By: Hans Themistode
Although the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville Connecticut was empty, the disapproving boo’s could be heard from a mile away.
Adrien Broner’s unanimous decision victory over Jovanie Santiago, was ultimately viewed as a controversial outcome. Not only did fans place their hands on top of their heads in disbelief, but even pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford found himself scratching his forehead the moment Broner’s hand was raised.
“I thought dude won but what I know,” said Crawford on his Twitter account.
Despite being out landed 98 to 207, Broner won going away. With scores of 115-112, 117-110 and 116-111 even Broner felt that the scorecards were a little off. That’s to say, he believes he should have won by a larger margin.
“I felt good, I felt like I only lost three rounds,” said Broner during his post-fight presser. “I beat him easy off the jab, I was doing my thing and having fun.”
As is the theme with Broner’s career, the former multiple division titlist simply didn’t let his hands go. While Santiago would load up on shots and go for broke, Broner appeared content with shelling up and throwing one punch at a time. It may have been the sort of game plan that made fans rip out their hair as they screamed for him to throw more shots, Broner explained why he took the low output approach.
“He was trying to counter me so I had to be smart and work off my jab. I had to use my jab and get him to open up and that’s when I was able to counter punch.”
Normally, Broner’s low punch output works against him. Losses against Shawn Porter, Marcos Maidana, Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao were chalked up to Broner simply getting outworked. Santiago, to his credit, took a page out of those aforementioned names playbook and attempted to grab the biggest win of his career. That, of course, didn’t work in his favor.
When taking a closer look at the judge’s scorecards, it was clear that Broner simply wasn’t going to lose. Two of the three judges in Tom Carusone and Peter Hary both scored the first round for Broner. Yet, in that round, Broner did not land a single punch. It was moments such as these that indicated Broner was on the judge’s good side on the night.
“The judges were on my side this time.”
Outside of his two-year layoff, it’s been a long time since Broner made numerous trips to the ring during a 12-month span. In both 2019 and 2018, the 140 pounder fought just once. His inactive trend is something that he hopes is now behind him.
Although he was happy with the win, Broner knows good and well that it wasn’t a vintage performance. That however, will change if his management team can simply line up more fights for him this year.
“I want to get right back in the gym and get active. Once I get back in the gym, a lot of things are going to start waking back up. You’ll start seeing a lot better performances but even this performance after being two years off, I feel like I performed good.”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s a huge, almost laughable misconception taking place right now. For whatever reason, most of the boxing world is under the impression that Adrien Broner has ill-will towards former Jr welterweight belt holder Regis Prograis.
Most of those thoughts stem from Prograis persistently calling for Broner to step into the ring with him. Despite the public feud, Broner squashed any and all notions that he has animosity towards him.
“The crazy thing is people are trying to make it seem like I don’t like that dude,” said Broner during a recent interview with ESNEWS. “It’s just the business. I fuck with Regis, I like him.”
Prograis, 32, is still attempting to jump back into the title mix after dropping his WBA world title to Josh Taylor in October of 2019. After taking a bit of time off, Prograis returned to the ring just a few months ago in October of 2020, to stop previously undefeated Juan Heraldez in the third round of their showdown.
While Prograis may have been ecstatic to pick up the win, arguably no one was happier than Broner. With each victory that Prograis continues to pile up, Broner only envisions the bags of money growing in size. The two may have a growing rivalry outside of the ring, but for now, every time Prograis fights, Broner becomes his biggest fan.
“Every time he fights I hope he wins. I want him to become a star because that only makes our fight bigger.”
No matter how big their possible showdown becomes, Broner knows good and well that it won’t take place if he doesn’t take care of business this coming Saturday night. In the main event slot of a Showtime boxing card, Broner ends his two year retirement when he takes on fringe contender Jovanie Santiago at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville Connecticut.
A win for Broner, he believes, is a formality. He admits that he expects Santiago to put up one helluva fight but he also expects their contest to be one-sided.
According to the former four-division titlist, the beating he is about to put on his opponent should give Prograis a look into the future.
Simply put, if Prograis continues to look for it, Broner will gladly hand him the beating of a lifetime.
“If he fights me, I’m going to f*ck him up,” said a stone-faced Broner. “Bad too. If he ever comes across my line of work, he’s dead.”
By: Hans Themistode
Although the beer belly was gone, the booze bottles were replaced with glasses filled with water and despite replacing constant trips to the club for gym sessions, Adrien Broner simply couldn’t shed the weight.
At no point did Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) seem even remotely worried about getting his then rotund body down to the 140-pound weight limit set for his comeback fight against fringe contender Jovanie Santiago at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut tomorrow night. According to the former multiple division titlist, he was able to peel off roughly 35 pounds during training.
That number however, simply wasn’t enough.
According to Boxingscene.com, both Broner and Santiago agreed that 140 pounds wasn’t a doable number. Instead, the pair agreed to raise the limit by seven pounds. With Santiago agreeing to step in on only one month’s notice due to Broner’s previous opponent contracting COVID-19, the fringe contender simply didn’t have enough time to meet the previous weight requirements.
Although Santiago’s late start in training afforded him an excuse, Broner was relieved with the news as getting down to 140 pounds was virtually impossible. While the Cincinnati Ohio native assured everyone that he had worked his tail off during the lead-up of their Showtime main event headliner, he simply couldn’t remove those final few pounds.
Still, with the weight issues behind them, the fight will go as planned with no financial repercussions to either fighter.
For Broner, the now 31-year-old will look to kick start his career after momentarily retiring two years ago following a defeat to Manny Pacquiao. A motivated Broner was apoplectic when handed the lopsided loss, claiming he did more than enough to warrant the victory.
The flamboyant star will seemingly receive a soft touch in his return bout against Santiago. Regardless of the spotless record he’ll carry into the ring with him, Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs) is a relative unknown. His bout against Broner will be his first contest held in the United States.
Still, even with the gap in both experience and seemingly talent, Santiago has expressed a high level of confidence as he not only holds an unblemished record but he has given his last four opponents an early night at the office, winning all of those contests via stoppage.
By: Hans Themistode
The crowd booed at first, then laughed uncontrollably once Adrien Broner took the microphone on January 19th, 2019. Just a few moments earlier, the former four-division champion was announcing to the world that he should have been given the victory against Manny Pacquaio instead of a lopsided decision loss.
With Broner’s tendency to be facetious, many believed he was simply attempting to lighten the mood after a poor performance. Despite that, Broner actually wasn’t joking around.
“Shit I was serious,” said Broner during an interview with Mike Coppinger. “I didn’t give a fu*k. I really felt like he wasn’t hitting me.”
For roughly two years now, Broner simply couldn’t understand why or how Pacquiao managed to pick up the win against him. Now, after watching that fight several times over, he believes he knows why Pacquiao was given the nod.
“He wasn’t hitting me, but when I go back and watch the fight I’m like, alright, he threw more. He was just more busy. But he wasn’t touching me with none of that stuff at all.”
Rather than listening to what Broner has to say about how his night against Pacquiao played out, the Cincinnati Ohio native urges fans to rewind the tape and take a look for themselves. However, before pressing play, Broner wants everyone to hit the mute button first.
“If you go back and watch the fight with no sound, you’ll be like wow, he really wasn’t landing nothing. The crowd was just yelling but if you go watch the fight with no sound, you’ll see that he wasn’t.
Regardless of how Broner feels, the end result will never change. So with that, he is burying the past behind him as he continues to prepare for his ring return this coming weekend.
“That fight is in the past. My biggest worry right now is Jovanie Santiago.”
By: Hans Themistode
Regis Prograis warned those who are in his 140 pound weight class, that although he suffered the first loss of his career late last year, that he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
This past Saturday night on Showtime Pay-Per-View, the former WBA super lightweight titlist emphatically turned his words into action. On the night, the formerly undefeated Juan Heraldez stood across from him. During much of their build up, the Mayweather promotions fighter repeatedly told Prograis that his time at the top was over. With that being said, the New Orleans Louisiana native needed only three rounds to make his opponent eat his words.
“It was a left hook,” said Prograis as he described the shot that scored a knockdown in the third round. “I took a step to my right and hit him with a perfect punch.”
The win for the former titlist was his first in just over a year. His recent spell of inactivity mostly came as a result of COVID-19. Despite his time on the sidelines, Prograis (25-1, 21 KOs) simply points at the recent carnage he left in the ring when asked if he believes he’s still the best that the division has to offer.
“Of course,” said Prograis. “I still believe I’m the best at 140. I have that blemish from that Josh Taylor fight but I still feel like I’m the best and I’m going to keep proving it.”
For the 31 year old Prograis, he continues to envision championship gold draped around his shoulder. However, with unified champions Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez gearing up for a collision course sometime in 2021, the pugnacious knockout artist may have to settle for another belt holder instead.
“I want to be champion again and Mario Barrios does the WBA Regular but I want my belt back. The one that Josh Taylor took from me but still, Barrios isn’t off the table. Whatever management say is next for me. If the Barrios thing is on the table then we’ll do that.”
Becoming a world champion might be his biggest personal goal, but even those gold trinkets will play second fiddle if Prograis gets his hands on a certain fighter that he has been calling out for quite some time.
“If me and Adrien Broner fight at 140 that’s the biggest fight you can make at 140. I think that’s a huge fight. If me and him fight for no type of belts that’s going to be the biggest fight. I been wanting that fight for years now.”
As far as how a matchup between the two would play out, Prograis kept his answer short but clear.
“I think I’ll whoop his ass.”
By: Hans Themistode
Following a loss to Manny Pacquiao in January of 2019, Adrien Broner claimed to be done with the sport of boxing. Whenever the four division titlist was questioned about his return to the ring, he would give one emphatic answer “Fuck boxing.”
His choice to hang up the gloves however, didn’t mean that he was done entertaining his fans. The Cincinnati native traded in the gloves for a microphone and teased an album release entitled “Still Adjusting to Fame,” which would feature prominent rappers such as Rick Ross, Meek Mill and Yella Beezy.
Now it appears that the former four division titlist will be dropping the mic to the return to the ring. At least according to Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza.
“Assuming he is done with his big record release, Broner is coming back in January,” said Espinoza to Boxingscene.
No matter the level of competition over the years, Broner has struggled to produce any wins. Both Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia were on cruise control as they went on to unanimous decision victories against him. Sandwiched between those losses was an uninspiring majority decision draw to Jessie Vargas.
You would have to travel back three years to find a contest which ended in a Broner win. That of course, came in 2017 as he managed to squeak by fringe contender Adrian Granados via split decision.
By the time the brash and flashy Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) enters the ring, he will have officially spent two years on the sidelines. But that doesn’t mean that he’s going to get a soft touch when he returns to action.
“We’re in the process of talking about opponents. It’s been two years since he’s fought so we’re in discussions about the opponent, but it will be somebody credible.”
Most of Broner’s success and where he truly built his name, came at lower classes. From 130-140 pounds, Broner either out boxed his opponents or bullied them until the white flag was waved. His move to 147 pounds on the other hand, was simply a bad call.
In June of 2013, Broner went on to capture the WBA welterweight title via close split decision against Paulie Malignaggi. His title reign was immediately truncated in his next ring outing as he was dropped twice and manhandled by Marcos Maidana. From that point on, Broner would float between different weight classes with fairly good results. Yet, whenever he made the trek north of 140 pounds as he did in a 2015 lopsided mauling against Shawn Porter, he came up short.
Weight has always been an issue for Broner. In 2012 he came in three pounds over the weight limit in his 130 pound contest against Vicente Escovedo. He would also miss weight in 2016 against Ashley Theophane and found himself $50,000 lighter in the wallet because of it.
Espinosa though, was candid on his conversation with Broner and was left with the impression that he’ll be able to squeeze down to a weight class where he’s had more success.
“He’s confident he can be 140 precisely.”
