Manny Pacquiao is keeping his word and will fight in the U.S. again, launching a press tour that opens in New York and closes in Los Angeles next week to announce a planned Jan. 19 bout in Las Vegas against former four-division champion Adrien Broner.
Monday’s opening stop at Gotham Hall in Manhattan is expected to confirm the bout as a Showtime pay-per-view event at MGM Grand, as record-setting eight-division champion Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 knockouts) attempts to successfully defend the secondary World Boxing Assn. welterweight belt he won earlier this year.
The Los Angeles stop comes Tuesday at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Hotel.
Pacquiao turns 40 next month, and after taking a July fight in Malaysia, winning the belt with a seventh-round technical knockout of Lucas Matthysse that stood as Pacquiao’s first knockout since 2009, it seemed conceivable he would remain out of the U.S. for good because of daunting IRS tax claims connected to his lucrative 2015 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines, vowed he would return to the U.S., and after signing with powerful manager Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, a bout with the unpredictable Broner was arranged.
Cincinnati’s Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is 3-2-1 in six fights since June 2015, with losses to current world champions Shawn Porter (welterweight) and Mikey Garcia (lightweight) on his ledger. In April, he fought former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas to a draw in Brooklyn.
Broner, 29, was once seen as one of the sport’s top prospects.
The winner has a rich opportunity to follow this bout with other important fights since PBC has a slew of elite welterweights in its stable including Porter, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr.