By Matt Lieberman: Shawn Porter holds the view that Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) can be “refurbished” like new again and can be the “great” fighter that he was early in his career before he ran into Marcos Maidana in 2013.
Porter believes that the people making the business decisions in Broner’s life eight years ago didn’t fully grasp how mentally affected he was by his defeat against the Argentinian slugger Marcos Maidana in December 2013.
Broner lost a 12 round unanimous decision to Maidana by the scores 115-110, 117-109, and 116-109. The bigger and stronger Maidana dropped Broner twice and punished him throughout the contest.
It was clear from watching the fight that Broner wasn’t big or powerful enough to be competing at welterweight against a puncher like Maidana.
This Saturday night on February 20th, Broner, 31, will be coming off a two-year layoff to take on replacement opponent Javanie Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs) in the main event on Showtime from the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Broner vs. Santiago fight card begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Broner’s handlers matched him tough
“That may have been the missing step with Adrien Broner. When you suffer the type of loss like he suffered against [Marcos Maidana], it’s like a rebuilding stage,” said Shawn Porter at The Porter Way Podcast Clips.
“It’s not just rebuilding your career but you’re rebuilding everything that makes you who you are in your career.
“His confidence was his, and physically he was hit. I think he had a whole lot to come back from.
“Hindsight is 20-20, but I’m sure that the people that make the business decisions for him at that point in time, they didn’t realize how big of a hit he took in that fight [with Maidana].
“You fast forward eight years later, and you could see that it was a tremendous shot that he took,” Porter said about Broner.
The people that made the decisions with Broner’s matchmaking from 2013 onward, put him in situations where he was out of his depth against Maidana, Porter, Mikey Garcia, and Manny Pacquiao.
If Broner was just looking for paydays without carrying about whether he had a good shot at winning the fights, you can give his management a pass.
But if you think about where Broner’s career could be right now if he’d stayed in the lower weight classes at 130 or 135, he would ultimately be better off financially than he is now.
If Broner had stayed in those weight classes, he likely would still be undefeated and would have been the pay-per-view start that many believed he would be eight years ago.
Is it too late to rebuild Broner?
“If you look at AB, all that energy that he was putting into being who he was ‘The Problem’ and when he was making humongous statements in the sport of boxing.
“Then you take a look at all the energy is not the same getting back into the ring. Yo, you need that energy in order for you to be who you were in the past. There’s still a lot for him to come back from.
“I think the biggest question is, is it too late?” said Porter about Broner. “Honestly, I don’t think it is. He’s someone that if he’s able to be rebuilt and refurbished for the sake of words, he could be something great again or at the least very good.
He’s been far from very good. I definitely think Mikey Garcia needs to be down at 140. I feel that Adrien Broner needs to be down at 140, but I know that’s tough for him to make weight,” said Porter.
Broner isn’t looking as youthful and fast as he did earlier in this career, and he’s fighting in a weight class where he’s still smaller and weaker than the other top guys.
Adrien has a home with Showtime
“He’s got a home,” said Porter about Broner having a home with Showtime. That dude, he done got into a whole lot, but he got a home.
“This is the one thing I know about AB, and it’s always been this way with him. When he first turned pro, he was called ‘The Problem,’ and that was short for ‘The Problem Child’ because that’s kind of how he lived his life.
“He was always getting into trouble, and there was always someone after him in terms of coaches or a judge at a fight or whatever.
“But the one thing I know about him, there was always someone trying to help him because they could see the potential that he had, and they could see that he genuinely is a good person.
‘He just from time to time makes bad mistakes, and they’ve gotten bigger as he’s gotten older and he knows how the world turns.
“Stephen Espinoza [of Showtime], even if they didn’t have a good relationship, they may not have a good relationship, but he simply wants to help AB,” said Porter.
“So a shout out to Stephen Espinoza. He’s always giving AB, Adrien Broner, a platform that he needs to do his work,” Porter said.
Broner has a home for now with Showtime, but he’s going to have to start winning again for him not to wear out his welcome. They can’t let him go winless for the next three or four years without cutting the cord.