World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao will have his hands full when he clashes with American four-division titleholder Adrien Broner.
The fight will happen on Jan. 12 or Jan. 19 with Las Vegas as the most likely site.
Pacquiao’s fight with Broner is being set up as a prelude to a rematch with one-time tormentor Floyd Mayweather.
Broner and Mayweather both fight under the low-profile but influential boxing adviser Al Haymon. Pacquiao has also hooked up with Haymon’s group and his MP Promotions will stage the Broner bout alongside Haymon’s.
Pacquiao himself announced the Broner showdown late Wednesday night. This happened during the formal turnover rights of a $100,000 donation made by Japan-based charitable organization ISPS Handa to the Emmanuel and Jinkee Heart Foundation at the Makati Shangri-La.
Pacquiao’s World Boxing Association 147-lb crown, which he won last July in Malaysia after beating up Argentinian banger Lucas Matthysse, will be on the line against the 29-year-old Broner, who parades a 33-3-1 record with 24 KOs.
“Floyd is fighting in December and after that and my fight, we’ll see what happens,” said Pacquiao.
‘Pacman’ turns 40 on Dec. 27 and will be armed with a 60-7-2 mark with 39 KOs by the time he answers the bell against the Cincinnati-bred and flamboyant Broner, winner of six of his last nine fights and three of his last five.
The Cincinnati, Ohio-native, nicknamed “The Problem,” has won titles in the featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight and welterweight divisions.
His last two fights, however, were not victories. They ended in a unanimous decision loss to Mikey Garcia at Barclay’s Center, New York in July last year and a majority draw with Jessie Vargas at the same venue last April.
Mayweather outpointed Pacquiao, the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many weight classes, in May 2015 in the record-breaking match the Filipino southpaw said he fought with an injured right shoulder.
A two-city press tour — making stops in New York and Los Angeles — is on the pipeline in early-November. Just before Pacquiao and Broner head off to their respective training camps spanning the holidays.
Pacquiao decided to sign up with Haymon following the expiration of his contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco, Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks