Floyd Mayweather recently broke out with what some consider to be one of the wisest things he has said in a long time.
It had to do with Adrien Broner, the current WBA welterweight champion who has won titles quickly in three different weight divisions (junior lightweight, lightweight and welter), not necessarily against the stiffest resistance in the world, but who already comes off like he is trying very hard to be a mini-Mayweather; a “mini-Money,” if you will.
It has become clear that Mayweather is an exemplar for Broner, who talks as good a game as anyone in the world but perhaps goes to a bit of an extreme, in the opinion of many.
Mayweather, who has referred to Broner as “my little brother,” which is perhaps his way of referring to the newly-minted welterweight as an imitator, talked about the antics, often considered abrasive, that has marked Broner’s relationship with television audiences as well as the rest of the media on his way to the top.
After a workout at his gym in Las Vegas he was asked by the reporters in attendance about Broner, and Mayweather ‘s reply was “The thing with Broner is, he has a lot to learn. It’s more like, he has to understand and learn business. You have to know when to turn it on and when to turn it off.”
It has become apparent to many that Broner isn’t very appealing when he turns it on and certainly doesn’t know how to turn it off.
After Broner’s victory over Paul Malignaggi recently at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, he referred to his disputed decision win as a “great achievement,” even though he had barely gotten by against his opponent despite being a 17-1 favorite. He then launched into something personal, talking about how he has stolen Malignaggi’s girl.
In effect, he was baiting Malignaggi, and the Brooklynite took the bait, as he described the woman in question as his “side piece,” which probably made a couple of females feel bad at once. None of this really evoke memories of the charisma of Muhammad Ali. No, there’s not a lot of wit or wisdom in his delivery. he’s a little more like an internet troll.
Even Mayweather at his worst has rarely been as tasteless. In fact, Broner at times almost seems as if he does his level best to alienate the more conservative segments of the audience. He tries very hard to “out-Mayweather” Mayweather. But what he doesn’t understand is that the people he is turning off are also the people who buy a lot of pay-per-view subscriptions, and unless Broner works his way into being an absolutely essential part of the boxing landscape, they may pass on paying to watch him fight.
Or does he want to be “the guy you love to hate”? That would seem to be a thin line to be treading.
If not for his apparent idolization of Mayweather, some might see Broner’s leap from lightweight to welterweight as a step toward fighting Floyd. He hasn’t exactly declared a campaign to wage war with Floyd, but that might be where the path eventually leads. It’s not as if he is Mayweather’s protege, after all.
And if one thing about the boxing business has been demonstrated, it is that money talks. There is a lot of discussion in the buildup to Mayweather’s current matchup that Alvarez could pose some genuine trouble. But Broner, with some seasoning, could certainly prove to be a real challenge to Mayweather’s undefeated reign, and considering his association with Golden Boy, don’t disqualify that such a matchup wouldn’t be pushed, after Mayweather is done with everybody else (except for Manny Pacquiao, of course).
That could be a pay-per-view monster; that is, unless Broner is himself enough of a monster to scare people away.
Can you imagine a fight where Floyd Mayweather is actually the “good guy”?