by Nick Giongco
LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao doesn’t expect Adrien Broner to be distracted by his legal problems or by anything else.
“I am not taking him for granted despite what he’s going through,” Pacquiao said during his open workout on Wednesday at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
The past few weeks, Broner has been in the news albeit in a newspaper section outside the sports department, with sexual charges hounding him in two US states.
Pacquiao, defending his World Boxing Association welterweight crown for the first time against Broner on Jan. 19 at the MGM Grand, believes the challenger will be armed to the gills.“I don’t think he will allow his legal problems to affect him. I expect him to be at his best,” added the 40-year-old eight-division champion, who will be fighting for the first time on American soil in over two years.
While Broner has been finding himself on the hot seat lately, Pacquiao’s camp has been humming perfectly the past three weeks.
Since arriving from Manila on Dec. 22, Pacquiao has been training diligently even if he has been allowed to take more days off than the usual. His trainers, after all, feel that all the bases have been covered.
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach even insists Pacquiao has gotten stronger and more confident than ever.
“The biggest change is that he said out loud that he will go for a knockout. That’s the biggest change and I love that,” said Roach, stressing that even at 40, Pacquiao continues to display reflexes and skills normally seen among the up-and-comers.
“Forty is just a number,” said Roach. “I don’t think he (Pacquiao) is going to have problems with this guy.”