saddam Ali. Tyson rusted overnight in Japan vs Buster Douglas and Tito turned to stone vs Winky Wright. Sugar Ray Leonard turned 100 years-old vs Macho Camacho. GGG got a grey beard over the course of the last few months. Frankie Randall also thumped Julio The Great upside the head with a calendar. Michael Spinks put the "Spinks Jinx" on an unbeaten Larry Holmes. Vitaly busted Lennox across the chops with a grandfather’s clock as well. The list goes on and on.
I’ve noticed many in the media quoting "experts" stating that the outcome of the fight depends on "which" Adrien Broner shows up or it depends if AB "lets his hands go". That’s so silly. Grown folks shouldn’t comport themselves in such a fashion. As my grand-pappy would say, "Aint but one Adrien Broner, and I’m guessing that’s the onliest one fittin’ to show up". True that, GPaw.
There is only one Adrien Broner, and he is indeed an enigma. And dammnit--this is the fight game, what do you experts mean, if he lets his hands go!? If he don’t let his hands go, don’t pay him! Hold his damned check. This is pay-per-view. The big-time. If he let’s his hands go.
And the majority of fight fans just shake their head in agreement. Not Me! Fine Him. Suspend him. Dock his pay. Ban him. I’ll bet he let his damned hands go the next time. But the more you baby him and fawn all over him and whisper in his ear, "You gotta let your hands go, Baby"... the more you ruin this guy. He’s ’let his hands go’ maybe 3 or 4 rounds in his last ten fights. Sheeez.
I love me some Adrien Broner. The dude has a genuinely good heart. He doesn’t much go for making his charitable contributions leak into the news cycle, but rest assured, his generosity is healthy, and that makes me a fan of the man. But this is the same guy that can come home from a night out with a dozen bullet holes in his ride. This the same young man who likes to be all up in the clubs and dives. The nastier the club, the higher the percentage is that Adrien n Gervonta gonna be up in there. He likes to shoot them dice and drink that drink. Regardless. He’s from a gnarly neighborhood, but then again, 98% of all pro fighters are from a ghastly hood somewhere in a forgotten and God-forsaken sliver of the ghetto. Good man, bad habits.
So I call it like it is. Adrien has got one chance, and one chance only. Manny Pacquioa must get old on their dance night. And if he does happen to wrinkle up, Adrien must be able to claw-back some of his old energy and get ugly on the Old-Timer. Mean and ugly. He must go caveman on Pac till the ambulance driver drags him off! That’s the only way Broner can win. Why?
Because Adrien is also a naturally little dude. He has those itty-bitty spindly legs, and a relatively massive upper-body. But he’s performed best at 130 and 135 for a reason; that’s his ideal weight class. Point-blank. He jumped on a ripe Paulie Malignaggi just to cash in a 147 strap... went down to 140 to rip a belt off some Kabib character. His four weight division titles are an illusion. Just look at his fat-gutted daddy. He don’t stand but 5’2’ in his stocking feet. Adrien is little too.
He tried to bulk up to hang out with Floyd. But every time he fights over 135 he gets man-handled. Mikey Garcia dominated him at 140. Marcos Maidana punked him at 140. Shawn Porter bullied him at 147. Even Jesse "Mediocre" Vargas, a much bigger man, abused Broner for most of their fight. So if Pacman shows a loss of balance or timing... AB must bum-rush or lose.
AB is NOT a welterweight, but that’s where the money is and AB is a social media sensation. Boxing, as well as all the sports today are about entertainment. AB will give quotes that tickle everyone. He’ll have an outlandish outfit and a colorful entourage. Again: He’ll talk about how hard he prepared this time. How he aint playing around this time. How this time is for his family. This time is for his fans. This time he sacrificed in the desert, in Florida, in anyplace you wanted him to train this time. This time will be different. This time I’m going to prove the media wrong.
Tigers don’t change their stripes, and fighters rarely do either. PacMan will come into the ring in fantastic shape, looking for that one more mega-purse against Floyd. Pac will give himself every opportunity to gets the odds in his favor. He has massive tax problems in the USA, so he’s giving his all to secure that one hundred million dollar-plus payday that a Floyd rematch will deliver. He needs the money. He stopped listening to Freddie Roach a decade ago. He never started listening to Buboy Fernandez. PacMan will do what he does every round; bob and weave, give angles, and let his hands go.
AB? Awww... he could use another diamond watch or gold chain, but he doesn’t need it. He’ll get his $3-$7 million dollar payday and be good to go. His cornermen may as well remain silent; he’s not letting his hands go. Both he and Pacman will be dead broke within two years of their last fight either way it goes. PacMan will smile and wave at the voters, making due on $30-40k per year as a government servant. AB will slip into the nearest bar and but a round for the house, and tell stories of when he was the next big thing in boxing.
This writer’s prediction? Manny The Pacman by unanimous decision over Adrien Broner. No knockdowns.
Blake "Serious" Chavez answers all of his emails.