Aftermath: Reflections on Pacquiao, Broner, Linares, Andrade & Browne
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Lee Gormley, Anthony Cocks, Luke G. Williams, Chris Glover, Callum Rudge and Tom Craze reflect on a busy weekend's boxing by mulling over the main talking points from New York City and Las Vegas...
BM: Where now for Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner?
LG: Broner’s time at the top level should be over after yet another dull, lacklustre performance, followed by a typically delusional interview. There will be little interest in anything he does from now, but he’ll undoubtedly be in the headlines for the wrong reasons again soon enough. As for Pacquiao, he still has enough left in the tank to have a meaningful title fight this year. Rather than cashing out in a pointless Mayweather rematch, a clash with Thurman would be interesting. Porter could be an option too but meetings with Spence or Crawford would be a dangerous way to end his career. Thurman vs Pac-Man would be a big fight and one that could be closer than maybe expected.
AC: Pacquiao is clearly pushing for a rematch with the retired Mayweather, but I'd personally like to see him face Mikey Garcia after he loses to Errol Spence Jr.
LW: Pacquiao continues to defy time and logic with another good win. He is clearly still far too good for most 147lbs contenders and fringe contenders. Whether he can hang tough with the likes of Spence, Thurman and Crawford is debatable, but I'd love to see him try. although he has earned the right to fight anyone he wants, soft touches included. He will probably only fight once again this year and if the Mayweather rematch doesn't happen then hopefully he will face one of the other top welters. We should cherish him while he is still around, while also fervently hoping that when he finally quits he does it on his own terms. As for Broner, despite the spectacle he has made of himself this week with some truly idiotic comments, I sincerely hope he has wisely invested the money he has earned from boxing. I worry about his long-term emotional and mental health - he does not seem a man at peace with himself or the world and while Pacquiao is a young 40-yar-old, Broner seems like he is an old 29...
CG: Pacquiao I expect to rematch Mayweather in May or the fall of this year, in either Vegas or Tokyo. Then I can imagine the pair will call it a day from there. Broner needs to take a long hard look at himself and his team around him before making any decision. He’s got bags of talent and still a lot to give, but he needs to make many changes to his approach to boxing before mixing it with the elite again.
CR: Pacquiao will do what he has done for the past ten years - chase a Floyd Mayweather fight. I’m not quite sure he’ll get it just yet and I think that he may get Thurman instead. Broner will get another undercard fight with a welterweight contender and flatter to deceive as always. I don’t mind the antics, he just needs to back them up in the ring.
TC: Pacquiao has looked like a rejuvenated fighter in his last two outings, and the recent link-up with PBC opens up a whole new range of potential opponents for him, most of which I’d given up on ever seeing him against. The Mayweather fight is obviously the one he wants, but – and call me fussy - I’d much rather see how he got on against someone who’s not retired. As for Broner, he won’t be going anywhere, assuming he doesn’t launch some kind of short-lived retirement stunt. Expect to see him back against the likes of Berto, Alexander, Collazo, or Felix Diaz sometime soon.
BM: In the wake of his win against Artur Akavov how does Demetrius Andrade match up with the rest of the middleweight elite?
LG: Saunders was going to be a great test for Andrade before it fell through and one that would’ve shown us just how good he is. I don’t see him posing much of a threat to Canelo, who’s top dog at the moment, or Jacobs or GGG either, but a Charlo match-up may be interesting.
AC: Andrade is still a step or two behind the Canelos, Golovkins, Jacobs, Charlos, even the Saunders of the world.
LW: Andrade has reached 27-0 and won two world titles without facing a top-class opponent. What's the best name on his resume - Vanes Martirosyan perhaps? That's not to say he won't prove himself an elite fighter in time, but right now I would rank him well behind Canelo, GGG, Jacobs and Saunders. I'd put him about on a level with Charlo, Derevyanchenko and even Rob Brant - indeed, I'd love to see him fight either of those three.
CG: Andrade is a talent, but he hasn’t displayed that blockbuster performance yet that will market him with the elite names of the middleweight division. He needs a marquee name on his record, but I definitely believe he has the skills to mix with with anyone at 160lbs.
CR: Andrade has looked OK without looking amazing in his last two fights. He has fantastic ability and looks well above the level of the fights he’s had but possibly lacks the desire to beat the true elite in Canelo and GGG.
