By Ivan G. Goldman
Watching Brian Kenny’s Showtime interview with Adrien Broner this weekend was like sitting in on a meeting of the Flat Earth Society. Is there anyone besides Broner who agrees that “everybody” felt Floyd Mayweather “took a loss” because Broner was bested by Marcos Maidana?
It was delusional, downright screwy. You have to wonder where this guy gets his information.
And is there anyone anywhere who concurs there was “nothing” Broner could do to prevent the loss because that was “God’s plan”? Without straying too far into issues of personal faith, even the most sincere believers can reasonably assume God has more on His mind than Broner’s win-loss column. If he wants to avoid getting caught by Maidana’s shots, he might try working harder in the gym.
Although similarities in the styles of Mayweather and Broner exist, they’re not as pronounced as Broner seems to think. Their footwork, for example, is similar only to the extent that they both have two feet. Mayweather uses distance and angles to get himself in position to punch and not be punched. Broner does some of that, but executes at nowhere close to the Mayweather level. And for long stretches of his December 14 bout with Maidana he seemed to ignore footwork entirely.
You want to see someone who controls the distance? Watch Andre Ward or Mikey Garcia. And about that shoulder roll. Sure, Broner tries to employ it like Mayweather, but his execution is spotty. He’d be better off keeping his gloves up. Broner, 24, is not, as he claimed “the closest thing” to Mayweather.”
Maybe the craziest part of the interview was Broner’s claim that there’s no reason for him to watch a tape of his lost match with Maidana. That’s a sign of a fighter who’s going to suffer additional defeats.
Mayweather got to become the great fighter he is because he doesn’t leave results to a greater power. He maximizes his extraordinary talent by putting in the work. You better believe that if Floyd had been knocked down twice and thoroughly shellacked by Maidana he’d study the tape, discover where he went wrong, and correct it.
When Kenny pointed out that Maidana connected with plenty of hooks, Broner replied, “Some shots you just don’t see.” Which is true. But if you put in the work and polish your tools you might even figure out what your opponent is going to do before he does it. And there won’t be as many shots you don’t see.
“Listen, I know what went wrong for me,” Broner said. “God had that plan already. It don’t matter if I had Jesus in my corner. God had that plan. We can’t stop His plan.”
When Mike Alvarado was stopped by Brandon Rios in their first contest, he didn’t leave the results of the rematch up to the Heavenly Father. He watched the tapes and decided he’d been a sap for fighting Rios’s fight, and in the rematch followed a plan that delivered victory.
Time in the gym should quality time – used not just to perfect what you already know but to make an effort to know more. There’s a term for people who have nothing to learn – know-it-alls.
Broner’s plan to get right back into the ring with Maidana to reclaim his WBA welterweight title may make no more sense than Shane Mosley’s decision to go straight back into matches with Vernon Forrest and Winky Wright.
Broner, 27-1 (22 KOs), may also have misinterpreted some of his “friends’” reactions to the loss. “This is the best thing that happened in my career because now I see who’s with me and who isn’t,” he said. Maybe the dropouts grew tired of feeding his delusions.
New York Times columnist and Nobel economist Paul Krugman recently wrote that loony tycoons who believe the world is picking on them “all too often surround themselves with courtiers who tell them what they want to hear and never, ever, tell them they’re being foolish.”
Sick Justice: Inside the American Gulag, by New York Times best-selling author Ivan G. Goldman, was released in 2013 by Potomac Books, a University of Nebraska Press imprint. It can be purchased here.