By Sean Crose
“If you’re looking for Adrien Broner to be this new, humble guy, you won’t get it.”
Charming as always, Adrien Broner addressed the media with these very words at a conference call on Tuesday to promote his May 3’d fight against Carlos Molina “I hope he don’t come to lose,” Broner quipped about his opponent, “but he’s gonna lose.”
For his own part, Molina – who Broner referred to as “this strong Mexican who comes here and tries to take my head off,” – came across as an extremely polite and well spoken individual, especially when compared with the man they call The Problem. “We’re very humble to get this opportunity,” Molina said.
Still, Molina claimed that “the whole world sees me as an underdog.” Even then, however, the California native came across as positive. “That just motivates me even more,” he added. When I asked him outright if he felt he was being overlooked, Molina responded that it didn’t bother him at all.
As for Broner – it was like he had never been dropped and beaten by Marcos Maidana last December. “I can make the best fighter look like the worst fighter when I’m on my A Game,” he bragged. Broner also made it clear he still sees himself as the future of the sport. “They’re looking for me to take over the game once my big brother (Floyd Mayweather) is done with boxing,” he told the media.
I asked the Cincinnati native outright if it was the real Adrien Broner we were talking to or some contrived villain who had been created to get attention. “ Are you gonna listen?” he asked me in return. “Am I the real Adrien Broner? You’re talking to his twin brother.”
This got a laugh…but it (obviously) wasn’t an honest answer. The truth, however, is that it probably WAS the real Adrien Broner on the conference call, a guy not even Floyd Mayweather, his “big brother” could actually reach.
I even went ahead and brought up Mayweather to Broner, for Floyd had pointed out in an interview that Broner spent too much time online and in the world of hip-hop. “At the end of the day,” Broner replied to me. “I’m gonna do what makes Adrien Broner happy.”
All of this stood in stark contrast to the behavior of Mayweather protege J’Leon Love, who spoke earlier on the conference call. Love, who has his own bout on May 3’d with Marco Antonio Periban, came across like Broner’s polar opposite. He talked about how his brother was killed last year, how he’s providing for his nine nieces and nephews and how he’s grateful for the opportunity life’s given him.
“I’m not angry,” Love claimed. “I’m blessed.”
I asked Love if he consciously presented himself as being different from the likes of Broner or even Mayweather. Love told me that wasn’t the case. “I’m just being myself,” he said. “I don’t want to be like Adrien Broner or Floyd Mayweather. I want to be like J’Leon Love.” And that’s a good thing. Being yourself has its advantages, after all.
Even if you’re Adrien Broner. For when ESPNs Dan Rafael asked Broner how he felt about fighting on the undercard of a bout featuring Maidana, the guy who beat him last winter, Broner’s response was simple. “At the end of the day,” he fired back, “I’m still getting a hell of a check.” No doubt he is. How many more big checks will Broner be getting, though? Time will tell.
Even his most ardent critics have to give Broner this, though: he possesses supreme confidence. For after failing in grand fashion his last time out, the man still believes bad guy’s can finish first.