By Abner Galino
FILIPINO boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and his would-be opponent Adrien Broner sportingly traded banters and potshots during a press conference Tuesday to promote their upcoming fight in Las Vegas next moth.
Although there was never a moment of tension between the two fighters, the exchanges were salacious and lengthy which led Hall of Fame host Jim Gray to comment: “Hopefully, we’ll see these two combatant exchange more punches than they did in words on January 19.”
The press conference held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills, California drew a sizeable crowd of sports personalities, fans and media.
Broner (33-3-1) is considered by experts to be a good match for Pacquiao (60-7-2).
During the said press conference, Pacquiao did not deny that he already has one eye for a possible rematch with retired American boxer Floyd Mayweather, although, he clarified that he is not belittling Broner as an opposition.
“Adrien Broner is a good boxer. We cannot underestimate him. Everyone knows Adrien Broner is a good, experienced boxer,” Pacquiao said.
“But Floyd, we met in Japan, we talked and he said he wanted to come out of retirement to fight me. I’m a person that doesn’t want to say trash talk. Just to fight. All I know is to fight in the ring.”
Prior to this, Broner has told the crowd of a Bill Cosby date rape joke and elicited laughter from the crowd out of stereotyping Asians and African Americans.
Pacquiao simply smiled through all these potshots, although he too made some funny remarks about Broner when he got his turn to speak.
In one instance, Pacquiao asked Broner: Are’nt you going to greet me happy birthday?
The Philippine boxing star will turn 40 years old on December 17. He holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) world welterweight championship after he beat Lucas Mathysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the 7th round of their bout last July.
The Filipino boxing icon has not fought in the US in the last two years since he defeated Mexican fighter Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision in Las Vegas.