By: Sean Crose
“I love boxing,” basketball great LeBron James tweeted on Wednesday, “but I REALLY love the stories of the fighters and the build up to each! @UNITERRUPTED x @DAZN_USA will be giving you those stories. Yes Sir!!!!!!”
Thus James, who has been one of the best in the NBA for over fifteen years, announced he will be behind a documentary boxing series called “40 Days,” the first installment of which will focus on the leadup to the highly anticipated Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs middleweight title bout set to go down May 4th in Vegas. Uninterrupted – a company owned by James and Maverick Carter – will produce the series for the DAZN streaming service.
Photo Credit: Lebron James Twitter Account
“We are pleased to announce that @UNINTERUPRUPTED is set to produce a new docu-series titled “40 DAYS” in lead up to #CaneloJacobs,” DAZNUSA tweeted.
The first episode of “40 Days” is set to air April 23d, while a second episode will air on April 30th. Aside from DAZN, the April 23d episode will be aired on UNINTERRUPTED’s own channels, along with Univision, NBC Sports Network, the northeast’s MSG channel, and other local outlets. Carter claims the series will be designed for a “new audience of global boxing fans that want to see another side to these athletes that has yet to be shown.”
The documentaries are going to be in the tradition of other behind the scenes shows, such as HBOs 24/7, while at the same time presenting their own unique take on the genre. “These documentaries,” says Carter, “will shine a light on the three-dimensional aspect of who these athletes are outside of the ring and empower them to tell their own stories as they prepare for some of the biggest moments in their boxing careers.”
DAZN honcho John Skipper claims James and Maverick “have a unique vantage point that allows them to understand both Canelo’s pursuit to be one of the greatest of all time and Jacobs’ dogged determination to reach the pinnacle of his sport.” There’s no doubt both Canelo and Jacobs have stories worthy of documentaries. Canelo rose from the hardscrabble streets of Mexico to the top of the sporting world while Jacob’s successful, but near life threatening, battle against cancer has been well documented.
According to the Las Angeles Times, “Forty Days” may move on to focus on Anthony’s Joshua’s June 1st heavyweight title defense after the Canelo-Jacobs episodes are done.
The Days And Nights Of Adrien Broner
By: Sean Crose
Success can be a relative thing. Most fighters with the resume of Adrien Broner would be considered wildly successful. Thirty two and two. Twenty four knockouts. World titles in four different weight divisions. Impressive stuff.
Still, Broner is considered by a significant portion of boxing’s fandom to be a disappointment. Why is this? Because he was expected to reach Olympian heights? Because he was expected to enter the realm of the Mayweathers and the Pacquiaos, of the Leonards and the Duran’s? Was it because he didn’t get to the point where his name would be mentioned with, if not deference, then at least respect, for decades to come?
Or was it something else entirely?
There is a distinct difference, after all, before peaking in the ability department and simply letting ones’ skills erode or stagnate. And Broner has been far from a responsible owner of his own talents. Perhaps the man started his slow trajectory downward (What else could it be called?) by missing weight for his battle with Vicente Escobeto back in 2012. Or perhaps it was the crushing loss to Marcos Maidana close to a year and a half later. A bruising defeat can take a lot out of a fighter, after all. The truth, however, is that no one really knows for sure what caused the stall in Broner’s career. Perhaps Broner himself doesn’t even know.
People have theories, though, and it’s not hard to see how those theories have been arrived at. Broner, let’s face it, is not the picture of discipline. Missing weight, partying, engaging in various enterprises, getting in trouble with the law, such things take a toll on people. One can only imagine the toll it takes on those who engage in combat sports for a living. Whether it’s Jack Dempsey taking years off from boxing, or Tyson Fury living like a party animal, a lack of discipline outside the ring can arguably take its toll inside the ring as well.
Who knows, though? Perhaps Broner would have still lost to the likes of Maidana and Shawn Porter if he had been disciplined. Perhaps bouts with Daniel Ponce De Leon and Paulie Malignaggi would have still have been incredibly close (some might say controversial) had Broner been the picture of dedication. People can’t help but wonder, however, about what could have been if the man who refers to himself as “The Problem” had taken his chosen profession more seriously.
Then again, Broner is still a young man. He’s still well shy of thirty, after all. In other words, there might still be time for the man to get his act together. On that note, there’s some hope that Broner may have started to do just that. On a recent Showtime interview, the fighter made it clear that he needs to act like an adult. He also made it clear he suffers from some pretty serious depression. And, as anyone who has dealt with such an issue on that scale realizes, depression is no small thing.
Indeed, Broner may be at the point where he’s now aware enough to know – really know – that changes need to be made. Time, of course, will tell. As may his upcoming battle with Adrian Granados. Make no mistake about it, Granados has meant business lately by taking out the likes of Amir Imam in stunning fashion just over a year ago in Quebec. No doubt he’d love to add Broner’s name to his list of upsets. Yet the fact that a Granados’ win would register as a huge upset only goes to illustrate that Broner is supposed to emerge victorious in the eyes of the boxing public.
Here is the truth:
It would behoove the man to do more than just win when he meets Granados next weekend in his hometown of Cincinatti. Broner’s career and reputation would be helped if he actually looked impressive in this outing. There’s a lot of big names for Broner out there right now. One suspects, though, that if Broner hopes to stand a chance against top level competition, his days and nights will have to have some degree of uniformity about them. In other words, the wild days will have to be well put to bed.
Broner has made a reputation for himself as a boxing villain and while its true people love bad guys, they love comeback stories even more. And fight fans prefer terrific fighters most of all. Can Broner somehow, someway live up to his early promise? Of will his story be a warning to brash individuals who have yet to lace on a pair of gloves? It’s too soon to say, actually. One would hope, however, that Broner will actually let the world know what it is he’s capable of.
Ultimately it’s all up to him.