By: Hans Themistode
The dreaded “what if,” is something that no professional athlete wants to hear. It means that for one reason or another, they weren’t able to live up to the immense potential they’ve shown.
Most times, it’s due to injuries. Basketball players such as Derrick Rose, Penny Hardaway and Grant Hill were on their way to all-time great status but injuries ended that thought process quickly. Michael Jordan is mostly viewed as the best basketball player that has ever lived, but if those aforementioned players could have just stayed healthy, maybe there could have been another discussion.
Paul Williams comes to mind in the sport of boxing. In the 2000s if you wanted to take a quick nap as a fighter, then Paul Williams was the guy to deliver one to you. Over and over again Williams left his opponents face down on the canvas. He stepped on top of the bodies that he dropped on his way to the top of the Welterweight, Jr Middleweight and Middleweight divisions. But then, tragedy happened as Williams got himself into a horrific car accident that rendered him paralyzed.
For some athletes, their issues are drug related. All world NFL receiver Josh Gordon led the league in receiving yards in 2013, but due to consistent drug issues it derailed what should have been a hall of fame career.
In the case of four division champion Adrien Broner, injuries weren’t his issue. Nor was it drug abuse. No, his biggest setback has always been himself.
At one point, Broner seemed destined to be boxing’s next big star. He emulated everything about the now retired hall of fame bound Floyd Mayweather. He fought like him, talked like him and even dressed like him. But Broner’s imitations were short lived as he just couldn’t live up to the hype. Now, at the age of 30, the book is out on Broner.
He’s an okay fighter, but nothing special is what most would say.
Time and time again he’s vowed to change things around and become the face of boxing. He’ll put down the alcohol, he’ll stop going to the strip clubs and focus only on boxing. But as the losses piled up, the believers in him began to dissipate.
Now, with the entire world forced to focus on staying inside of the house, Broner seems to have no choice but to focus on just boxing.
“This sh-t is starting to get real repetitious, man. That ain’t good,” Broner said on Instagram Live. “Once I start getting in this mode, it ain’t good for you, man. I know a lot of people are banking on me to stay in the club, keep partying, and f–k around.”
“But when I get in this mode, it isn’t good for you because you got to think. At any given time that I get back and say ‘f–k everything, Instagram, Facebook, all social media’ and focus 120% on boxing, it’s over. And then not only that, just think if I go to my regular weight [130 or 135?].”
A serious Adrien Broner? Not many are believing him. Losses to Marcos Maidana, Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia were all one sided. At least that’s what it seems like on the outside looking in. But from Broner’s point of view, those losses weren’t exactly his fault.
“A lot of people don’t know. I wouldn’t say I was forced, but I was given some ultimatums that I could not turn down,” he said. “At that time, I was young, and they were throwing all this money in my face. But there are two sides. Let’s say I would have won. Then we’d be talking differently today.”
“But if I had the chance to do it all again, I would do it all the same way because all the knowledge I got, everything I learned, and the way my career went. I’m happy it went the way it went. It could have been way worse, and I’m still learning now. I still have way more to learn, but like I said, I wouldn’t change anything.”