On January 19th, Manny “Pac-man” Pacquiao will face former four division champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner for a WBA title. The matchup on paper looks good for the Senator from the Philippines but the the advantages in youth and speed may be with the trash talker from Cincinnati.
Since his KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao has a adapted his style to be more defensively responsible and energy efficient. In the past a Manny Pacquiao that made a pivot to the outside of your left foot would attack with significant combinations with lightning like speed.
Now, Pacquiao would hit you with a hard left and be back outside of your range before you could throw back. Changes like these have shifted Pacquiao’s style from entertaining and risky to effective and responsible. In bouts against opponents like Jessie Vargas and Lucas Matthysse this new style earned his victories in a decisive but safe manner. However, the style can work against him when matched up with more active fighters.
For example, the Jeff Horn bout was close but in the 9th rounds Pacquiao hurt Horn only to expend his energy trying to get the KO. In the last three rounds Horn was able to out-volume the WBO champion until the final bell.
Against Broner, a low volume counterpuncher, Manny Pacquiao’s new style will be an asset as long as he does not go crazy trying to finish the fight. Broner’s most recent success against the top of the welterweight division came in the style of a 12th round knockdown against current WBC champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter.
Porter, while up on the cards, got caught up in an exchange against a tired broner and caught a left uppercut that sent him to the canvas. This exemplifies the danger of fighting “The Problem”. His power is present until the final bell, and his chin will keep him in the fight until then, meaning Pacquiao must not fall in to the same situation he did against Horn.
Manny Pacquiao is more mobile, more active, and has a better ring IQ than Adrien Broner. Broner is often caught standing still in the ring moving his head to try to avoid taking damage.
However, against Manny Pacquiao this is a big problem. While the glory days of the Oscar De La Hoya dismantling may be long in the past, a flat-footed target is the kind of matchup Manny Pacquiao feasts on. Vargas was knocked down trying to stand his ground in the middle of the ring.
Matthysse was knocked down when he covered up and did not move his feet. Adrien Broner does not move his feet to avoid punches, instead he gets in to the Mayweather-style philly shell and will move his head. This is a recipe for disaster against Pacquiao, unless Broner gets moving. The style works for Floyd Mayweather Jr. because his focus is defence and prioritizes it over doing damage.
If a combo is thrown at Floyd, he will move his head and his feet until he is safe. When a combo is thrown at Broner, he will move his head until he thinks he can counter. This difference will be the reason Broner will never get to Mayweather’s level, their mental make-ups differ when calculating risk.
A good performance for Adrien Broner will lead to stardom and even possibly a fight with Floyd. Manny Pacquaio is looking for the rematch with Mayweather and it may push him to put on a show on January 19th.
By Julian-Ray fortaleza