Still top draw
The planned January fight between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner is being lined up for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and could air as a pay-per-view event, according to US-based sports network ESPN.
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KO) will be defending his World Boxing Association world welterweight title, and making his return to the United States for the first time since his November 2016 win over Jessie Vargas.
In his last two outings, the Filipino lawmaker fought in Australia and Malaysia, losing a controversial decision to Jeff Horn and thrashing Lucas Matthysse for his first stoppage win since 2009.
Those fights aired on ESPN and ESPN+, and Pacquiao-Broner may be worth enough money to go to pay-per-view.
Pacquiao is still one of the most recognizable stars in the sport, and Broner (33-3-1, 24 KO) still draws a lot of eyeballs whenever he fights, despite his inconsistencies.
Broner is 0-1-1 in his last two outings, a loss to Mikey Garcia in July 2017, followed by a draw with Vargas in April.
“It is almost final but it is not yet there,” Pacquiao said recently, adding that the match was “90 percent” likely to push through. He added he preferred to face the former four-division world champion either Jan. 12 or 19.
Another MMA dare
With a lot of talk about crossover MMA (mixed martial arts)-boxing fights lately, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Cody Garbrandt also wants in.
Garbrandt recently told tabloid news website TMZ Sports he would welcome a bout with Pacquiao
“I would love that fight, yeah,” Garbrandt said.
Garbrandt is the UFC’s top-ranked bantamweight fighter. The 27-year-old has an 11-2 record in the promotion.
However, Garbrandt has lost each of his last two fights.
Both were to TJ Dillashaw, who defeated Garbrandt at both UFC 217 in November 2017 and UFC 227 in August.
Neither clash lasted more than two rounds.
Garbrandt and his companions noted in the video that he has a “strong” boxing background, which would make him an ideal candidate for crossover fight. And few boxers carry more star power than Pacquiao.
Pacquiao has not responded to Garbrandt’s challenge.
The most high-profile crossover bout came in August 2017 when boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. (50-0) defeated UFC star Conor McGregor, who made his debut in the ring.
Mayweather and UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov have recently talked about fighting each other. —BADLEFTHOOK.COM, BLEACHERREPORT.COM
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