Can Adrien Broner Manage His Problem?
By: Kirk Jackson
Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner aims to secure victory this weekend against fellow former champion Jessie Vargas, in what may be considered a crossroads fight for each fighter.
The fight between Broner and Vargas headlines a spectacular ShowTime event, action-packed featuring other boxing stars such as Gervonta Davis, Jermall Charlo, Hugo Centeno and Jesus Cuellar respectively.
Stream #BronerVargas fight week!
— SHOWTIME SPORTS (@SHOsports) April 19, 2018
Oddly enough, the fight between Vargas vs. Broner is an underrated match-up and can potentially be one of the best fights of the year due to styles, skill -sets and stakes at hand for each fighter.
Often times Broner’s name is in the news whether he has a fight scheduled or during his off time. Controversy and headline news have no problems finding Broner.
Suggesting Broner has a colorful personality is an understatement; he exemplifies eccentricity and brashness. But to quote Broner, “AB is must-see t.v.”
— Adrien Broner (@AdrienBroner) March 26, 2018
Broner is an enigma; supremely talented from a physical, athletic stance and gifted artistically – (rapper and exceptional in the art of trash talk).
But at times, Broner displays senseless and idiotic behavior. He is the intelligent, gifted kid in class, choosing other routes aside from honing on his natural talent.
The major flaw or critique of Broner plaguing his professional career as a boxer is his lack of consistency. We can break down technical flaws, but most of his issues in the ring pertain to lack of focus and accountability.
That is the message Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe is attempting to convey towards the younger generation of fighters.
It’s fair to suggest, amidst the trash-talk and drama, who truly knows what goes on behind the scenes between Broner and the Mayweather Promotions camp. There may lie legitimate issues – and who’s to say who is at fault?
Or this could be publicity to promote the fight. Which may also be the case with Broner and Hip-hop artist Tekashi69?
Referencing back to the drama inside the ring, how many times will you hear in discussion about Broner and poor performances how he wasn’t focused, did not train properly or was dealing with outside distractions?
Viewing clips from Broner’s 25/8 documentary series on YouTube, Broner appears to be in great shape and up until fight week, was off social media and appeared extremely tuned in and focused in training.
This recent series of outbursts and conflict with fellow boxers, rappers and promotional executives alike perhaps is just that – PROMOTION.
Broner realizes the severity of this fight. If he loses, in spite of his personal and strong presence, he will not garner too many more opportunities in the fight.
Broner’s last fight against Mikey Garcia in the summer of 2017, Broner appeared in great shape as well. The issues with Broner are not physical.
He will be focused from a physical standpoint, his shortcomings inside the ring lie with mental issues. More specifically, the inability to let his hands go. This is boxing jargon for punching in combination.
One observing Broner’s career may suggest ever since his defeat against Marcos Maidana, Broner is less reluctant to throw punches in bunches.
But that’s not entirely true. Broner has never been a high-volume puncher. Broner picks opponents apart with accurate, fast, powerful pot-shot punches.
Broner was able to take his time and masterfully destroy opponents in the lower weight classes of super featherweight and lightweight due to the combination of his skills and size for each weight class.
Now Broner is in the higher weight classes at welterweight, he has to rely more on skill, technique and strategy; as opposed to physical strength and athletic advantages – which requires greater focus.
Oddly enough, the key to defeating both fighters may be through applying constant pressure. Based on interviews leading up to the fight, applying pressure is what Vargas will do.
As mentioned earlier, Broner is a natural counter-puncher and prefers to fight at slower pace, steadily dissecting opponents with blazing hand-speed, precise punches and maintaining a comfortable distance to operate.
Vargas aims to suffocate Broner with punches and break him and attack him mentally with pressure.
Will the addition of new head trainer Kevin Cunningham help Broner focus or is Vargas the problem solver?
This boils down to if Adrien Broner can focus at the task of winning, manage his problems, flush out outside distractions and implement the proper strategy to secure victory.
Adrien Broner and Timothy Bradley: Win-win Situation
Adrien Broner and Timothy Bradley: Win-win situation
By: Kirk Jackson
Timothy Bradley 33-2-1 (13 KO’s) called out Adrien Broner 33-2 (24 KO’s) and simply asked why not?
It’s a valid question and for Bradley, Broner appears to be a fine tune-up for something potentially bigger down the line.
The last time Bradley stepped in the ring was last April, in a lopsided losing effort against Manny Pacquiao. The third and hopefully final bout of their trilogy.
The soon to be 34-year-old is in the last phase of his fighting career and is probably seeking highly lucrative bouts before hanging up his gloves.
His legacy is set, albeit he is one of the most underrated, unappreciated fighters over the last 15 years. Bradley is a Hall of Fame quality fighter.
If Bradley were to retire today, he goes out as a five-time world champion across two weight classes, he defeated 11 world champions, defeated two future Hall of Famers (Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao) and is the only person aside from Floyd Mayweather, who can claim victories over Marquez and Pacquiao.
In regards to Broner, this appears to be a good match-up for Bradley from a stylistic standpoint.
The only man to defeat Bradley is Pacquiao and the problems presented by Pacquiao were the hand speed, foot speed, angles in combination with the punching power.
Broner possesses they attributes and some may argue he is even more athletic than Pacquiao; difference being Broner has a different method of implementing these traits – in some cases he does not fully utilize these gifts to his advantage.
In spite of his athletic ability and foot speed, Broner fights flat footed; defensively does not always present angles to his opposition and tends to lean back, allowing himself to be a hittable target at times. Broner also has a low punch output as he tends to rely on sharp counter-punching as his offense.
Bradley may believe he can take advantage of Broner’s flat footed-ness and he can overwhelm Broner with activity – similar to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. Maidana and Porter are the only fighters to hand Broner a defeat.
It appears Broner is down for the clash as well.
This is a great opportunity for Broner, especially since he wants to fight Pacquiao at some point. Why not defeat a common adversary shared with Pacquiao and get his attention.
Bradley and Pacquiao share the same promoter (Top Rank, Bob Arum). The concept of fighting Bradley presents an opportunity for Broner, his manager Al Haymon and for Arum to work together.
If this goes well, this continues to open doors down the line for Broner and other Top Rank fighters – most notably Pacquiao.
Broner mentioned returning to the ring in June or July, which leaves a fight in the fall for Bradley if not Pacquiao.
The self- proclaimed ‘Problem,’ can also silence many critics by defeating a credible opponent.
Broner gets a bad rap, has a bad reputation. Some of it is self-inflicted, but let’s not forget he is a talented fighter.
With all of the negativity surrounding his name, let’s not forget he’s only lost twice; those losses coming at welterweight against bigger guys like Maidana and Porter.
Let’s also remember he is a four-time world champion across three-weight classes and defeated five world champions thus far in his career.
If Broner can overcome a style like Bradley’s; a style that can resemble a rugged, overbearing, aggressive, physical and mentally demanding war, it can display Broner’s maturity as a fighter.
Bradley’s style is not quite the same in comparison to Porter or Maidana, as all three fighters have different physical builds and attributes.
Broner and Bradley have comparable physiques – which bodes to Broner’s favor. Both guys are listed as the same height (5′ 6″) and the same reach (69 inches).
Although Bradley may have the heart, will and activity to outwork Broner, he does not necessarily possess the punching power to bend Broner’s will.
Broner turns 28-years-old this year and Bradley will be 34-years-old. Age is on the younger man’s side and the physical tools may be as well.
Each fighter has strengths entering this fight, it’s a great opportunity for both fighters and it’s actually a good fight.