By: Hans Themistode
Gary Russell Jr’s featherweight title reign has been mired in both greatness and disappointment. The five year WBC belt holder has consistently dazzled his fans with jaw dropping performances, but has also habitually shown up to work just one time per year.
The Maryland native has failed to make more than one ring appearance during his championship reign, and with a February title defense against Tugstsogt Nyambayar, there is reason to believe that he has already completed his yearly obligations.
The opportunity to pad both his bank account and fight record with shoddy opponents are on the table. But nothing about that statement interests Russell Jr. Names such as Leo Santa Cruz and Josh Warrington on the other hand, gets his motor going.
Yet for those aforementioned fighters however, their motor seems to stall whenever his name is spoken.
“We gotta get one of these suckers to say they wanna fight me. I’m willing to fight anybody,” said Russell Jr. in an interview with Barbershop Conversations.
Fighting anyone, apparently branches out far beyond the land of 126 pounders. With no big name opponents in sight, Russell has turned his attention towards another weight division. Moving up one or even two weight classes won’t bring the sort of names to the table that he is looking for. So instead, Russell Jr. is not only eyeing a move to 140 pounds, but he also had an opponent an opponent in mind.
“I had a conversation with Al, and I told him that I will move up in weight. I’m not getting any fights in the weight division that I’m in. I wouldn’t mind moving up to 140, I’ll fight Adrien Broner if he wanted. Al told me that he reached out to Adrien and gave him the opportunity to take the fight but for whatever reason he turned it down. So again, from 126 all the way up to 140, you got suckers ducking, point blank period.”
For Broner, he’s been sitting on the shelf for over a year and a half. Following losses to Mikey Garcia and Manny Pacquiao with a majority decision draw against Jessie Vargas sandwiched in between, Broner has traded in his boxing gloves for a microphone as he has been focusing on his rap career.
The former four division world champion has made numerous claims over the past few months that he would be willing to leave the recording studio to enter the gym, provided of course, he was compensated with ten million dollars for his efforts.
While it’s unclear if his money demands will be met, Russell Jr. is offering Broner something else. A big time opportunity.
“He ain’t had a relevant fight in I don’t know how long. He lost his last what? Three or four fights and split draw with the other dude? Come on man. I believe in my skillset and talent no matter what weight division I’m fighting in.”
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.”
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 10th to March 17th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Floyd Mayweather’s Diet Valued at $1,000 a Plate
TMZ has reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has hired a private chef to cook up his meals for the Manny Pacquiao fight at a price for about $1,000 a plate. If Floyd were to eat four meals a day he’s look at a bill of around $184,000.
The woman he has hired is Chef Q who is based out of Las Vegas. More information can be found here.
Manny Pacquiao Donates P5.3M to United Nations World Food Program
Manny Pacquiao has donated P5.3 million ($120,000) to the United Nations World Food Program to fight hunger in the Philippines. The contribution will support the World Food Program’s school feeding program in Central Mindanao.
“The school feeding program ensures that school children in Central Mindanao have one less thing to worry about so they can instead focus on their studies. According to our monitoring data, school feeding programs help increase the retention rate of students in WFP-assisted schools by over 90 percent- a testament to how school feeding helps these children stay in school,” said WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal.
More information can be found here.
Premier Boxing Champions Returns to Spike TV on Friday, April 24th in Chicago
The Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series will return to Spike TV on April 24th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
The main event will be in the super middleweight division between Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1) and Badou Jack (18-1) and the co-main event will be between Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (28-1) and Caleb Truax (25-1-2) in the middleweight division.
The bout is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Mayweather Promotions and tickets will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com.
“I’m extremely excited to be fighting on Spike TV and I plan on being the guy everyone is talking about when the night is over,” said Dirrell.
“This is a great platform for me and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show for the fans. Badou Jack is a tough opponent, but I’m going to make it a very bad night for him.”
“This is a great opportunity for me and I am not going to let it slip through my fingers,” said Jack. “I know Anthony Dirrell is a very skilled fighter but he’s about to feel a different kind of power when I hit him. I’m looking forward to becoming the super middleweight champion on April 24th.”
