At 40 years old, many of boxing’s greatest champions are either already retired or on their way to write the final chapter of their careers. But for Manny Pacquiao, his new life fighting under the Premier Boxing Champions banner is just starting.
That start involves a main event fight on pay-per-view on January 19 against one of the most colorful and controversial characters in boxing today in Adrien Broner. The two will do battle for the WBA’s secondary welterweight world title.
The fight is a first on many levels: It’s Broner’s first pay-per-view bout. It’s Pacquiao’s first fight in the United States since 2016 and it’s Pacquiao’s first test against a crop of younger talent that includes Broner, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr., all stars due to either their talent, accomplishments or personality.
Regardless, both men have a lot at stake beyond the WBA title. Pacquiao isn’t just fighting Broner and Father Time. The Filipino star is looking for a chance at another fight against future Hall of Famer Floyd Mayweather Jr., who has had a working relationship with PBC for years. Mayweather claimed he is still retired, but that has not stop the boxing world from openly discussing a potential sequel, so much so that the story has become the secondary story in the buildup to the fight.
Although Pacquiao wants to keep talks about his future after January 19 to a minimum until the fight against Broner is done with, a win on pay-per-view opens up possibilities for big fights against the welterweight division’s top fighters.
For Broner, it’s a chance at redemption after coming up short in the biggest fights of his career. Despite winning titles in four different weight classes, Broner has yet to win fights against boxing’s elite, losing to Marcos Maidana, Porter and Mikey Garcia rather decisively. Broner is considered the underdog in this fight despite being a decade younger and the talks of Pacquiao possibly fighting Mayweather added fuel to Broner’s desire to prove that his skills can match his boisterous attitude.
But this main event isn’t the only title fight taking place on the card. The co-main event, a light heavyweight bout for the interim WBA title between Badou Jack and Marcus Browne, has a chance to not only steal the show, but also become an early “Fight of the Year” contender.
This matchup pits arguably the two best light heavyweights in the world to currently not hold championship gold. After Jack failed to capture the WBC title last year, he had been biding his time for another big fight. Now Jack will get a chance to set himself up for a major fight later in 2019.
As for Browne, the undefeated contender has faced solid competition thus far in his career, but will be making a big leap of faith taking on a boxer of Jack’s caliber. A win over Jack would not only put him in the conversation for the best 175-pound boxer in the world, but also give him the big win against an elite star that would make potential fights against the likes of Dmitry Bivol, Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev into must-see matchups.
Another title fight taking place on the show will be Rau’shee Warren vs. Nordine Oubaali for the WBC bantamweight title. The fight will put an end to a turbulent 11 months for the WBC title, which has seen the belt get taken off Luis Nery’s waist for missing weight before a title defense, have multiple fights for the title get called off for one reason or another and event the WBC created an interim title, which already has a titleholder despite no full world champion being present before January 19.
Lastly, Jhack Tepora, who emerged as a top featherweight with his last fight in the summer of 2018, will defend his newly-won interim WBA title.Tepora will defend his title against former super bantamweight world champion Hugo Ruiz. After losing his world title in 2016 and taking two years off from the sport, Ruiz won two straight fights, putting him in position to re-establish himself as a world class titleholder in front of a pay-per-view audience in Las Vegas.
Below is the main card for the January 19 card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Showtime pay-per-view:
- Manny Pacquiao (c) vs. Adrien Broner: WBA “Regular” Welterweight title
- Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne: Interim WBA Light Heavyweight title
- Rau’shee Warren vs. Nordine Oubaali: WBC Bantamweight title
- Jhack Tepora vs. Hugo Ruiz: Interim WBA Featherweight title
Tale of the Tape: Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner
Record: 60-7-2 (39 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Flyweight, IBF Super Bantamweight, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight, WBO Welterweight, WBC Junior Middleweight, WBA “Regular” Welterweight, Ring Magazine Featherweight, Ring Magazine, Super Featherweight, Ring Magazine Junior Welterweight, Lineal Flyweight, Lineal Featherweight, Lineal Super Featherweight, Lineal Junior Welterweight, Lineal Welterweight titles
Notable Fights: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Jessie Vargas
Record: 33-3-1 (24 KO)
Titles Won: WBO Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight, WBA Welterweight, WBA Junior Welterweight titles
Notable Fights: Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Jessie Vargas, Antonio DeMarco, Paulie Malignaggi
Tale of the Tape: Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne
Record: 22-1-3 (13 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Super Middleweight, WBA “Regular” Light Heavyweight titles
Record: 22-0 (16 KO)
Titles Won: WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight title
Notable Fights: Sean Monaghan
Tale of the Tape: Rau’shee Warren vs. Nordine Oubaali
Record: 16-2 (4 KO)
Titles Won: IBO Bantamweight, WBA “Super” Bantamweight titles
Notable Fights: McJoe Arroyo, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, Juan Carlos Payano
Record: 14-0 (11 KO)
Titles Won: WBC Silver Bantamweight, WBA Intercontinental Bantamweight titles
Notable Fights: Luis Melendez, Iran Diaz
Tale of the Tape: Jhack Tepora vs. Hugo Ruiz
Record: 22-0 (17 KO)
Titles Won: Interim WBA Featherweight title
Notable Fights: Edivaldo Ortega
Record: 38-4 (33 KO)
Titles Won: Interim WBA Bantamweight, WBC Super Bantamweight title
Notable Fights: Julio Ceja, Hozumi Hasegawa, Koki Kameda