NEW YORK (AFP) - Filipino veteran Manny Pacquiao confirmed Monday (Nov 19) he will defend his WBA world welterweight crown against Adrien Broner in Las Vegas on January 19, ending a two-year absence from the ring in the United States.
At a press conference in New York, officials confirmed that Pacquaio, 39, will clash with Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao holds the World Boxing Association's regular welterweight crown, a step below US unbeaten WBA 'super champion' Keith Thurman, after stopping Argentina's Lucas Matthysse in July at Kuala Lumpur.
"I have missed fighting in Las Vegas. It has been a second home to me," Pacquiao said. "Returning to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to defend my world title against Adrien Broner is an exciting way to stage my homecoming."
Pacquiao, 60-7 with two drawn and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, turns 40 in December while American Broner is 33-3 with one drawn and 24 knockouts.
Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, has continued fighting after reversing a decision to retire in 2016.
Broner however said Monday he planned to send Pacquiao into permanent retirement.
"I have paid my dues in this sport, and now it's time for me to get mines," Broner said. "I get more views than everybody when I fight. A lot of people are going to see me pack off Pacquiao into retirement, and without his belt."
Last month, Pacquiao signed with adviser Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions group after being promoted by Top Rank's Bob Arum, Haymon's main rival, for the past 14 years.
The move ensures Pacquiao will have chances to fight the best in the welterweight division as Haymon's fighters include Americans Thurman, 28-0 with 22 knockouts; World Boxing Council champion Shawn Porter 29-2 with one drawn and 17 knockouts and International Boxing Federation champion Errol Spence Jr., 24-0 with 21 knockouts.