By: Kirk Jackson
Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner aims to secure victory this weekend against fellow former champion Jessie Vargas, in what may be considered a crossroads fight for each fighter.
The fight between Broner and Vargas headlines a spectacular ShowTime event, action-packed featuring other boxing stars such as Gervonta Davis, Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno and Jesus Cuellar respectively.
Stream #BronerVargas fight week!
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) April 19, 2018
Oddly enough, the fight between Vargas vs. Broner is an underrated match-up and can potentially be one of the best fights of the year due to styles, skill -sets and stakes at hand for each fighter.
Often times Broner’s name is in the news whether he has a fight scheduled or during his off time. Controversy and headline news have no problems finding Broner.
Suggesting Broner has a colorful personality is an understatement; he exemplifies eccentricity and brashness. But to quote Broner, “AB is must-see t.v.”
— Adrien Broner (@AdrienBroner) March 26, 2018
Broner is an enigma; supremely talented from a physical, athletic stance and gifted artistically – (rapper and exceptional in the art of trash talk).
But at times, Broner displays senseless and idiotic behavior. He is the intelligent, gifted kid in class, choosing other routes aside from honing on his natural talent.
The major flaw or critique of Broner plaguing his professional career as a boxer is his lack of consistency. We can break down technical flaws, but most of his issues in the ring pertain to lack of focus and accountability.
That is the message Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe is attempting to convey towards the younger generation of fighters.
It’s fair to suggest, amidst the trash-talk and drama, who truly knows what goes on behind the scenes between Broner and the Mayweather Promotions camp. There may lie legitimate issues – and who’s to say who is at fault?
Or this could be publicity to promote the fight. Which may also be the case with Broner and Hip-hop artist Tekashi69?
Referencing back to the drama inside the ring, how many times will you hear in discussion about Broner and poor performances how he wasn’t focused, did not train properly or was dealing with outside distractions?
Viewing clips from Broner’s 25/8 documentary series on YouTube, Broner appears to be in great shape and up until fight week, was off social media and appeared extremely tuned in and focused in training.
This recent series of outbursts and conflict with fellow boxers, rappers and promotional executives alike perhaps is just that – PROMOTION.
Broner realizes the severity of this fight. If he loses, in spite of his personal and strong presence, he will not garner too many more opportunities in the fight.
Broner’s last fight against Mikey Garcia in the summer of 2017, Broner appeared in great shape as well. The issues with Broner are not physical.
He will be focused from a physical standpoint, his shortcomings inside the ring lie with mental issues. More specifically, the inability to let his hands go. This is boxing jargon for punching in combination.
One observing Broner’s career may suggest ever since his defeat against Marcos Maidana, Broner is less reluctant to throw punches in bunches.
But that’s not entirely true. Broner has never been a high-volume puncher. Broner picks opponents apart with accurate, fast, powerful pot-shot punches.
Broner was able to take his time and masterfully destroy opponents in the lower weight classes of super featherweight and lightweight due to the combination of his skills and size for each weight class.
Now Broner is in the higher weight classes at welterweight, he has to rely more on skill, technique and strategy; as opposed to physical strength and athletic advantages – which requires greater focus.
Oddly enough, the key to defeating both fighters may be through applying constant pressure. Based on interviews leading up to the fight, applying pressure is what Vargas will do.
As mentioned earlier, Broner is a natural counter-puncher and prefers to fight at slower pace, steadily dissecting opponents with blazing hand-speed, precise punches and maintaining a comfortable distance to operate.
Vargas aims to suffocate Broner with punches and break him and attack him mentally with pressure.
Will the addition of new head trainer Kevin Cunningham help Broner focus or is Vargas the problem solver?
This boils down to if Adrien Broner can focus at the task of winning, manage his problems, flush out outside distractions and implement the proper strategy to secure victory.