Former four-division world titlist Adrien Broner has always been confident, almost to the point of cockiness, going into his fights and nothing appears to have changed as he prepares for the biggest bout of his career.
Broner challenges legendary eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao for his secondary welterweight belt on Saturday (Showtime PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and has shown no signs of altering his prefight personality.
“Every fighter is different, but I know if I touch him flush, I’ll put him out. It’s no secret, he’s been to sleep before,” Broner said during a workout at Barry’s Boxing in Las Vegas on Monday as he puts the finishing touches on his training camp.
While Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Cincinnati, has lost to the best opponents he has faced in Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana, he has never been stopped while 40-year-old Filipino icon Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), for all of his greatness, has suffered three knockout losses.
“I’m in shape and ready to go,” Broner said. “I could have made weight weeks ago. We’re prepared to go out and execute. I’ve been here before, and even though I haven’t been in a fight of exactly this magnitude, I’m just treating it like any other fight. He’s another opponent.
“A lot of people are saying that Pacquiao’s age will be a factor, but I’m not looking at it like that. You see guys like Floyd Mayweather who stay undefeated at an older age. I’m just focused on being me. As long as I do what I have to do, I will be victorious.”
Broner said the fact that he is an underdog is no big deal.
“We’re ready for whatever this fight is going to end up being,” he said. “It could definitely be a war. I’ve always been an underdog. I came from the trenches and I’m bringing that mentality into the ring. I can take over boxing with a win over Pacquiao. There are a lot of great fighters in this sport, but they just don’t bring what I bring to the table. With a win like this, it would put me right where I was always meant to be.
“I’ve always wanted to fight the big names like this and I knew that I just had to keep working hard and the time would come. Once that bell rings, I’ll make my adjustments and go ahead and get my victory. I don’t have anything I want to go out and prove. It’s just about winning. That will say everything.”
Kevin Cunningham, who is working as Broner’s trainer for the second fight but has known him for many years, said Broner has a chance to erase the disappointing losses with the upset over Pacquiao.
“I think on Saturday night that Adrien is going to be that guy that everyone expected him to be from Day 1. It will open a lot of eyes,” Cunningham said. “I believe that we put the work in. I can’t see Adrien coming out of there without a victory. The key to victory is for Adrien to just be himself. He has to do what he does best with no hesitation. He’s going to throw the right punches at the right time.
“Pacquiao still throws combinations but they don’t come in as fast or as sharp as they used to. He can throw as many punches as he wants to throw, but if they’re not landing, it doesn’t mean anything. I think Adrien is the quicker fighter. Quickness offsets speed, all day, every day. It’s all about being quick enough to time the guy with your hand speed. It’s different than just throwing a bunch of fast punches.”