LAS VEGAS (Jan. 19, 2019) – All-time great Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao cruised to a comfortable unanimous decision over Adrien “The Problem” Broner to defend his WBA Welterweight World Championship on SHOWTIME PPV® Saturday night in front of a sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The scores were 117-111, 116-112 twice.
The global icon and boxing’s only eight-division champion Pacquaio – who was fighting for the first time as a 40-year-old, and the first time in the United State in more than two years – used effective jabs and sustained body work in his 70th professional fight that was watched by an announced attendance of 13,025 fans, including the retired Floyd Mayweather.
“I proved in my last fight against [Lucas] Matthysse and now I proved it again: The Manny Pacquiao journey will still continue,” Pacquiao said.
Asked by SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray if he would like to rematch Mayweather in the future, Pacquiao said he’d do it if Mayweather unretired.
“Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight,” Pacquaio said. “I’m willing to fight Floyd Mayweather again if he’s willing to come back to boxing.”
SHOWTIME Sports official scorer Steve Farhood scored the fight 118-110 in favor of the Filipino Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), giving Cincinnati’s Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) only the fourth and the 10throunds.
Broner said he thought he did enough to win the fight. “I beat him,” he said. “Everybody out there knows I beat him. I controlled the fight, he was missing. I hit him clean more times. I beat him.”
Pacquiao maintained a strong pace throughout the fight, throwing 47 punches per round compared to Broner, who averaged almost half that output. Broner was limited to single-digit total connects in every round while Pacquiao exceeded double-digits five times.
“I wanted to push more but my trainer said don’t be careless,” Pacquiao said. “Wait for him, counter, and that’s what I did.”
In the co-feature, Staten Island native Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) won defeated a bloodied Badou Jack (22-2-3, 13 KOs) by upset unanimous decision for the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight belt. The scores were 119-108, 117-110, 116-111.
Jack suffered a gruesome five-inch cut to his forehead after an accidental clash of heads in the seventh round of the fight. The former Olympian Browne told Gray the head butt did not affect the outcome of the fight.
“He couldn’t find me before that [head butt],” said the 28-year-old Browne, who made his professional debut on ShoBox: The New Generation following the 2012 Olympics. “He couldn’t find me. I was just too sharp, too slick, too anything. He was coming with his head all night. He kept coming with his head.”
The Las Vegas resident and former two-division champion Jack was taken immediately to the hospital for observation. Jack, who was fighting in his seventh consecutive world title fight, gave all the credit to Browne. “I was flat,” he said. “I don’t know what it was, but no excuses. I would love the rematch. Now I have to rest, get the head fixed and hopefully get that chance in the future.”
Browne was the more active fighter, throwing 515 total punches to 303 for Jack. Browne connected on 103 of his power punches compared to just 58 for Jack.
The taller, southpaw Browne said he stuck to his game-plan and peppered Jack continuously with his strong straight left jab. “He thought he was going to take me to deep water and drown me, but I was in shape,” he said. “Teddy Atlas, you think you have the best light heavyweight? (Oleksandr) Gvozdyk, let’s go.
“I just used my athletic ability and did what I do best, and that’s box the hell out of people.”
In a rematch of their close 2012 Olympic showdown, France’s Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11 KOs) captured the vacant WBC Bantamweight World Title with a unanimous decision against Cincinnati’s Rau’shee Warren (16-3, 4 KOs). The scores were 117-111, 116-112, 115-113.
“This was my dream,” said Oubaali, who was making his U.S. debut. “I made my dream come true, my American dream. I want to thank all the people of America and France who supported me.”
By winning the all-southpaw matchup, the 32-year-old Oubaali became the first French-born champion in 11 years.
The first six rounds were close as both fighters were separated by four or fewer punches. Oubaali controlled the fight in the middle rounds, with SHOWTIME’s official scorer Steve Farhood giving the more active Oubaali rounds five through 10 before giving Warren the close 11th.
“I felt like I was doing pretty good in the beginning of the fight but after the fifth or sixth I let off the gas,” said Warren, a former world champion. “I was using my jab and wanted to finish it with my left hand. The judges saw it the way it was. He wanted it more. You could tell. He had his foot on the gas.”
Contact reporter Mike Dixon at Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org
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