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Broner fires up fight hype

Challenger lashes out at almost everyone, Pacquiao uses bible to ease tension
/ 05:45 AM January 18, 2019

A calm Manny Pacquiao (left) cools down the heat after his opponent, Adrien Broner, went on a tirade against several people during their press conference. —AFP

LAS VEGAS—There was Adrien Broner, throwing racial slurs and expletives like jabs at everyone on Wednesday, and at one point looking like he was ready to go at it with members of Team Pacquiao.

Call him a live wire. Or disrespectful. Or maybe downright troubled. But Broner sure knows how to sell a fight.

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But when the tension became palpable as he tried to whip up the hype, there was Manny Pacquiao, de-escalating the situation—by reading bible verses.

“I trained not just my physical body,” said Pacquiao, who will defend his WBA welterweight belt against Broner on Saturday at MGM Grand here, during the final press conference for the bout. “I also train my mind, as a senator I need that. So I play chess. I read books. I read the bible.”

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Broner created a ruckus as he tried to pick a fight with just about everybody and threw a fit in the middle of the press conference for his duel with Pacquiao, which will be aired live on Sunday in Manila.

“I really don’t want to talk about (expletive); you know I put in the work,” said Broner.

Angry at venue

“I’m pissed off, really, coming doing this press conference in this … room. When I went to the Mayweather-Pacquiao [the press conference in 2015], it was in a big ass place,” said Broner. “Now I see what they’re trying to say.”

“I’m tired of hearing he go fight Mayweather again; Floyd is (expletive) retired man,” Broner said in the event held at MGM Grand’s David Copperfield Theater. “I just feel like you know, they threw me to the wolves.”

Reports said ticket and pay-per-view sales are slow as the Filipino boxing great continues to be a heavy betting favorite in this bustling gambling capital.

Villain’s role

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The WBA welterweight title fight needs a little boost and Broner looked willing to do his share, even if he had to take villain’s role.

The Cincinnati bad boy refused to take questions from veteran boxing analyst Al Bernstein, whom he accused of “talking so much (expletive) on me on Twitter.”

Bernstein, who was presiding over the Q&A, also didn’t get a reply from trainer Kevin Cunningham, who instead made a slash-in-the-neck gesture at him.

“I take that as a no,” said Bernstein, who later said he never wrote a Twitter post against Broner.

As Pacquiao and Broner posed for the camera, Broner was dishing out racial slurs at Team Pacquiao members.

“I got a cat for you for dinner,” he told the Filipinos. “I got some sautéed German Shepherd for you in the back.”

Things became touchy at that point, with the Filipinos looking ready to spring to action, but Broner shifted his tirade to reporters for focusing on his problems, like his weight.

He said he would have no problem making 147 pounds in Friday’s weigh in.

Biggest fight

“Heck I can do 135 lbs. [Pacquiao] had twice lost a world title on the scale,” he said, adding: “You (expletive), you are all (expletive). I see it. I read a lot what you’re saying and stuff.”

That meltdown triggered several online articles questioning his fitness to stand against a high-caliber fighter like Pacquiao.

After all, he lost in all his three top-level fights against Shawn Porter, Marcos Maidana and Mikey Garcia, who pale in comparison to Pacquiao.

This is Broner’s biggest fight of his career, which is part of his reported $50 million, five-bout deal with Premier Boxing Champions. Pacquiao is reportedly getting $20 million.

“I know both camps worked hard,” said Pacquiao. “It’s nothing personal, outside the ring we are always friendly. We are friends.”

“That is if you want to be friends with us,” he told Broner.

Pacquiao, however, said all goodwill goes out the window on fight night.

“We should give our best for the fans and make them satisfied,” he said. “For me, I am just doing my job inside the ring. I will go wherever he goes.”

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TAGS: Adrien Broner, Boxing, Manny Pacquiao
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