By: Sean Crose
Adrien Broner won a fight on Saturday night at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino against the widely unknown Jovanie Santiago. Many are saying Broner received a gift decision, but I’m going to told my tongue on that particular matter until I watch the fight again. The truth, however, is that Broner didn’t look great in the ring. Now in his thirties, the man continues to fight at an uneven pace, switching from bursts of action to considerable periods of inactivity. Broner may have a not-so-secret weapon to keep himself an attraction, however – good, old fashioned bad behavior. While the Cincinnati native’s antics are widely known, the fact that those very antics might now essentially be his meal ticket is telling.
Is that all there is to the story, though?
First things first – Broner is a VERY good fighter. There can be no doubt of this if you’re objective. Untold numbers of fighters ply their trade year in and year out and only a handful – and a very small handful at that – reach Broner’s skill level. The rub here is that Broner’s ability might well have a ceiling. He can’t beat a true A-lister. It’s as simple as that. In other words, the man has yet to defeat a fellow major attraction in the ring. Manny Pacquiao has bested him, as has Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and, most famously, Marcos Maidana. Broner’s biggest victory at this point has been a close win against another very good, but not great fighter, Paulie Malignaggi. And that fight went down years ago.
And so we’re left with Broner the old school wrestling villain to draw us in. Maybe. Is it simply Broner’s crassness that brings in the eyeballs every time he fights? Or is there more to the story, an aspect of unfulfilled promise perhaps? Could it be that the boxing world at large wants Broner to succeed more than Broner himself seems to want to at times? It wasn’t all that long ago that Broner was presented as a future pound for pound titan, the game’s next Floyd Mayweather. Such things stay in the mind. No one wants to see a dream deferred, even if the dream for Broner is deferred by Broner himself.
There’s also the matter of wanting people to clean up their acts. Many want to see other people start to behave, to sober up, to become nicer overall. It may actually be a positive aspect of human nature that some desire to see these things in others. Broner, however, has a tendency to burn bridges. For instance, after a rather gracious lead up to this past weekend’s fight with Santiago, Broner tossed off a post-fight slur at popular and respected Showtime Broadcaster Steve Farhood. It may not have improved his chances of winning another world title, but it did guarantee Broner more attention.
Something to think about. As is the fact that we in the boxing media jump at the chance to report on the man over and over again.