Pacman-Broner bout slated Jan. 19 at MGM
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Winding up his visit to the United Kingdom, WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao yesterday confirmed the date and place of his coming title defense against American Adrien Broner.

The fight, said Pacquiao, will take place on Jan. 19 at the MGM Grand in glitzy Las Vegas.

“Yes,” was Pacquiao’s way of confirming the date and venue of his next fight in a message to The STAR.

“I miss fighting in Las Vegas,” he said.

It will be the first defense of the crown he took away from Argentine Lucas Matthysse by way of a seventh-round stoppage last July at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

Pacquiao, at 39, became world champion once more. He turns 40 on Dec. 17, and by the time he climbs the ring against Broner, he should be the oldest reigning world champion.

The Filipino senator is in London with his wife and a small group of friends. He had speaking engagements before the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge Unions.

Pacquiao was supposed to fly to New York from London for a quick press tour with Broner. But all has been scrapped.

Instead, Pacquiao will fly straight home this week, and after a very brief rest, will plunge into serious training.

Based on initial plans, Pacquiao said he wants to train in Manila, and head to the US two or three weeks before the fight.

It’s not certain yet if Pacquiao would fly straight to Vegas and wrap up his training. If he does that, then it will be the first time that he will fight in the US without training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

Pacquiao has parted ways with his longtime trainer Freddie Roach, but has hinted a few times that he’s not totally burning the bridge with the famed American trainer.

Pacquiao also considers the MGM Grand his home, having fought there 13 times since 2001, winning eight fights, including big wins over Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, and losing four times to Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley and Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

The last time Pacquiao fought on US soil was in November 2016 when he defeated Jessie Vargas for the WBO welterweight crown, only to lose the title to Jeff Horn the following year in Brisbane.

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