ESPN Friday Night Fights Returns to Mohegan Sun
ESPN Friday Night Fights returns to the Mohegan Sun on Friday, April 17th. The main event will be between highly touted prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0) and former world-title challenger Elvin Ayala (27-6-1) in the main event of the evening and the co-feature will be between Ryan Kielczweski (22-0) and Danny Aquino (16-2) in the featherweight division.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be headlining this card and appearing for the first time on the ESPN network and I want to thank my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. for this opportunity,” said Derevyanchenko.
“Ayala is a very tough and experienced opponent. He challenged Arthur Abraham for his title, going 12 hard rounds. He is coming off a very good win in his most recent fight and I know he will be coming to win in front of his hometown fans come April 17. I am looking to make a statement in this fight though. I am going to show the world that I am one of the best 160-pounders in all of boxing and I belong at the elite level of this division.”
“On April 17th, I will be victorious” said Ayala. “I am training like never before and I am ready to put on the performance of a lifetime. I have suffered losses in my career but never defeat. God knows this and I know this and now it is time for the world to know it, beginning with Sergey Derevyanchenko.”
Kell Brook vs. Jo Jo Dan to be Televised on Showtime
Showtime Sports has announced that they will broadcast the Sky Sports telecast of the IBF Welterweight World Championship between Kell Brook and the number one challenger Jo Jo Dan on Saturday, March 28th live on Showtime at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT. This bout will be held at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England.
The same evening will feature a WBC Featherweight Championship bout between Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8) and Gary Russell Jr. (25-1) in the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing as well as a bout between Jermell Charlo (25-0) and Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1) in a super welterweight bout.
“After everything that’s happened over the last six months, it feels incredible knowing I will be defending my World title in Sheffield,” said Brook. “I’m not looking past JoJo, I know he will bring the heat but I want to get this mandatory defence done and then target those mega-fights that are out there in the division. I know he feels he worked so hard to get into the mandatory position just like I did, but I will be working twice as hard to keep the belt that I earned. After May 2nd, there will only be two champions in the division—myself and Floyd or Manny. I want to unify this division in style. I’m coming for them all.”
Willie Monroe Jr. to get Title Shot Against Gennady Golovkin
Many people were hoping that Gennady Golovkin would be facing an elite level boxer such as Miguel Cotto or Canelo Alvarez in his next bout, but fans will have to accept the fact that the winner of the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight tournament as Golovkin’s next opponent.
Willie Monroe Jr. will face Gennady Golovkin for his WBA/IBO and WBC Interim Middleweight Championship on May 16th at the Forum in Inglewood, California. This event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
“On May 16, I will shock the world,” said Monroe. “I think this is an awesome fight. We have two contrasting styles that will make for some spontaneous combustion. We will see which style comes out on top on May 16.”
Monroe went on to state, “I want to thank Banner Promotions for standing by me. I also want to thank “GGG” for accepting the fight. This is a risky fight for him because people have not given me credit for who I am,” continued Monroe. “I also want to thank Brian Kweder and John Campagna of ESPN for the platform of the Boxcino tournament. I know that it was those three fights that really springboarded me into this position.”
Adrien Broner Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge
The Sharonville, Ohio police arrested Adrien Broner in January of 2015 for a drunk driven charge after he refused a breath test when officers stopped his Merecedes.
He has pleaded not guilty and will ask for a jury trial.
More info can be found here.
Full March 20th Fight Card Set Featuring Alfonso Gomez
Golden Boy Promotions recently announced the full card for March 20th at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Former world title challenger Alfonso Gomez (24-6-2) will take on Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-2-1) in a super welterweight bout.
This bout will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 and future hall of famer, Bernard Hopkins, will be in attendance to meet and greet with fans at the Special Events Center from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The undercard will feature Ronny Rios (23-1) taking on Sergio “El Frio” Frias (16-4-2) and former Irish national championship fighter Jamie Kavanagh (17-1-1) facing Miguel Zamudio (29-6-1).
More information can be found at www.goldenboypromotions.com.