No date or venue has been officially confirmed but Filipino World Boxing Association welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and American challenger are both bracing themselves for an explosive encounter for the former’s belt.
The 12-round fight though has been tentatively set January 19 in MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, site of many Pacquiao’s fights en route to crowning himself the only man on the planet to win 11 world titles in eight weight divisions.
The 29-year-old Broner, a four-division titleholder fighting out of Cincinnati, has been reported as to have started preparations this early at his training camp in Florida.
The Filipino ring legend, according to his spokesperson and chief legal counsel, lawyer Tom Falgui, and chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, is set to start his two-month preparation program middle of this month as soon as he would have completed previous commitments as a government servant.
Falgui and Fernandez swore that Pacquiao, as in the past, has been cross-training in basketball, which he plays daily at an average frequency of three to four hours.
“No problem, really with Manny’s stamina and physical condition. Basketball, outside of boxing is also his passion. We don’t see any problem with that,” the duo chorused.
Pacquiao, a sitting member of the Philippine Senate, is scheduled to fulfil a pair speaking engagements in the United Kingdom on November 5 and 6 and is to leave on Saturday for the purpose.
Including a two-city media tour to New York and Los Angeles to drum up the word title showdown on November 16 and 17, Falgui said. Pacquiao and party will be away until, tentatively, November 20.
The traditional press conference where the fight will be announced is scheduled in New York City, where the contract signing will also take place.
As in Pacquiao’s training in his last fight against Argentine WBA 147-pound belt-owner Luzas Matthysse last July when he seized the throne via a seventh round TKO, Justine Fortune will be assisting Fernandez as conditioning coach, along with Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.
“This is the reason why it is imperative that we also have to open a camp in L.A. for the purpose, too, of acclimatizing Manny to the prevailing weather condition in the U.S.,” Fernandez, who is running for Vice Mayor in his wife, Claire’s hometown Polangui in Albay.
Separate training camps will also be pitched at the Elorde Gym I Pasay City, a stone throw away from Pacquiao’s senate office, so he can attend the sessions, and in General Santos City during non-session days.
All in all, the two protagonists expect an interesting fight style-wise that should see a lot of speed on display on the night.
Boxingnews.com even reported that Broner has been said as to show off speed this early in his training.
Broner, the report said, knows that an impressive win against a big name like Pacquiao could put a line through a lot of the drama he’s experienced outside of the ring in recent years.
The former 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 had even posted in his social media account: “I will, BE WAR READY #Manny vs AB#VegasJan19.”
By EDDIE G. ALINEA