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Broner: I should be taking over Boxing

By Allan Fox: Former three division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-2, 22 KOs) believes he’s going to defeat Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) tonight in their fight on Showtime to capture his fourth division world title in four divisions by winning the vacant WBA World light welterweight title that will be on the line for their fight at the U.S Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Despite having lost 2 times out of his last 5 fights, Broner still believes that he’s going to be the one that takes over the sport of boxing. He says he’s put his previous losses behind him and that from now on, we’re going to see a different Broner.

If Broner is going to be matched against fighters like the 32-year-old Allakhverdiev rather than fighters that could potentially beat him like Amir Iman, Viktor Postol, Ruslan Provodnikov, Terence Crawford and Lucas Matthysse, then it might be a long while before Broner loses again.

It’ll be up to boxing fans if they want to crown Broner the new No.1 fighter in boxing if his opposition will be against beatable fighters rather than the best.

“The only way you can be convinced is if you watch, and that’s one of the reasons I don’t do interviews because I’ve got nothing to say,” Broner said to Mark Kriegel from Showtime. “All I’ve got to do is prove what I do inside that ring. That I can be the four time champion in four different weight classes. That I am going to be a four time champion in four different weight classes on Saturday night.”

When asked if his main objective was to be as popular as Floyd Mayweather Jr., not just the winning of four different titles, Broner got defensive with the interviewer, saying “I don’t know how you feel, but have you ever won one? Okay, so you can’t say four times is nothing. Okay, so you’ve got guys you and people out there and computer gangster that are out there that beat up boxers with your mouth because you know how to talk, but at the end of the day until you get inside that ring, you can’t say four times is nothing. So to me four times is everything, because tomorrow is never promised. So don’t ever tell me, and I hope you don’t ever tell another boxer that one of their accomplishments is nothing,” a testy Broner said.

Broner clearly got defensive when the interviewer said that winning four division world titles was nothing compared to him trying to become as popular as Mayweather. I think Broner missed out on what the interviewer was trying to drive home, and unfortunately the interviewer didn’t come back to that question.

It really doesn’t matter how many paper titles that Broner wins over weak contenders and/or weak champions. If Broner is unable to become as popular as Mayweather, then he’ll just be another fighter that has won a lot of paper titles without becoming a PPV attraction. The sport has other fighters that have won a lot of world titles without becoming hugely popular.

Nonito Donaire and Juan Manuel Marquez are two examples. Both are very popular, but neither of them is popular enough to be the A-side in a PPV fight. With the kind of match-making that is being done for Broner, he could eventually win a fifth division world title by him waiting long enough for a particularly weak fighter to capture a world title at junior middleweight.

Broner could then go after the paper champion to win another world title. We saw how Broner did this in winning the WBA welterweight title off of Paulie Malignaggi in 2013, the WBC lightweight title off of Antonio DeMarco in 2012, and the vacant WBO super featherweight title against Vincente Martin Rodriguez in 2011. In each case, Broner didn’t beat the best fighter in those respective divisions or even the second or third best fighters. Broner just beat flawed fighters to win easy paper belts.

In speaking about his recent loss to Shawn Porter, Broner didn’t appear to be taking responsibility for the defeat. Instead, he seemed to distance himself from the loss in saying it wasn’t him in the ring that night. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time that Broner lost a fight, as he was beaten in the same way by Marcos Maidana in 2013.

Does Broner want boxing fans to not believe that really wasn’t him in the ring in the Maidana fight too? At some point, Broner has to be able to take responsibility for when he gets beaten, so that he can admit that he lost and that he has limits to his game and to his talent.

“Anybody can watch that fight [against Porter] and know that wasn’t the real Adrien Broner. Me personally, I know that. I don’t want to get into what I feel because only I know that I beat myself that night, and I can assure you it won’t happen again. It ain’t for me to explain. I should be the next one to take over the boxing game, period. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still A.B, but this Adrien Broner in the second half of my career is going to be about business and about boxing,” Broner said.

“I don’t do that,” Broner said about him putting on a false façade in front of his fans. “I just be myself. It’s me. It doesn’t hurt me that a lot of people want to see me lose because a lot of people want to see me win. [I want to be remembered] as one of the best boxers to ever lace up a pair of boxing gloves; one of the most entertaining boxers to ever enter the boxing ring. I was always myself,” Broner said.

I think a lot of boxing fans feel that Broner’s persona is merely a pose, and a cheap imitation of Mayweather. If Broner wants fans to believe that it’s really him and not just a plastic theatric pose, I think he’s wasting his time.

Many fans think Broner is just trying to copy Mayweather both inside and outside of the ring. But he doesn’t have the hand speed, reflexes or defensive skills to fight as well as Mayweather. Without the talent to do what Mayweather does inside the ring, Broner is stuck with nothing more than putting on what many fans feel is an act outside of the ring.

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