The 2019 boxing year is about to start in a big way, as one of the biggest stars in the history of the sport is set to make his return to the ring on January 19th. Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao is an 8 division world champion and has accomplished almost every accomplishment in the sport, but is still fighting at age 40 and will be facing off against former 4 division champion, Adrien Broner next.
In part 3 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Steve Farhood, I discuss with him the first big fight of 2019, Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner. Steve breaks down the fight and talks about what challenges Broner brings to the table. Farhood also talks about the possibility of a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch and about the fights fans want to see in 2019. Here is what Steve Farhood had to say.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao is set to return to the ring January 19th against former world champion, Adrian Broner. What are your thoughts on this fight?
Steve Farhood: Fascinating match-up. Obviously, Manny Pacquiao looked pretty good against Matthysse — that was his first knockout in like eight years. Broner is a guy who has not been what we thought he might have become, but he’s a competent fighter and he’s twelve years younger than Manny.
There’s two ways to look at this fight, one is if Manny wins and looks good, does that mean we get Mayweather again? I don’t know the answer to that because Floyd is unpredictable. I’m sure Manny would like it because even if it does one half of what the first fight did, it would be huge money.
Secondly, what if Broner wins? Do we get Floyd and Broner? Think about the bad blood between the two and how Broner was referred to as a brother at one point and then that went south. Broner would be reborn and a lot of performances would be forgotten, should he beat Manny. When you fight Manny Pacquiao, it elevates your profile so much.
I feel that Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman kind of missed out on becoming as big as they should have been because they didn’t get to fight Floyd or Manny because Floyd and Manny carried the sport for many years and they are the biggest names in boxing. If you fight them and happen to do well against them, you are elevated by so much more than you are fighting anybody else.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Broner, but can he take advantage of it? I don’t know, he’s disappointed us in the past, so we have to see what happens. It’s kind of an interesting match-up because Manny will be fighting at forty years old for the first time and at some point he’s going to slow down, but he looked very good in his last fight. I don’t know what to expect.
Jenna J: If Pacquiao can beat Broner, do you see anything changing in a rematch with Floyd Mayweather at this point in their careers?
Steve Farhood: That’s so hard to answer because there were times when Floyd fought McGregor where you said, “Floyd’s getting hit an awful lot for a guy who is fighting someone who has never fought a pro fight before.” Is age going to catch up on Floyd?
I think if there’s anything we saw with Roy Jones, it’s that once you lose your reflexes just a little bit, you can really start to get hit a lot. Floyd is technically superior to Roy Jones but we saw that with Roy, would we see it with Floyd?
Not everybody is Bernard Hopkins, not everyone can be successful into their forties the way he was. Both fighters would be over forty, but the tendency for me is to think that not much would be different, I think Floyd would be the better boxer, but if you take away just a little bit of his instinct and his quickness, who knows?
Jenna J: Steve, what are your thoughts on the current state of boxing going into 2019?
Steve Farhood: Boxing on prime time TV is healthy. You have ESPN and ESPN+ which is very watched. The numbers for the recent Lomachenko fight they did were huge. You have Showtime continuing with PBC. I think there seems to be a lot of outlets that are very anxious to show boxing, and that’s a very good thing.
The only thing is to hope that the difficult fights to make get made and we start obviously with Wilder and Joshua, then we got down from there. When the money is right usually we get those fights regardless of promotional ties or TV ties. Maybe I’m thinking the glass is half full but I’m always positive.
If you look at boxing history, with very few exceptions, when a huge fight can get made, it gets made. Granted with Floyd and Manny it was a little late in getting made, but usually the fights get made because it is all about money.