It’s High Noon For Adrien Broner
By: Sean Crose
“I’ve been in some crazy situations,” the Miami Herald quotes Adrien Broner as saying, “and I’m blessed to be here.” Could this, one may ask, truly be the brash Broner talking? The man who once flushed (hopefully fake) money down a toilet? The man who once referred to himself as being “About Billions?” The man who once planned to host a party bus (I wonder whatever happened to that endeavor?)? Indeed, it seems to be. “I’m taking this seriously,” the Herald further quotes Broner as saying. I know, I know, we’ve heard this all before. Broner is a changed man. Broner means business this time around. Such things ring hollow after learning of another arrest, after seeing more silliness online, after witnessing Broner just seeming like, well, Broner.
This time, however, perhaps – perhaps being the operative word here – things are finally different. For in the leadup to this weekend’s upcoming bout with the talented, uber-serious Mikey Garcia, Broner seems, well, INTENSE. Not insane. Not idiotic. Just intense. As in focused. The question now is whether or not the Cincinnati native has pissed away too much of his talent for this newfound professionalism to even count for much. The truth is that Broner has never done all that well on the big stage. Not once. A close – some say controversial – win over Paulie Malignaggi looks to have been the high point of Broner’s career to date. After that there were beatdowns from Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter respectively.
And since that time? Well, the man’s gotten along just fine if one counts being in the public consciousness as a measure of success. Broner still hasn’t faced another major opponent, though. At least not until now. This Saturday in Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center, however, Broner is facing the real thing – a young undefeated guy who doesn’t believe in flash, a man who simply believes in beating his opponents, often by beating them into oblivion. Make no mistake about it, the 36-0 Garcia is dangerous. A loss this time out – at least a definitive one – might well spell the end of the 33-2 Broner’s time as a major player in the sport.
One thing needs to be made clear, though, and that’s the fact that Broner is not just some random opponent in this battle. Sure enough, the man has a real chance of winning. Broner’s always had a sharp skill set – perhaps not of the prime Floyd Mayweather level – but conceivably just a rung or two below. If the guy is as focused as he says he is – and as he appears to be in camp – Broner may be looking at a career revival. It’s also worth noting that the fight is going to be held in the 140 pound junior welterweight realm – rather foreign territory for lightweight titlist Garcia. It may be high noon for the fighter known as “The Problem,” but that doesn’t mean Broner won’t enter the ring on Saturday well equipped for a firefight.