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Countdown on Pacquiao-Broner title encounter starts (NYC Photos)

Photos by Wendell Alinea.

The countdown for the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner World Boxing Association welterweight championship starts Monday (Tuesday in Manila) in the first leg of a two-city Press Tour in New York City.

Pacquiao the title-defender, and Broner, the challenger, will meet for the first time during a joint press conference at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall in the ‘city that never sleeps’ where they start promoting their 12-round showdown for the belt to be defended by the Filipino ring icon for the first time since wresting it from erstwhile titlist Lucas Matthysse last July.

Pacquiao, a former congressman and now senator, and Broner, a four-division champ, square off on January 19 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

This will, actually, be the first time that the Filipino three-time ‘Fighter of the Year’ honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America is seeing action in U.S soil since regaining the World Boxing Organization version of the 147-pound belt by beating via a unanimous decision Jessie Vargas in 2016.

The Pacquiao-Matthysse fight won by the eight-division titleholder via a seventh round TKO was held in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Previous to that, the fighting senator lost his WBO crown to Australian Jeff Horn in the latter’s home turf Brisbane.

On Wednesday, the protagonists and their teams proceed to Los Angeles for the second stop of promotional media tour scheduled at Beverly Hills’ Waldorf Astoria.

Asked by newsmen how he feels fighting again in the U.S. the champ retorted: “Siyempre excited akong lumaban uli sa U.S. I am looking forward to my return here. I missed fighting in America and I can’t wait to fight here again.”

Pacquiao, who will turn 40 on December 17, wife Jinkee, sister-in-law Janet and partner Steve Jumalon and aide-de-camp Joe Ramos and wife Joan arrived in New York on Saturday evening (Sunday in Manila) from Hong Kong where they had a brief stop-over following their departure from Manila.

Chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, his assistant, brother Roger “Haplas” Fernandez, and other members of the tiny delegation followed in the Big Apple on a Philippine Airlines direct flight from Manila that landed at JFK Airport shortly before midnight.

A day following the L.A. swing, Pacquiao and party flies back to Manila where they will be arriving Friday, in time for the fighter-lawmaker to attend the Senate sessions, which had just resumed last November 15 following a one month recess.

Pacquiao and Fernandez had already discussed the eight-week training program that will commence next week. When in session, Pacquiao will probably pitched camp in Metro Manila then move to hometown General Santos City during recess.

A few days after his 40th birthday, Pacquiao will pack his bags and head to Los Angeles for the second half of the buildup scheme.

“The January weather is cold so I would like to get used to the weather,” Pacquiao said.

Justin Fortune, he conditioning guru who, likewise, handled that aspect o preparations in Pacquiao’s title win over Matthysse will, most-likely, join the party in their return to Manila.

Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee with Pacquiao's delegation pose for a photo at New York's Times Square Sunday night.

Like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Broner, Pacquiao is now fighting under the wing Al Haymon. Meaning this bout with the 29-year-old Broner is designed for Pacquiao to have a return match with the undefeated American in what could be another blockbuster meeting between the two most popular fighters in the world today.

When they first fought on May 2, 2015, both men emerged runaway winners financially. The purse, the majority of it from pay-per-view revenue from several million American households paying about $90 each to watch, was estimated at roughly $300 million. The contract called for Mayweather to receive 60 percent, win or lose.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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