By Jeff Aranow: Floyd Mayweather Sr. says former 4 division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-3, 4 KOs) “can’t fight’ and he’s going to lose his match next month against former two division world champion Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) in their scheduled catch-weight fight at 144 pounds on April 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Vargas is the very capable replacement opponent for Omar Figueroa Jr., who had to pull out of the Broner fight because of a shoulder injury.
Mayweather Sr. isn’t the only well-known person in boxing that sees Broner losing to Vargas on April 21 in their fight on Showtime Boxing. Former super middleweight champion Badou Jack, trainer Jeff Mayweather and cruiserweight contender Andrew Tabiti also are picking the 28-year-old Vargas to defeat Broner. They view Vargas as the more focused and disciplined fighter than Broner. They like Broner’s talent, but they see him as someone that isn’t able to dedicate himself and stay focused enough to beat someone like Vargas, who is only 2 fights removed from being a world champion. Vargas defeated Sadam Ali by a 9th round knockout in March 2016. At this point in Broner’s career, he would likely lose to a fighter like Sadam Ali.
Here’s what Mayweather Sr. Mayweather’s Boxing Gym site about the Broner-Vargas fight:
“Vargas, because Adrien Broner can’t fight worth a sh-t. He’s so good, he’s bad.”
It wasn’t long ago that Broner was viewed as the guy that would take over for Mayweather when he retired from boxing. In the last 3 years, Broner’s losses to Shawn Porter and Milkey Garcia have changed the public’s perception. It wasn’t just those losses that has hurt Broner’s appeal. He also struggled and looked mediocre against Adrian Granados and Ashley Theophane. Broner hasn’t shown a lot of energy in any of those fights. Broner looked lazy and slow in each of those fights, and he hasn’t shown the burst of energy that we saw from him earlier in his career when he was fighting at super featherweight.
“At this time, I’m going with Jessie Vargas.,” Badou Jack said. ”I think he’s more disciplined. Broner might be more talented. But I’m going with my body Jessie Vargas. I think he’s the better fighter right now.”
It sounds like Jack admired Broner’s talent at an earlier time, but right now he views Vargas as the better fighter. Vargas hasn’t been that active since his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in November 2016. Vargas stayed out of the ring for 13 months after the Pacquiao fight, and he came back last December to defeat Aaron Herrera (33-8-1) by a 10 round unanimous decision. Vargas looked good against Herrera, but not as good as he was in his win over Sadam Ali two years earlier in March 2016. Vargas looked a little slower with his hands and feet. Vargas is going to need to fight with more speed for him to beat Broner and be competitive with the top contenders and champions at 147.
Vargas was with Top Rank until recently when he left them and signed with Al Haymon. Broner is with Haymon as well, so it made this fight an easy one to make. The fight gives Vargas an opportunity to get a lot of attention from boxing fans, as Broner is still a popular fighter despite his career no longer looking as bright.
”I lean towards Jessie because his life style’s totally different than Broner,” Jeff Mayweather said to Mayweather’s Boxing Gym channel. He can stay focused and he doesn’t have all the outside stuff. Jessie is more dependent and more focused and he’s always been. With Adrien, you don’t which Adrien is going to show up. He has the talent. Sometimes he shows the talent, but a lot of times he don’t. I got to go with consistency and that’s Vargas”
As Mayweather says, it depends on which Broner shows up for the Vargas fight. If Broner is serious and willing to put out some effort on April 21, then he stands a chance of beating Vargas, but it’s still going to be a hard fight for him to win. Broner looked serious for his last fight against Mikey Garcia last July, and yet he still lost a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Mikey was too fast and he threw too many punches for Broner to deal with. Broner showed too much respect for Mikey’s hand speed and power during the first 6 rounds of the contest. By the time Broner started to take the fight to Mikey in the second half of the contest, it was already too late for him to win a decision without scoring knockdowns. Broner’s power and speed wasn’t good enough for him to hurt Mikey. As a result, Broner lost his third fight of his career and he’s now coming into the Vargas match at the lowest point of his career.
“I believe Jessie Vargas is going to win,” Andrew Tabiti said. ”I believe he’s going to out-hustle Adrien Broner. The way Adrien Broner looked in his last performance, he seems like he doesn’t like to hustle like he used to have to before he wasn’t the man.”
Tabiti is correct in pointing out that Broner hasn’t shown the hustle that he’s needed to show in his recent fights. He looks lazy, as if he’s afraid to put out effort for fear of emptying his gas tank and getting knocked out. Broner’s conditioning might not have been there for his fights against Mikey Garcia, Granados and Porter. That could explain why he was looking so flat-footed, lazy and unwilling to let his hands go.
A loss for Broner against Vargas doesn’t mean his boxing career will be over. He’ll still be a popular fighter due to what he accomplished earlier in his career, but it’ll a huge setback for him. Vargas is a good fighter, but he’s not a top 5 caliber welterweight. Broner fights at 140, but he’ll have a lot of problems trying to beat the top fighters in that class. The light welterweight division has a lot of new players that are taking over, and Broner has been passed up by these guys.