By: Bryant Romero
Adrien “The Problem” Broner enters this Saturday arguably heading into the most important bout of his 10 year pro boxing career when he takes on Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) will be putting it all on the line including a 300k side bet with a colorful rapper he’s been beefing with on social media during fight week. Another devastating loss could spell the end of Broner as a main event headliner. There is no doubt Broner has to be feeling some type of pressure heading into this fight, knowing that the future of his career hangs in the balance if he doesn’t defeat Jessie Vargas this Saturday. However, Broner has kept a relatively low profile during his preparations in training camp, which could mean he’s putting a lot of his focus on his upcoming fight.
Photo Credit: Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME
““I’m very happy with this camp. It’s just what I needed. I’m catching up with sleep, eating well. The isolated training is really good. I love everything about this camp.
“Training in isolation is really good for me. I told everybody that they were not coming to Florida with me, that I will see them all after the fight and that if they really love me they will understand the situation and they will be cool with it.
“I actually did a camp with Coach Kevin before when Devon Alexander fought Timothy Bradley. And I’ve seen the way he is. We had our arguments and he cussed me out almost every day, but I was just missing the structure and that’s what I need,” Broner said.
After getting soundly defeated by Mikey Garcia last summer, Broner felt a major change was needed in the corner and he felt he needed a more authoritative voice. A voice that could keep him on his toes and keep him pushing a harder while in training camp, which is the major influence into why Broner decided to train with Coach Cunningham.
“I’ve known Coach Cunningham since my amateur days. We used to go up to St. Louis all the time and fight in his tournaments, on his shows. I have even fought for St. Louis in the Ringside Tournament. It was a great experience.
“I’ve known Coach Cunningham for a long time. He is the real deal He is not going to B.S. me. He’s going to keep me on my toes. I need that.
“There are coaches that change when their fighters get to certain levels. They still coach, but they don’t provide the structure the fighter needs. When I was fighting at 130, 135, Coach Mike [Stafford] will be at my door yelling ‘Get your butt up. We have to run. We have to train. Get up! Get up!’ But time went by and things changed.
“Coach Mike stopped being a coach and started being more of a friend. I needed him to keep being my coach. I need someone to keep me in line. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll always be like a father figure but when it comes to training and my career. I needed a change,” Broner said.
Broner has made the necessary adjustments in training camp that could help put on a better performance come fight night. Whether these changes could produce a great performance from Broner remains to be seen. The question is will Broner let his hands go? Against an experienced, confident and hungry fighter in Jessie Vargas who’s never shown a lack of discipline in his career.
The Vegas oddsmakers see Broner as a slight underdog in this fight, so expect a competitive battle this Saturday and perhaps a very controversial decision. Broner may never reach the heights where he was touted as being the next big boxing superstar, but a big win over Jessie Vargas will produce bigger opportunities in the future and help add to his accomplishments while remaining one of the sport’s most popular fighters.
Despite his multiple setbacks in the ring, Broner still feels he has plenty to give to boxing.
“I started my career young. I won titles in four weight classes. I’ve accomplished a lot and there’s still more to come. I got a lot of fighting left to do,” Broner said.