(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME) By Allan Fox: It was hoped that after Adrien Broner (31-2, 23 KOs) defeated easy mark opponent Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-2, 9 KOs) last night that he would start looking to face some quality opposition in the 140lb division like Amir Iman, Viktor Postol, Ruslan Provodnikov, Terence Crawford or Lamont Peterson.
It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, at least not with Broner’s first title defense. After defeating the 32-year-old Allakhverdiev last night at the U.S Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, Broner said that he wants to fight 35-year-old Ashley Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs).
Broner wants to fight him because Floyd Mayweather Jr. apparently said that he thinks Theophane can beat Broner. For that reason, Broner wants to fight Theophane so that he can prove that he’s better than him.
“They say my big bro, the one, the only Floyd Mayweather, he says he’s got a fighter that he feels can beat me. If he feels like that’s true, and I feel like he’s only living up to TMT, theoretic Mayweather thinking. I think his name is Ashley. But if that is true, this is what to do, bro, because bosses talk to bosses. You put Ashley on one of your private jets, bring him to come see me, and I bet I bring the girl out of that boy like Bruce Jenner,” Broner said.
If Broner is serious about wanting to fight Theophane, he’s going to be dooming Showtime Boxing or Premier Boxing Champions [PBC] to low ratings because that’s not a fight that will bring a lot of attention. It would be like Broner fighting Allakhverdiev again, or actually worse than that because Theophane isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the sanctioning bodies. He’s a 2nd tier fighter, although I would suspect that the World Boxing Association would automatically give Theophane a top 15 ranking as soon as Broner shows interest in fighting him. It’s still not a good fight, and if Mayweather really thinks that Theophane will beat Broner, he’s doing the sport a disservice by putting boxing fans in the position of having to see another mismatch along the same lines as the Allakhverdiev fight, or Mayweather’s recent mismatch against Andre Berto.
If Broner starts taking fights against guys like Theophane instead of talented fighters with a chance to beat him, then I think he’ll be driving his career into the dirt. Fans don’t want to see mismatches like Broner vs. Theophane, or Broner vs. Emmanuel Taylor, John Molina and Carlos Molina. Broner needs to step it up, and if he can’t do that, then he should give up his WBA paper title.
In giving an indication that Broner is going to try and copy Mayweather, Broner said “Any fight they [his management and cable networks] me with, I just automatically took. There ain’t no more of that no more. I’m going to fight who I want to fight when I want to fight.”
That sounds a lot like Broner is trying to put himself in the same class as Mayweather, who was able to pick and choose whoever he wanted to fight in his recently completed six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS.
There’s a big difference between Mayweather and Broner though. Mayweather was able to cherry pick because he was the No.1 pay-per-view fighter in boxing, and he had an unbeaten record. Broner isn’t a PPV fighter, he’s not unbeaten, and he doesn’t have the same charisma as Mayweather.
Broner is seen as more of a poor man’s version of Mayweather in the eyes of a lot of fans. They see Broner as a knockoff version of Mayweather once you strip away the hand speed, quick reflexes, defensive skills, overall talent, and charisma. If Broner starts trying to call the shots with PBC and Showtime in terms of his opposition, I can’t see him doing well. If Broner is going to be targeting soft jobs like Theophane and Allakhverdiev, then he’s going to turn off a lot of boxing fans and wind up with low ratings for his fights.
Broner was acting really cocky last night after his win over Allakhverdiev. It was as if Broner had beaten Shawn Porter in a rematch instead of a fighter who had lost last fight to Jessie Vargas, and who hadn’t fought in a year and a half. Before last night’s fight, Allakhverdiev had been out of the ring since April 2014, when he was beaten by Vargas.