TC: I might be more of an Andrade believer than many. In terms of natural talent and pure boxing ability, I think he’s right up there with the very best. It is, of course, valid to say that his pro career has so far flattered to deceive, particularly in light of his outstanding amateur pedigree, with his progression repeatedly hampered by issues out of the ring. That he’s been kept active on DAZN is encouraging, but the Saunders fight – cancelled through no fault of his own - would’ve been the litmus test. I get the feeling Andrade is a guy who has a tendency to fight down according to his level of opposition, and we’ll only see the best of him when he’s forced to step on the gas. That’s how it’s looked so far, at least. I’d fancy Andrade to beat Saunders, should that ever materialise, and would make Jacobs vs Andrade close to a 'pick ‘em' fight.
BM: After his one-round loss against Pablo Cesar Cano is it the end of the road for Jorge Linares?
LG: Seeing Linares get demolished in a round was sad, what with him being one of my favourite fighters, but it was clear he was too small at the weight. Some have said he’s done now but he’s come back from knockouts before and he could have another short run back down at lightweight before bowing out. He’s a popular, stylish fighter that’s always vulnerable, so there’ll always be interesting bouts for him.
AC: Not necessarily the end of the road for Linares, who has previously been stopped in the first and second rounds by opposition he was expected to beat. But it is a long way back at his age if he wants to get another world title shot.
LW: It doesn't look good for the 'Golden Boy'. The move up in weight certainly seems to have backfired, although less damage may have been done to the Venezuelan in a one-round loss compared to another long drawn out war. Linares has nothing left to prove so I'd like to seem him call it a day.
CG: Linares admitted ringside post fight that his body couldn’t take the power at 140lbs. Does he go back down to 135? He’s had 50 fights, he's a three-weight world champion, has had a great career and made some great money. I would sail off into the sunset.
CR: Yes, he has looked a little sluggish since beating Anthony Crolla convincingly the second time. While he won fights against Luke Campbell and Mercito Gesta, he didn’t look his usual fluid self. While he put in a spirited effort against BM P4P King Vasyl Lomachenko he was stopped late on. Linares should’ve been too good for the veteran Cano, but the Venezuelan’s punch resistance has surely deserted him now and he should retire.
TC: Although the snap judgement across social media was that Linares should call it a day (is there any other type of judgement on social media?) Linares is what he is, and is what he always will be – a beautiful technical boxer who’s vulnerable against physical, front-foot pressure fighters. All of that said, it wasn’t very long ago that Linares was dropping Lomachenko and, for me, not enough has been made of the fact that Linares – a world champion at feather, super-feather, AND lightweight - might just not be a 140lbs fighter. It happens. If he can still make the weight, let’s see him back at 135lb before writing off the step -p as anything more than a failed experiment.
BM: After beating Badou Jack how serious a player is Marcus Browne at light heavy?
LG: The Browne vs Jack fight was a slow-paced affair until the gruesome cut to Jack's forehead made things slightly more exciting. Light heavyweight is a stacked division right now and it's hard to see Browne defeat the Eastern Europeans who dominate that weight class right now.
AC: Browne’s put himself in the mix now after an impressive win over Jack. He has the WBA’s interim belt so maybe a future fight with the Bivol vs Smith Jr winner.
LW: Light heavy is a weight class with a ton of talent in it. Browne has faced poor opposition until Jack, and it's hard to assess the significance of a fight in which the Swede looked somewhat faded and also struggled with a horrendous cut. I don't think Browne will prove himself 'the man' at 175lbs, but beating Jack is an important step up that puts him right in the discussion.
CG: Browne is the future of the light heavyweight division. I train in his camp in Brooklyn as I prepare for my own professional bow. He’s got tremendous skills and it’s safe to say he’s cut from the same cloth as Danny Jacobs. He’s really that good. He learned lessons early on his career and they’ve made him a better fighter.
CR: I think he may struggle to win a [full] world title as the division is so tough with four very good champions. I will say for Browne that he’s big at the weight, has a good engine and good feet and will give anyone a tough night though.
TC: Based on Saturday night’s performance, very. He was very good against Jack, who’d already proven his mettle at 175lbs against Stevenson. That win makes him the mandatory challenger for Gvozdyk’s WBC title, and from this standpoint, the Ukrainian, alongside Bivol, constitute the real divisional elite.