By: Sean Crose
“World’s Greatest Boxing Promoter Don King,” a press statement released Thursday declared, “Signs Exciting Superstar Bad Boy Of Boxing, Adrien Broner; Four-Time World Champion Ready To Go Back To Work.” (sic)
Indeed, it’s quite a pairing. One of the most notorious promoters in boxing’s recent past aligning with one of the most notorious stars in the business is always going to be newsworthy. That’s why you can expect a lot of ink to be used discussing the just announced deal between promoter Don King and former world titlist Adrien Broner. In truth, both men’s careers have slid considerably in recent years, and are in need of rejuvenation. If nothing else, this surprise partnership will present these two colorful characters with quite a bit of media and online attention.
About a decade ago, Broner was literally being seen as the heir to the throne occupied at the time by the legendary Floyd Mayweather. He was undefeated, talented and – perhaps most tellingly – notorious. Here was a man whose outside the ring antics overshadowed his considerable achievements as a fighter. The party pretty much came to an end in late 2013, when Broner was defeated in a grueling affair by Marcos Maidana. Broner has certainly fought his share of notable opponents since that time, but has proven unable to best any of them. Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, and Mikey Garcia have all met and defeated the fighter known as “The Problem.”
King, of course, needs no introduction. Since the early 70s the man has pretty much been one of the most colorful figures in all of boxing. Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, and who knows how many others have all fought under the Don King banner. Suffice to say, King has had a long standing reputation – fair or not – of being a crook who has repeatedly kept money away from fighters who rightfully earned it.
With that in mind, it’s yet to be determined how well King and Broner will serve each other’s purposes. The internet has already taken to pretty much rolling its collective eyes at the pairing, but one never knows when it comes to the sweet science. Broner is still fairly young, after all. Perhaps King will guide the Cincinnati native back to the top of boxing’s heap. It’s understandable why some would be skeptical, however. Neither King nor Broner has been a true force for some time now. But, again, this is boxing, an endeavor which is forever full of surprises.
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