By Sean Crose
Ashley Theophane is not ranked among the top fifteen of super lightweights by the WBA. His current record stands at 39-6 with 11 knockouts. The man is thirty-five years old and his most notable fight was a split decision loss to Danny Garcia way back in 2010. With all due respect to Mr. Theophane, why on earth does Adrien Broner, the newly crowned WBA world super lightweight champion, want to fight him, as Broner indicated he does last Saturday evening? Best to let Theohpane speak for himself.
“He believes I can beat him,” Theophane says of Mayweather in a video produced by iFLTV. “Floyd says he wants me to fight him.”
Theophane, in case you haven’t heard by now, has been a part of Mayweather’s stable for around the past two years. While it may be true that Floyd does indeed see something in the British fighter, Broner-Theophane, should it come to fruition, would certainly be a tough fight to sell to the public.
“I was the first man he (Mayweather) sparred since boxing Manny,” Theophane stated. That may be true, but if he did impress Floyd in a few sparring sessions, he hasn’t impressed the boxing public enough for it to embrace a bout with Broner. Not that such things matter much when Floyd is involved.
The fight world thought the man was kidding when he first suggested Andre Berto as a possible opponent months ago. Few were laughing, however, when Floyd actually met Berto in the ring for this September 12th fight. Floyd’s choice of opponent wasn’t, in my opinion, as ghastly as some made it out to be (though the price tag to actually watch the fight was another matter), but by and far the public wasn’t biting.
Again, though, one has to wonder if Floyd really cared. Broner, however, is not Floyd. He doesn’t get a guaranteed paycheck in the tens of millions for every bout. He may, “may” being the operative word here, want consider the tastes of fans when he chooses his next opponent. I don’t buy the “boring fighter” argument some employ when they’re displeased with an opponent’s style. I will, however, at least understand the “who is this guy?” argument that will be employed if Broner picks Theophane.
You’ve simply got to give fans more of a reason to believe a fight might be interesting or relevant than because Floyd Mayweather says so. What makes this whole thing look particularly bad, or at least strange, for Broner, is that Viktor Postol, his peer, just demolished the formidable Lucas Matthysse on the same night he beat Khabib Allakhverdiev for the WBA strap, and is now expressing interest in facing top level opposition.
Was Broner just talking out his hat when he spoke of Theophane as a possible opponent on Saturday? Or does he believe everything Floyd tells him? Or does he believe Floyd has more of a finger on the public pulse than Floyd actually does? Or does Broner simply not care? Time, of course, will tell.
It has to be noted, of course, that Broner is an Al Haymon fighter and that there is a school of thought which claims that Haymon fighters, in general, don’t like to challenge themselves. Whether that’s true or not in the case of Broner, that accusation will be brought up if the Theophane fight becomes a reality. Just what would such a bout look like, though?
Well, Theophane has decent footwork and a solid jab. He also has the ability to put his punches together well. It’s questionable, though, whether or not the man has the consistent sharpness in the ring to best an upper echelon fighter. What’s more, Theophane’s lack of punching power speaks for itself. It may be wise to keep in mind, though, that Broner has a history of not taking the sport as seriously as he should. If he clowns around before the fight and refuses to take Theophane seriously…