Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO) is not a stranger to the bright lights and it showed tonight.
In his first fight in the United States in two years, the former pound-for-pound great defeated Adrien Broner (33-4-1, 24 KO) via unanimous decision in front of an excited crowd of 13,025 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
With his victory, Pacquiao defended his WBA world welterweight title which he took from Lucas Matthysse last July via seventh round TKO.
Pacquiao had the best part during the first three rounds of the fight, controlling the distance and producing a higher punch output than Broner. But Broner was able to start counterpunching in the fourth round, connecting with a right to start the frame.
Pacquiao seemed to regain control of the fight in the fifth round, but Broner closed the sixth round with a solid left hook that caught Pacquiao’s attention going into the break.
But in the last minute of the seventh round, Pacquiao connected a huge straight left that sent Broner to the ropes and into full retreat. Pacquiao continued his assault but Broner survived the frame.
Pacquiao had another huge round in the ninth, connecting another straight left to Broner’s chin that Broner was able to assimilate, showing his great physical conditioning.
The final rounds transpired without major consequences.
Judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 117-111, while judges Glenn Feldman and Tim Cheatham scored it 116-112. Armchair scored the fight 117-111.
In a final observation, Broner tried to fight a very technical fight but didn’t do nearly enough to win the rounds. He appeared to have a good plan, connecting with some check hooks over the course of the fight, but his offensive output was overall anemic against a much more active Pacquiao.
The fight was officiated by referee Russell Mora.
Badou Jack vs. Marcus Browne
Southpaw Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KO) remained undefeated on his way to claiming the interim WBC light heavyweight title by defeating Badou Jack (22-2, 13 KO) by unanimous decision.
Browne looked sharper and faster from the outset and imposed his will over a seemingly overmatched Jack throughout the fight. Browne was also deducted a point in the seventh round for throwing a punch during a break.
It was also in the seventh round that Jack suffered a cut from an accidental headbutt which caused him to bleed profusely for the rest of the fight.
Referee Tony Weeks finished the fight drenched in Jack’s blood which could be seen all over his uniform. A deep gash was visible in Jack’s forehead after the end of the fight via the Showtime PPV broadcast.
Jack put up a valiant effort in the final rounds but it was not enough to gain ground after Browne dominated the length of the bout.
The ringside judges gave Browne scores of 119-108, 117-110 and 116-111. Armchair scored the fight 118-109.
Rau’shee Warren vs. Nordine Oubaali
In an exciting fight for the vacant WBC bantamweight world title, Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11 KO) won by unanimous decision over Rau’shee Warren (16-3, 4 KO).
Despite the final result, this was a competitive fight which had Oubaali dominating the middle portion of the fight. By the time the championship rounds arrived, Warren needed a knockout to win, which he could not deliver.
This fight had a very interesting storyline beneath the surface, as it served as a rematch for a fight that took place during their amateur days. Warren and Oubaali fought in the opening round of the 2012 Olympics in London. Oubaali won then as well, beating Warren by a score of 19-18 in a very close fight.
Oubaali received winning scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113. Armchair scored the fight 116-112.
Hugo Ruiz vs. Alberto Guevara
Hugo Ruiz (39-4, 33 KO) defeated Alberto Guevara (27-5, 12 KO) via unanimous decision in a featherweight bout originally scheduled for 10 rounds.
Ruiz knocked Guevara down in the first round, but Guevara weathered the storm and was able to continue fighting. However, Ruiz dominated every round down the stretch to take home the easy decision.
Two ringside judges scored the bout 100-89 while one judge scored it 99-90. Armchair scored the fight 100-89.
Guevara was a late addition to the card after Jhack Tepora lost his interim WBA crown at the scale when he came in over the 126-pound limit. Tepora was given two hours to shed the excess weight but could not come in under the limit.
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