ALL ACCESS: Pacquiao vs. Broner: Adrien talks about life before boxing
By Mike Smith: Adrien Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs) is happy that he’s gotten a dream fight against WBA World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) on January 19 on SHOWTIME pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Broner reveals that earlier in his life, he turned to boxing after he went to jail and was facing a 57-year jail sentence.
While Broner was in jail, he decided to become a boxer, and he was able to turn his life around in winning four division world titles since he turned pro in 2008. It’s a nice story that Broner tells, but it’s not going to help him one bit him getting lost in reverie of his past life. If Broner lacks the talent to compete with Pacquiao, which many boxing fans believe to be the case, he’s going to lose to him on January 19. Broner might lose really badly by getting knocked out.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pacquiao revealed that his goal for this fight is to KO Broner, and he means it. Pacquiao isn’t playing nice like he used to. His last knockout over Lucas Matthysse made him remember how much fun it was for him to stop his opponents, and he wants to repeat that feeling by knocking out Broner. Poor Broner is in the wrong place at the wrong time in facing Pacquiao now that he’s rediscovered his punching power, and renewed his faith in knocking out his opponent.
“Let me tell you a crazy story,” Broner said opening up about his past before he started his boxing career. “One day I got in trouble and went to jail, and I was facing something like 57 years. My trial date was coming up. I had like a week left. I was doing 23 hours in my room, and one hour out a day, and I was writing raps. I then just stopped and looked out the window, and thought what was going to do when I got out. I was like, ‘I’m going to sell drugs.’ I was like, ‘Nah.’ I’m literally talking to myself out loud and everything. I think I was going crazy. So I’m like, ‘I’m going to sell drugs,’ and I was like, ‘Nah, I’ll be back in here. I was like, ”I’ going to box.’ I made up my mind that day, and said, ‘God, let me out of here. I’m going to box,’ and I got up and started shadow boxing. I was like, ‘Damn, I’m out of shape,’ and then a week later I got out, and I ran to the gym. Now. Now I’m here fighting Manny Pacquiao. I never thought in a million years that I’d be here,” Broner said.
Broner’s lack of discipline has sidelined his career, and caused him to underachieve in a big way in the last six years of his career. Broner won world titles at 140 and 147 in 2013 and 2015, but he did it against weak fighters in Paulie Malignaggi and Khabib Allakhverdiev. Broner didn’t have to fight Regis Prograis to win a world title at 140, and he didn’t have to beat Errol Spence to become a world champion at 147. Broner won a world title at light welterweight by beating Allakhverdiev, and he captured his welterweight title by beating Malignaggi.
It’s a nice story by Broner. He turned his life around with boxing, and did well earlier in his career until he moved up to welterweight. He’s not been able to do the same things at light welterweight and welterweight that he did when he was fighting at super featherweight and lightweight. Although Broner captured world titles at 140 and 147, he’s never looked solid in those weight classes. Things haven’t been going well for Broner lately, but he had a good career up until recently.
Broner, 29, is getting an opportunity to fight against Pacquiao for a world title that he arguably doesn’t deserve. If the idea is for fighters to earn a title shot against a world champion with accomplishment, then Broner has failed at that lately. His last victory was 2 years ago against Adrian Granados in 2017.
The way that Broner talks about himself, he sounds like he’s coming from up high, like a fighter that thinks more about himself than the limited that he actually has. Broner’s success in the earlier part of his career was largely based on him fighting vulnerable fighters with a big size advantage over them. When Broner fought at 130 and 135, he was huge for those weight classes. After Broner would rehydrate, he would look a lot bigger than his opponents. Broner’s world title wins at super featherweight and lightweight came against these fighters:
– Vicente Martin Rodriguez – WBO World super featherweight belt
– Antonio DeMarco – WBC lightweight title
Those were not great fighters. If Broner were to have to try ad win a world title at super featherweight and lightweight now, he would have to go through the likes of Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Miguel Berchelt, Tevin Farmer, Alberto Machado, Masayuki Ito, Mikey Garcia and Vasyl Lomachenko. Out of all those fighters, only Ito and Farmer would be beatable guys for Broner, and it’s unclear whether he could beat even those guys. The fact is, the super featherweight and lightweight divisions have improved considerably since Broner competed in them. He fought in those weight classes during a weak period, and he didn’t fight the best in those divisions when he did compete in them.
More likely that not, it’s going to end badly for Broner when he faces Pacquiao this month on January 19. The defeat for Broner will he his second in his last four fights. His record will be 1-2-1 during those last four fights. That’s a horrible record, and it would be a clear sign that Broner’s career is all but over. However, Broner will still be useful as a opponent for the top guys, but for how much longer is the big question. If Broner can’t be counted on to beat even fighters in the class of Jessie Vargas, then it’s pretty clear that his days are numbered.