After his impressive and dominant victory over Adrien Broner on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, what did we learn from Manny Pacquiao? And will he get a second shot at Floyd Mayweather?
The PacMan is still very good
Don't let the official scorecards fool you. While they read 117-111 and 116-112 (twice), these tallies are actually very generous for Broner, who was hurt badly in the seventh and ninth frames and by the end of the night was in survival mode.
No, the PacMan isn't in his prime, and he's no longer the dynamo he was from 2008 to around 2012, when he was rampaging through weight divisions in what was a historic run. He is still an incredibly difficult fighter to defeat, though.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) was simply too fast, too quick, too powerful and ultimately too savvy for Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs), who began the night by trying to lay counterpunching traps on Pacquiao, who never bit. And soon Pacquiao's straight left hands to the body began to set up power punches over the top. His consistent feinting offset Broner's timing.
Outside of a highly controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn on Horn's home continent of Australia, since his 2015 loss to Floyd Mayweather (and more on him later), Pacquiao could easily be 5-0 in his most recent bouts.
Age is just a number
Yes, Pacquiao is at the tail end of his Hall of Fame career, but his performance on Saturday night had Sean Gibbons, the matchmaker for MP Promotions, stating, "40 is the new 20." Well, that might be just a slight exaggeration, but Pacquiao still has incredible footwork and gives angles to his opponents that defy logic.
Still, the key for Pacquiao in training is the realization that less is more.
"At the age of 40, the strategy, the training routine is the same but a little of adjustment for preparation, especially for the recovery," explained the most notable senator from the Philippines. "I'm not young anymore, so sometimes if I push myself in heavy training, I cannot recover in one night, so I have to rest to get my body to recover."
Also he seems to have a heightened ring IQ. His aggressive style was once susceptible to counter right hands -- now, with his use of feints and being disciplined behind his jab, he is a much more elusive target.
Pacquiao would like another shot at Mayweather
So after defeating Broner, the question is will he get Floyd Mayweather in a rematch of their highly disappointing 2015 showdown that was much more sizzle than steak? While Mayweather is happy in retirement, Pacquiao, in the sunset of his career, has continued to face young, fresh foes like Broner, and thrashed them.
While many will roll their eyes at the possibility of Mayweather-Pacquiao II, you get the sense that many in the sellout crowd of just over 13,000 on Saturday night believe that a second go-round would be different with a healthy, two-shouldered Pacquiao.
"My message is I'm still active, if he wants to go back to the ring, challenge me, I'm a champion," Pacquiao said at the postfight media conference. "Get back to the ring and we'll fight again -- if he wants. But right now I will ask my promoter, Al Haymon, PBC [Premier Boxing Champions] for the future fights, the next fights.
But that possibility was shot down earlier by Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions.
"He's [Mayweather] retired, he has no interest in doing that," he stated. "It's not always about the money, believe it or not."
Well, given that Mayweather's moniker is Money, it is actually hard to fathom.
"'[Floyd] doesn't have the motivation, the desire, he's living his best life, traveling, running his multiple businesses, spending his hard-earned earnings," Ellerbe said. "He'll be 42 come Feb. 24, and enough is enough. What good does it do you to earn all that money when you can't stick around and spend it?
"He's had a phenomenal career, he broke all the records, he has nothing else to prove. I'm very happy for him."
Broner is going to be Broner
It turned out that there was only one thing bigger than Broner's hubris in promoting this fight: his delusion. As the bell sounded to end the fight, "The Problem" celebrated as if he'd won, which brought about a negative reaction from most fans in attendance.
And like many others in the city, he doubled down.
"My performance tonight talked for me," Broner said as he addressed the media after the fight. "They thought I was going to come in here and be in the mud, and they were just going to f--- me up, and I gave them what they weren't looking for. If you ask me -- I thought I won the fight.
"I'm not about to sit here with a sad face, I'm all right, I will be back and be champion again. ... At the end of the day I'm still AB, I'm the same person."