Marching on in defiance of Father Time, the incomparable Manny Pacquiao cruised to a convincing unanimous decision victory over four-division champion Adrien Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs), retaining his WBA welterweight belt via scores of 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The 40-year old Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), boxing’s only eight-division champion, took a few rounds to figure out “The Problem,” but once he did it was a one-sided domination, partly due to Senator Pacquiao’s still formidable skills, and partly due, as is often the case, to Broner’s lack of offensive urgency.
In the early rounds, both fighters took their time feeling things out, with Broner content to try and time Pacquiao coming in and stealing a couple of rounds by catching Pacquiao once or twice with some solid shots, despite Pacquiao being the more active, aggressive fighter.
It wasn’t until round seven when momentum clearly turned in favor of Pacquiao, when he appeared to hurt Broner with a straight left and spent the remainder of the round trapping Broner along the ropes and unloading brief, violent flurries reminiscent of the younger, more dynamic Pacquiao. In round nine, another Pacquiao left hand caused Broner to stumble back dramatically along the ropes, as Pacquiao again attempted to close the show.
Although he didn’t have the finishing kick of his younger self, Pacquiao still dominated these later rounds, swarming Broner for portions of each round while Broner offered little in return. Things cooled off in the championship rounds as Broner retreated into safety mode, giving Pacquiao a wide berth in an obvious effort to make it to the final bell without further damage. Although Pacquiao wasn’t able to chase Broner down for the stoppage, he made it clear that, even at age 40, he still belongs among the elite of the division.