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Pacquiao to fight again in Las Vegas: Broner first, then against Mayweather

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist


Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao


LAS VEGAS – With his next fight with Adrien Broner almost done, ring idol and senator Manny Pacquiao braces himself for his return to the United States to defend his World Boxing Association (WBA)welterweight title against his American challenger from Cincinnati.       


The soon-to-be 40-year-old Pacquiao last fought in U.S. soil almost two years ago in November 5, 2016, when he beat Jessie Vargas via  unanimous decision  to reclaim the World Boxing Organization (WBO) version of the 147-pound crown at the Thomas and Mac Center in Las Vegas.


The Filipino legend, according to a very reliable source, and Broner collide on January 19, or nearly a week after the Philippine Senate would  have resumed session following Christmas recess.


The same source said details of the fight like venue, purse, etc will be discussed and finalized on November 7 between representatives of Pacquao’s own outfit, MP Promotions, and Broner’s handlers.


After which, the official press conference where the bout will be announced will be held in New York where the two-city press tour, which includes Los Angeles, will end.      


Pacquiao had actually made the announcement on Thursday during an appearance at a news conference in Manila for the non-profit International Sports Promotion Society, which named him an ambassador.


In his announcement, the eight-division world champ said he would be fighting Broner next, either on Jan. 12 or Jan. 19. In Las Vegas, The  Manila Times source with knowledge of the deal, however, told ESPN the fight would be Jan. 19, not Jan. 12, though a fight likely wouldn't be formalized until both the champ and challenger had affixed their signatures on the dotted line.


And this will come, precisely, on November 7 during the signing of the long form contract.


About a fortnight ago, Pacquiao was reported  to have signed up with adviser Al Haymon, the Premier Boxing Champions founder who controls several named welterweights, including Broner as well as world titleholders Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman.


Haymon also works with Floyd Mayweather and should Pacquiao hurdled  Broner, he would set him up for a potential spring rematch with Mayweather.


Pacquiao and Haymon were on opposite sides when Pacquiao lost a decision to Mayweather in their 2015 welterweight title unification mega fight that shattered every combat sports revenue record, including for pay-per-views sold (4.6 million), overall revenue (about $600 million) and live gate ($72 million).


In mid-September, Mayweather and Pacquiao met in Tokyo, after which Mayweather announced on social media that he was coming out of retirement again and would fight Pacquiao in December. The December date is not happening, but they are on track to meet in the spring.


In that event, Pacquiao mentioned that Mayweather would fight somebody on Dec. 31 and that he would fight in January in an effort to set up the rematch. However, a source close to Mayweather said he was not going to fight in December.


The Filipino great’s last two fights have been held overseas. In July 2017, in the fight that kicked off the Top Rank/ESPN partnership, Pacquiao lost the title by controversial decision to Jeff Horn in the latter’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia, in his final fight with Top Rank as his promoter.


After a year off, Pacquiao returned this past July and knocked out Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round -- Pacquiao's first KO since his 2009 victory over Miguel Cotto to win his first welterweight title -- to win a secondary welterweight belt that he will defend against Broner.


During his media appearance in Manila, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who turns 40 on Dec. 17, said he is hoping for another convincing knockout when he faces Broner. "If I can finish it earlier than seven rounds, why not," Pacquiao said.


Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Cincinnati, who has won world titles in four weight classes, is 0-1-1 in his past two fights, having lost a clear decision to Mikey Garcia in July 2017 followed by a draw with Vargas in April. 


Meanwhile, a boxing analyst said Pacquiao needs to knockout Broner to remain open to a lucrative rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.


The Filipino boxing icon did it against Argentinian champion Lucas Matthysse in July, and fight analyst Dennis Principe believes Pacquiao can do that against Broner, too.

"I think malaki ‘yung tsansang (maka-knockout) kasi ang feeling ko after nu'ng panalo ni Manny over Matthysse, parang Manny felt the importance of scoring a knockout win," said Principe.


Principe said that when Pacquiao floored the heavy hitting Argentinean to win the WBA welterweight title, everybody began clamoring for Pacquiao-Mayweather 2.

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