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Adrien Broner: I will be world champion again

Adrien Broner

By Jim Maltzman: Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner is convinced that his comeback against Jovanie Santiago this Saturday night on Showtime will lead to him becoming a world champion again, and taking back over the sport of boxing.

Broner insists that he’s not over-the-hill at 31, and he says he’s too young to be finished as a fighter.

Adrien insisting he’s not a shot fighter

Unfortunately, there have been fighters younger than 31 that have become washed up at an early age for whatever reason, and Broner might be fit in that category.

Broner’s stubborn insistence that he’s not a shot fighter could be meaningless without him proving it, and thus far, he’s failed to do that.

AB hasn’t won a real fight in five years, and a clear sign that he no longer has it. It’s one thing for a fighter to go winless for one year, but when you’re talking five years, it’s obvious that Broner is likely done.

The former four-division world champion Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) will get a chance to show the fans that he’s turned his career around when he meets 31-year-old Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs) in the main event in a 12-round fight on Saturday, February 20th at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Broner has lost close to 40 pounds in training for his return to the ring, and he looks entirely different from the plump, aging former star of the sport.

However, weight loss might not bring back the fighter that Broner once was during his best years from 2008 to 2013.

Broner says he wants to win a world title at 140, but if that’s going to happen, he’ll need to look a lot better than what he’s shown in his fights since 2016.

Right now, Broner’s chances of beating light welterweight champions Jose Ramirez or Josh Taylor are slim, but you never know.

If Broner can find the Fountain of Youth to bring him back to the physical form that he had during his best years, he could beat those fighters.

But most fans would agree, Broner must increase his punch output to have a shot at beating any of the quality 140-pounders.

Even in the fringe contenders would have an excellent shot at defeating Broner with the way he’s been consistently underperforming in the last five years of his career.

Broner ready to “take back over the sport”

“I got the perfect opportunity for me to come back to boxing and take back over the sport,” said Broner to the Pug and Copp Boxing Show. “It’s wide open. Boxing needs me, and at this point and I’m putting my all back in boxing.

Adrien Broner

“When I hear people say I’m done. How can I be done when I’m only 31? I’ve done a lot of things earlier in my career. I haven’t taken much punishment for them to say I’m done.

“I’m just here to do what I got to do, and I will be world champion again. I’m working my a** off. Everything is right in front of me, I just need to go grab it.

“I made a promise to myself, and I can’t break it. I’m a man of my word. Every time I go through my neighborhood, I just love it. It shows how blessed that I am, and I’ve got to take advantage of it.

“I love to fight. You’ll always get action with Adrien Broner. On February 20th, I’m trying to destroy Santiago. This time around, I’m on a mission, and it starts on February 20th.

“I’ve had my ups and downs. It’s different how people treat you. When you’re up, up, up, as a champion, and when you lose, I see how people change and some people stay the same.

“But I’m cool. As long as my family loves me, I’ll be alright. I think a lot of my kindness is taken as a weakness, but I don’t be tripping,” said Broner.

Adrien will likely have little problems destroying little-known 31-year-old Jovanie Santiago on Saturday night, but that’s not going to prove that he’s not done as a fighter.

Santiago is a lower-level second-tier fighter that is being brought in for Broner to look good and showcase what talent he has left.

For Broner to prove that he still has it, he’ll need to beat Regis Prograis,  a fighter that has been calling him out lately.

It’s unlikely that Broner will agree to fight Prograis, though, because that’s a guy that he’ll likely lose to, and his adviser Al Haymon probably won’t put him in that situation.

Adrien turning his life around financially

“Like I said, some days aren’t the best days. Somedays, you’ll wake up with 13 dollars, or one day, you’ll wake up with $13 million,” Broner said about him reportedly down to his $13 in his bank account recently.

“You never know where your life will take you, man. But every day, I wake up with a smile. Al [Haymon] is everything, Al is an angel.

“Without Al, a lot of these guys, including myself would probably be in bad shape. He’s somebody that if he loves you and he tells you he’s got you, he’s always got you.

“Al always makes sure I’m straight, and I’m blessed to have someone in my corner like Al Haymon.

“Of course, I’ve got to get rededicated, and just get my s*** together. Stay focused, and not let the s*** I’ve got going on outside of boxing mess up what I’ve got going on inside of boxing. That’s what I’ve been on,” said Broner.

This comeback for Broner will obviously help him get a few paydays, but he’s going to have to beat top-level fighters for him to really cash in.

Will Showtime put up with Broner facing Santiago-level fighters for the next two or three years without wanting him to face world-class guys? Unless Broner can beat the best, his paydays will dry up, and he’ll be at the end of his career.

At that point, we could see him drop down to 135 or even 130 to try and recapture his glory in those weight classes.

Broner confident his comeback will be successful

“This second go-round in my career, it’s going to be a hell of a story,” vowed Broner. “The people are going to love it, and, of course, I’ve still got critics, but s***.

“I’m feeling real good, I’m feeling real sharp, and victory is going to take me. The sky’s the limit.

“Once people see that I’m back serious with boxing and not bull s***, they’ll all jump back on the bandwagon. All I’ve got to do is perform.

“I was serious, I don’t give a f***,” said Broner when asked if he seriously thought he won the Manny Pacquiao fight. “He wasn’t hitting me, but when I go back and watch the fight, alight.

“He threw more and he was just more busy, but he wasn’t touching me with any of that stuff at all. If you watch that fight without any sound, you’ll say, ‘He wasn’t landing nothing.’

“The crowd was just yelling. But if you watch the fight without sound, you’ll see that he wasn’t landing.

“But that fight was in the past, and my biggest worry right now is [Jovanie] Santiago. Of course, I learned a lot, it was a great experience, and I’m glad God gave me the opportunity to be in the ring with Manny Pacquiao,” Broner said.

Broner’s comeback will only be successful if his management carefully selects fringe-level guys that he can beat at 140 like Santiago. If they put Broner in with top five contenders, he’ll likely lose.

Broner will have real issues with these fighters at 140:

  • Jose Ramirez
  • Regis Prograis
  • Josh Taylor
  • Teofimo Lopez – * expected to be moving up soon
  • Jose Zepeda
  • Viktor Postol
  • Pablo Cesar Cano
  • Rances Barthelemy
  • Arnold Barbosa Jr
  • Ivan Baranchyk

Adrien not just coming back for money

“It means everything to me,” said Broner about his comeback. “I’m not just doing it for the money.

“I already know if I do what I got to do, the money is going to come. But I believe and I know I’m going to be world champion again. You’re going to get all in one with Adrien Broner, and I’m coming back with vengeance.

“I’ve been having fun, it was a good layoff for me,” said Broner about his time out of the ring since his last fight against Pacquiao in 2019.

“My body healed up, and just living my life outside of boxing and I’m ready to get back to boxing and living a boxing lifestyle,” said Broner.

Money is obviously a part of why Broner is coming back, but he wants to show that he can still perform like he once did. At 140, it’s not likely to happen because he’s not performed well in his fights in that division.

For Broner to have a chance of regaining the form that he had during his best years, he’s got to return to the 130 or 135-lb divisions.

His power went a lot further in those weight classes, and that helped cover up his low punch output, which was a problem even back then. At 140, Broner doesn’t have enough pop in his punches to bother the top guys, who hit harder and throw a lot more punches than him.

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