Sports

Triumphant Manny eyes Money rematch

Pacquiao raring for another blockbuster clash, but Mayweather non-committal

Manny Pacquiao proved that age is no obstacle with a 12-round demolition of Adrien Broner yesterday morning (Singapore time), retaining his welterweight title in his first fight on US soil in two years.

Pacquiao easily won with an impressive display of superior hand speed and destructive power that landed him a unanimous decision victory over the much younger American at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Filipino almost knocked Broner down twice in the seventh and ninth rounds and showed that he can still be a force in the highly competitive division despite turning 40 last month.

"I really don't believe my career is over. I proved it in my last fight against (Lucas) Matthysee," Pacquiao said.

"And now I prove it again at the age of 40."

In his 70th fight as a professional, Pacquiao retains the lesser version of the WBA's two welterweight belts. He is hoping to set up a rematch with Floyd "Money" Mayweather, who watched the bout from ringside.

Pacquiao improved to 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts, winning on all three judges' scorecards, including by one tally of 117-111. The other two judges also had it one-sided at 116-112.

Pacquiao, who has been reunited with long-time trainer Freddie Roach, started the onslaught in the seventh round by hitting the 29-year-old Broner with a left hook then immediately doubling it up.

Broner went into a shell mode, absorbing more blows but managed to hold on to the end of the round.

Pacquiao landed his best punch in the ninth with a blistering left on the chin that sent Broner backpeddling towards the ropes.

But Broner showed he can take a punch as he stayed on his feet and survived another punishing round.

Pacquiao is now hoping to avenge his 2015 loss to Mayweather which became the richest one-day sporting event in history.

REMATCH

Immediately after the fight, Pacquiao called out Mayweather.

"Tell him to come back to the ring and we will fight," Pacquiao said. "I am willing to fight again Floyd Mayweather. If he is willing to come back in boxing."

Mayweather, who helped promote Pacquiao's match against Broner, was non-committal when asked if he would get back in the ring with Pacquiao.

"Right now, I am living the happy life," he said.

Back in the Philippines, thousands of ecstatic Filipinos, who erupted in celebration after Pacquiao's victory, are hoping that Pacquiao will get his wish.

"He is a world champion. You really can't beat him," said company messenger Boy Maniari, who was one among the thousands who watched the match from a giant screen in a basketball court in Marikina city.

"This will lead to Pacquiao's rematch with Mayweather. Mayweather will lose," Maniari said.

But some analysts expressed doubt that Pacquiao would secure a rematch with Mayweather, saying he failed to knock Broner down.

"He won clearly, but I'm not sure Floyd Mayweather lost any sleep after that, or is itching to jump in the gym for another fight," Ring Magazine reporter Ryan Songalia told AFP. - AFP, REUTERS

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