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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

Pacquiao still a big draw in U.S.

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
23 Nov 2018



If the crowd Filipino Manny Pacquiao drew in the recent two-city press tour held to promote his coming fight with Adrien Broner is any indication, the Filipino ring idol proved he hasn’t lost his popularity with American boxing fans.

The fighting senator is set to return to Las Vegas, hub of his many victories en route to crowning himself world champion 11 times over in eight weight divisions for his first fight on American soil in two years.

And the United States looks ready to welcome him back with open arms.

On Tuesday, especially, in the second stop of the promotional tour at he Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles following the kick-off leg in New York, Pacquiao showed anew his vast big crowd of reporters and fight fans, many of whom Filipinos, stalked him and Broner everywhere they went.

Pacquiao, the reigning World Boxing Association welterweight belt-holder, stakes his title against Broner on Jan. 19 at the MGM Grand.

It’ll be Pacquiao’s first fight in Las Vegas since a win over Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in November 2016, 14th at MGM and 20th time in that Nevada gambling city overall.

Many of those fights will go down as some of the best in the sport’s history, as well as the biggest and most lucrative money-wise.

The fighter-turned lawmaker is, this early, a minus-260 favorite with Broner, 11 years his junior installed as a plus-200 underdog, per online sportsbook 5Dimes betting odds.

In his last bout, Pacquiao earned his first stoppage in nearly a decade when he knocked out Lucas Matthysse in seven rounds in July in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Broner, nicknamed “The Problem,” boasts of being a four-weight classes champion, having held the WBO junior lightweight title from 2011 to 2012, the WBC lightweight title from 2012 to 2013, the WBA welterweight title in 2013, and the WBA light welterweight title from 2015 to 2016.

Borner, on the other hand, could only managed a majority draw decision with Jessie Vargas last time he fought this year after losing by unanimous decision to Mikey Garcia last year.

That victory over Matthysse must have helped convince MGM Resorts president and COO Richard Sturm to put Manny back where he belongs. “I was really pleased to see how well he looked with Matthysse,” Sturm told Sporting News on Tuesday.

“I want to make him a household name at the MGM and we could see him even at 40 continue fighting, Sturm said. “Bernard Hopkins fought until 50 — he was looking good and in great shape and the same thing holds true with Pacquiao. If you look at what he’s done with Matthysse and that continues, he’s going to be very relevant in the future.”

What draw Pacquiao back into the American limelight was his signing with Premier Boxing Champions seen as proof he’s looking for more challenges.

Al Haymon, boxing’s most influential power broker, happens to have nearly the entire relevant 147-pound campaigners to match against Pacquiao, especially, unretiring Floyd Mayweather Jr., if he wins over Broner.


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