By: Sean Crose
“February 20 people are going to see that I’m still the Adrien Broner who can take over the sport,” four division titlist Adrien Broner says. Although he hasn’t had a meaningful win in years, Broner wants to show the world that he has what it takes to return to the top of the sport. “I’ve found my love for boxing again,” he says. “I gave myself some time to miss boxing and I’m ready to go in there and win some more world titles. My children are what fuel me now.” Broner’s nickname “The Problem” has been well earned. Brash, and often in legal situations, the talented fighter has seen his share of jams. Now, though, at 31, the man claims he’s ready to move forward.
“I had to lose the 35 pounds and it was tough,” Broner says. “I’ve put in the work. After this fight I’m going to stay on track and get right back to the gym. The goal is to become the five-time world champion, and then the sixth and the seventh time after that. I’m just working. I was so out of shape. I had to be gritty and I had to dig deep. Being out that long, I was overweight. I had to wake up and run miles and work my body back. It was tough.”
The 33-4-1 fighter will have a chance to prove how serious he is this Saturday night when he returns to the ring to face the 14-0-1 Jovanie Santiago. It’s been over two years since Broner has seen action. His last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacqiuao back in January of 2019. While the Covid 19 pandemic has led to many fighters losing valuable career time, Broner’s most recent layoff has been the longest in the man’s 12 year career.
“I just need to go back to the gym after the fight” says Broner. “I’m trying to stay out of as much trouble as possible, stay out of jail and just work my ass off. I’m going to dedicate these last three to five years to straight boxing. I’m going to get as much as I can out of boxing and then retire and watch my kids grow up. I’ve matured a lot. I’ve been through a lot. It’s just time to get to business, make my money and do what I do best, and that’s box.”
Because he’s been in the public eye for so long, Broner feels that some may think he’s over the hill. “People forget that I’m only 31 years old,” he says. “They sometimes look at me like an old head. It’s crazy. I have been around for a long time – about 11 years now. But I’m only 31 and I have a lot more in the tank. With my resume, I just feel like I have a lot more to do. I’m going to put the work in and I’m going to get it done. Of course, I think about the Hall of Fame. I think I’ve done enough already. I was one of the youngest to ever become a four-time world champion in four weight classes. But I’m going to go win some more titles and do what I do to seal the deal.”
Broner-Santiago will go down this Saturday night on Showtime. The Premiere Boxing Champions’ card begins at 9 PM Eastern Time.
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