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Adrien Broner: I know I can take over boxing

By Jeff Aranow: Despite having suffered two losses in his last seven fights, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) still believes he has the talent to take over boxing and become a big star.

That was his plan before beaten by Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. Those defeats have been an eye opener for Broner and for the fans, which see him as a guy with a lot of holes in his game.

Broner looks great when matched against the right opponents, but he falls apart when he’s put in the with real quality fighters.

Broner will be fighting next month against light welterweight contender Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) on February 18 at the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The fight will be televised on Showtime Boxing. There will not a title on the line, as the 27-year-old Broner lost his WBA World light welterweight title last April when he couldn’t make weight for his fight against fringe level contender Ashley Theophane.

The fight still went ahead, and Broner won by a 9th round knockout. It was not a great performance from Broner against someone he should have been able to easily beat. Granados is a step up from the 35-year-old Theophane, but not a big step up. He’s a little step. Granados is one of those guys that looks some of the time, but who isn’t able to put together every time out.

“I know that I have what it takes to take over boxing,” said Broner. “To do that I need to focus 100 percent on boxing and crafting my skills. That’s my mindset and that’s what I’m focused on…I’ve been on the downside and the upside of boxing, but my name has made it through.”

I think Broner is in the same boat at Andre Ward, a fighter who recently won a controversial 12 round unanimous decision victory over IBF/WBA/WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev last November. Broner hasn’t been dialed in for a long time. I think he was at his best back in 2011 before he moved up in weight to 140 and 147.

Once Broner moved up in weight, he hasn’t looked like the same fighter. He never had fast hand speed to begin with, and he gets lazy in the ring and spends time with his back against the ropes. That’s where Broner gets in trouble. Maidana was able to take advantage of Broner’s inability to stay off the ropes by knocking him down two times in their fight in 2013.

On both occasions, Broner was against the ropes. In Broner’s loss to Shawn Porter in 2015, he spent a lot of time with his back against the ropes. Porter took advantage of it by outworking him to win a 12 round decision. Broner didn’t learn from the mistakes he made in his loss to Maidana, and this is why Porter was able to beat him.

To take over boxing, Broner needs to be able to learn from his past mistakes, and he doesn’t seem capable of doing that. Broner, 27, has won his last two fights since his loss to Porter. Broner has beaten Ashley Theophane and Khabib Allakhverdiev. However, those are not seen as really good fighters, so it’s not surprising that Broner beat them.

For Broner to be seen as having comeback fully from his loss to Porter, he needs to beat someone that is actually good like Terence Crawford, Viktor Postol, Rances Barthelemey. Ricky Burns and Julius Indongo are two of the current champions at 140, but both of those fighters are flawed and seen by a lot of boxing as paper champions and not the real thing. Broner won’t get much credit if he beats either of those guys. He’s definitely not going to take over boxing by beating limited guys like that.

“I’m not going to take my talent for granted and I’m going to change for the better,” said Broner. “It’s great to have Floyd and Mayweather Promotions involved in this event. Floyd has always supported me and I owe him a lot. He’s really been a mentor to me. He’s helped me stay level-headed throughout everything.”

The 140lb division has some good fighters there. There was a time where many boxing fans felt that Broner was the best fighter in the light welterweight division. Not anymore. Now it’s Terence Crawford who is seen as the best at 140. Crawford is followed Viktor Postol and Rances Barthelemy.

Granados plans on taking the judges out of the equation by knocking Broner out. Granados says that he’s been compared to Marcos Maidana. He’s somewhat like him in his fighting style, but Maidana was a much bigger puncher. If Maidana wasn’t able to knockout Broner, then it’s hard to believe that a fighter like Granados will be able to do the job. He doesn’t have the power that Maidana possessed.

“I’ve been compared to Maidana, but everyone has their own style,” said Granados. “I’m going to get this win my own way…I don’t like going to the judges’ scorecard and fighting in his hometown, I’m going to try to get a knockout. I have to do anything in my power to keep the fight out of the judges’ hands.”

The way to beat Broner is to throw a lot of punches, don’t let him rest, and make sure that you don’t let him set the pace of the fight. The guys that Broner beats are fighters that allow him to get his shots off without hitting him back with a lot of punches. Maidana and Porter both attacked Broner in a relentless manner for 12 rounds without letting up on him.

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