Will Broner's beard come off? Team Pacquiao asks
LAS VEGAS, USA – When the stakes are high, even trivial matters like the beard becomes material.
Trainers of Manny Pacquiao have raised concerns on Adrien Broner's long, thick beard before the Nevada Athletic Commission, two days before the eight-division Filipino world champion dangles his World Boxing Association welterweight crown against the four-division American world titlist at MGM Grand Garden Arena here.
According to Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao’s lead trainer, they are requesting for Broner, who looks a bit like Stanley Pringle of NorthPort Batang Pier, to shave off his beard.
Primary reason, of course, is Pacquiao's safety.
“Imagine, during close-quarter combat, the beard which is so thick might accidentally poke the eyes of Pacquiao and that may result in his inability to see," Fernandez said in Filipino on Thursday, January 17 (Friday, January 18, Manila time).
Veteran boxing writers noted hair strands might catch greasy substances put on the boxers' face, leading to slippage of punches.
For another, it may also cushion the impact of Pacquiao's punches.
Fernandez, however, has no idea on what will be the action.
“They have different rules in different places,” Fernandez said. “So we do not know if the Nevada rules will allow Broner to keep his beard, but we are hoping if he refuses, at the very least, it should be trimmed.”
Joe Ramos, Pacquiao's chief of operations, said: “We just want him (Broner) to follow the rules. We want him to come clean and trim. It's a bit long.”
For Pacquiao, the beard is a non-issue.
“I'll fight him with or without the beard. It's the coaches' idea,” Pacquiao said on a TV interview.
Informed of the Pacquiao's camp request by a Fil-Am sportswriter, Broner reportedly replied, “read the rules.”
And as it turned out boxing rules weren't explicit on the matter.
Regardless, Mike Stafford, one of Broner's trainers, said Cincinnati's proud son would comply.
After all, Broner usually shows up with a clean face on fight night.
Dr Ed de la Vega, a boxing scribe and cutman, offered another view on Broner's beard.
“If he refuses to shave his beard and God forbids, he gets cut by a punch or an accidental head butt in an area where the beard is thick, it may be more difficult for his cutman to control the bleeding because the beard will restrict his access to the cut.” – Rappler.com