Final presser elicits contrasting emotions from Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner

LAS VEGAS -- The final news conference for Manny Pacquiao's secondary welterweight world title defense against Adrien Broner on Wednesday at the MGM Grand's David Copperfield Theater played out just as most would have expected.

There was Pacquiao, the beloved eight-division world champion and regal senator from the Philippines, cracking jokes, smiling, offering Bible verses and thanks to all for making his return to fight in the United States for the first time in more than two years possible, as well as professing his desire to put on a great fight for the fans.

And then there was Broner, the profane big mouth who embraces the bad-guy role and played it to the hilt by spending most of his time at the podium spewing one curse word after another and showing disdain for those who have made him a significant underdog.

Broner even shockingly went after Hall of Fame Showtime broadcaster Al Bernstein, one of the most genial people in the business, during a question-and-answer session meant to conclude the proceedings.

Pacquiao and former four-division world titlist Broner will fight on Saturday (Showtime PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, a venue where Pacquiao will be fighting for the 14th time in his storied career, including huge fights against Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Erik Morales.

But Pacquiao's past two fights were overseas, a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn in Horn's hometown of Brisbane, Australia, in July 2017, followed by a dominant seventh-round knockout of Lucas Matthysse -- Pacquiao's first KO in nine years -- to win the belt in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this past July.

The Pacman said he was very happy to return to the United States to fight in the same place where he made his American debut in memorable fashion by knocking out Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001 to win a junior featherweight world title in the fight that helped launch him to stardom.

"I fought in other countries because they wanted to see me there. Now I'm back to the United States," Pacquiao said with a huge smile across his face." America is my second home. My second daughter, Queen Elizabeth, was born here in the United States.

"Being back here at MGM Grand makes me so happy. It's an honor to be in this position. I remember my first fight here in the U.S. was at MGM Grand. I will never forget that moment, and now I get to come back here and do it again."

Pacquiao has had tax issues, owing the IRS eight figures, but he said that was not the reason he decided to fight his recent bouts overseas.

"I'm not avoiding that [tax] problem. We're fixing that," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) was in a jovial mood. At 40, he is in the twilight of his career but still fighting at a high level and still clearly enjoying himself.

"I feel so blessed and happy because of the excitement around this fight," he said. "It's come from the fans here in the U.S. and media all over the world. I want to go out there and make all the people happy.

"The knockout in my last fight felt good. It felt like my younger days against Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and others. That fight was a big challenge for me to recover from the fight against Jeff Horn. People said that my career was done. But I never got discouraged, I just worked hard and made the knockout against Lucas Matthysse happen. People writing me off after the Jeff Horn fight was good for me. I'm not mad at anyone who thought that. It just became a challenge and a test to me of whether or not I could still show my best."

Broner's demeanor was the opposite. Whenever he has stepped up against a top-level opponent he has lost decisions -- to Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana. He has sometimes not come into his fights in optimum condition, and he has had numerous legal issues, including two court cases against him that are ongoing.

Still, Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Cincinnati, was defiant, saying he would shock the world and that he has taken this fight more seriously than any in his career.

"I'm not up here to talk a lot of trash. I've put in the work. It's fight time. After I win, everything is going to be different," Broner said. "People are talking a lot about Pacquiao fighting Floyd Mayweather again, but I'm pretty sure Floyd is retired. I feel like people are trying to throw me to the wolves and overlook me."

Broner, who mixed in numerous expletives, did acknowledge how important winning this fight was for his career.

"I'm not in awe of any fighter, especially Manny Pacquiao. I hope he's in awe of me," Broner said. "I'm a one-of-a-kind fighter, too. I've made history in this sport. I just have to go out and win this fight, then everything is going to start going my way. Saturday night, I will be victorious. This is a defining moment in my career, and it's going to be one of the biggest nights of my life.

"Pacquiao hasn't fought me so I'm not worried about what he says about me right now. He's going to have a different outlook after he fights me Saturday night. I'm going to turn Las Vegas into a big block party after I win on Saturday night. It's going to change my career. Manny Pacquiao has done a lot for the sport. I'm going to beat him up and have a drink with him afterward."

Then Bernstein took to the podium, and after Pacquiao politely answered several questions, Bernstein turned his attention to Broner. That did not go well, as Broner lashed out with an expletive-filled tirade.

"I ain't even gonna lie to you. I don't f--- with you, bro. I don't f--- with you. You be talking so much s--- about me on Twitter, bro."

Bernstein was surprised, asking, "Me?"

Broner continued to attack Bernstein before Broner came together with Pacquiao for photographers.