By Sean Crose
He appeared to be as invincible as he was annoying, as dominant as he was obnoxious and amoral. Then he went down. Hard. Almost comically. In the first round, no less. He started looking better as the fight went on, but still appeared far from infallible. Then he went down again in the eighth…and got pummeled in the ninth.
Photo: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy
He looked like a punk. He would not have looked like a punk if he hadn’t done things like held and dry humped his opponent, but he did those things and therefore appeared deserving of the thrashing he received.
I’m speaking of Adrien Broner, of course, the would-be future of boxing. The man is golden no more. The aura of invincibility is gone. He looks like a child who received a much deserved punishment. It’s hard to feel bad for him. Scratch that – it’s almost impossible to feel bad for him.
What’s more, those who have followed Broner closely shouldn’t be surprised. He’s never appeared as good as he’s claimed to be. Previous fights have proven the man could be lazy, dirty and even vulnerable. Daniel Ponce de Leon almost beat him. Same for Paulie Malignaggi.
And now Marcos Maidana has shown the world that flushing money down a toilet does not a superstar make. Same goes for being in a pornographic video. The bottom line is that great fighting makes a superstar. And Adrien Broner has not engaged in the act of great fighting. He’s clung. He’s cried to a referee. He’s hit after the bell. Yet he’s never engaged in the act of great fighting.
In short, Adrien Broner has proven himself to be a bundle of talent that has yet to be fulfilled. He’s also proven himself to be a boy, rather than a man, like his hero Floyd Mayweather is. That’s harsh talk, but it holds up under scrutiny. Think about it: Broner got bested by Marcos Maidana, then scurried back to the dressing room after losing his title without granting an interview.
True, he may have been hurt, but, the whole thing looked terrible. It reeked of a lack of sportsmanship and further damaged Broner’s reputation. Still, there’s no need to shovel dirt on the coffin of that reputation. It’s been said before and will be said again – the ring is a good place for redemption.
And Broner can indeed redeem himself. In fact, perverse as it sounds, his humiliation at the hands of Maidana may be just what the doctor ordered. For “The Problem’s” real problem seems to be himself. True, he may never be able to defeat Maidana (it’s way too soon to tell, really), but he can certainly improve on his heretofore lauded skill set.
Perhaps his camp can now cut down on combing his hair and instead reinforce in him the basics. You know, things like not turning to the referee for help when he’s hurt. Or showing some consistency with his punch count. There’s one lesson they don’t have to teach him, though, and that’s not to over-estimate his talent. Maidana taught him that lesson well enough on Saturday night at the Alamo Dome.
Now that Broner, who’s heaped a lot of abuse on people, is going to be the target of abuse himself, the fight world is left to wonder how he’ll deal with it. I myself found it hard to enjoy seeing people throwing beer cups at him as he left the ring, defeated, on Saturday. It was what it was, though. The question now is how will the man cope with this sudden crash course on the realities of life? Hopefully, he’ll use it as a kind of internal growth pill.
That way no one will have to witness him hitting an opponent flush after the bell again. Or dry humping an opponent again. Or crying to a referee again. Or…