There was a time when Adrien Broner was a very exciting figure in the sport but he has become that bad ex you keep letting back into your life. Broner arrived on my radar in 2011 when he was getting featured on HBO and rising up the ranks of the 130 lb. division. His one round destruction of Jason Litzau was a spectacular showing of hand speed and punching accuracy. He continued to win while making brash statements in post fight interviews and rapping his way into the ring. He was an entertaining fighter, he was young, he was undefeated and he began winning titles. In 2011 he won the vacant WBO 130 lb. title, in 2012 the WBC Lightweight Title against Antonio DeMarco, and in 2013 the WBA Welterweight Title against Paulie Malinaggi. The Malinaggi rivalry and shit talking had essentially made it a viral fight for people outside of the sport. Broner in short had created a lot of attention by 2013 with fans who loved having an entertainer who talked trash and backed it up and others who hated his persona and wanted to see him get his comeuppance. Broner’s career met its high water mark December 14, 2013 when he came under the ropes and stepped inside the ring to defend his welterweight belt against Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana. Heading into that fight I believed that Broner would win based on his punching accuracy and Maidana’s vulnerability shown to the body vs Amir Khan and Josesito Lopez. Maidana created the bad ass image he is remembered for in his fight with Adrien Broner and reinforced it in the 12 rounds he spent with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their first fight. Maidana dropped Broner in the second round and Adrien was in serious trouble. The young champion showed great resolve by surviving but he hit the canvas again in the eighth and was behind on all three scorecards. In the twelfth round he fought bravely and scored some damaging blows that shook up Maidana but was unable to score the knockout required for him to retain the title.
Adrien Broner then headed on a downward spiral, he won some fights and even a title belt at 140 lbs. but he never recaptured the form he had prior to that December night. Throughout the span of 2014 to 2029 Broner went 6-3-1, 2-1 in title fights, missed weight and lost his belt, headlined the first Premier Boxing Champions inaugural card, and has been arrested several times. Broner remained a very popular fighter with great TV ratings up to the Mikey Garcia fight and even received a PPV main event against Manny Pacquiao. However, his in the ring performances were not improving and in many ways his offensive prowess as a fighter was fading. At 147 his punch was non existent and he was ballooning up in weight so that 140 was no longer a reality. With his low output punch style of counter punching he did not have the power to get the respect of 147 lb. fighters. His performances against John Molina Jr., Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Jesse Vargas and Manny Pacquiao all saw him reluctant to open up his offense and even in his victories failed to inspire in the way he had on the way up. The Pacquiao fight was a frustrating night where Broner looked intent to sit behind a shoulder roll and survive. He hardly threw a meaningful punch and lost every round. At the conclusion of the fight he went on a classless tirade claiming he was robbed.
Showtime and PBC love Broner for his high ratings and his volatility but I have no interest in his fight tonight Jovanie Santiago. The PBC podcast and their Youtube channel have been pushing him hard this week by hyping up the return and showing his fights. He did lose thirty-five pounds to make this return to the ring which is commendable but that is not enough for me to get interested. He set his sights at 140 for the return but the week of the fight they moved the fight back to 147. He is supposed to win this fight and this the type of opposition he has beaten since Maidana. For me to become interested he needs to let his hands go in this fight and show some offense and win convincingly. I am not convinced he is going to make a big splash in this comeback though he is only thirty-one years-old I haven’t seen the turnaround. I’d like to become interested again but I am not wasting my time until something changes.