The Days And Nights Of Adrien Broner
By: Sean Crose
Success can be a relative thing. Most fighters with the resume of Adrien Broner would be considered wildly successful. Thirty two and two. Twenty four knockouts. World titles in four different weight divisions. Impressive stuff.
Still, Broner is considered by a significant portion of boxing’s fandom to be a disappointment. Why is this? Because he was expected to reach Olympian heights? Because he was expected to enter the realm of the Mayweathers and the Pacquiaos, of the Leonards and the Duran’s? Was it because he didn’t get to the point where his name would be mentioned with, if not deference, then at least respect, for decades to come?
Or was it something else entirely?
There is a distinct difference, after all, before peaking in the ability department and simply letting ones’ skills erode or stagnate. And Broner has been far from a responsible owner of his own talents. Perhaps the man started his slow trajectory downward (What else could it be called?) by missing weight for his battle with Vicente Escobeto back in 2012. Or perhaps it was the crushing loss to Marcos Maidana close to a year and a half later. A bruising defeat can take a lot out of a fighter, after all. The truth, however, is that no one really knows for sure what caused the stall in Broner’s career. Perhaps Broner himself doesn’t even know.
People have theories, though, and it’s not hard to see how those theories have been arrived at. Broner, let’s face it, is not the picture of discipline. Missing weight, partying, engaging in various enterprises, getting in trouble with the law, such things take a toll on people. One can only imagine the toll it takes on those who engage in combat sports for a living. Whether it’s Jack Dempsey taking years off from boxing, or Tyson Fury living like a party animal, a lack of discipline outside the ring can arguably take its toll inside the ring as well.
Who knows, though? Perhaps Broner would have still lost to the likes of Maidana and Shawn Porter if he had been disciplined. Perhaps bouts with Daniel Ponce De Leon and Paulie Malignaggi would have still have been incredibly close (some might say controversial) had Broner been the picture of dedication. People can’t help but wonder, however, about what could have been if the man who refers to himself as “The Problem” had taken his chosen profession more seriously.
Then again, Broner is still a young man. He’s still well shy of thirty, after all. In other words, there might still be time for the man to get his act together. On that note, there’s some hope that Broner may have started to do just that. On a recent Showtime interview, the fighter made it clear that he needs to act like an adult. He also made it clear he suffers from some pretty serious depression. And, as anyone who has dealt with such an issue on that scale realizes, depression is no small thing.
Indeed, Broner may be at the point where he’s now aware enough to know – really know – that changes need to be made. Time, of course, will tell. As may his upcoming battle with Adrian Granados. Make no mistake about it, Granados has meant business lately by taking out the likes of Amir Imam in stunning fashion just over a year ago in Quebec. No doubt he’d love to add Broner’s name to his list of upsets. Yet the fact that a Granados’ win would register as a huge upset only goes to illustrate that Broner is supposed to emerge victorious in the eyes of the boxing public.
Here is the truth:
It would behoove the man to do more than just win when he meets Granados next weekend in his hometown of Cincinatti. Broner’s career and reputation would be helped if he actually looked impressive in this outing. There’s a lot of big names for Broner out there right now. One suspects, though, that if Broner hopes to stand a chance against top level competition, his days and nights will have to have some degree of uniformity about them. In other words, the wild days will have to be well put to bed.
Broner has made a reputation for himself as a boxing villain and while its true people love bad guys, they love comeback stories even more. And fight fans prefer terrific fighters most of all. Can Broner somehow, someway live up to his early promise? Of will his story be a warning to brash individuals who have yet to lace on a pair of gloves? It’s too soon to say, actually. One would hope, however, that Broner will actually let the world know what it is he’s capable of.
Ultimately it’s all up to him.