By Dion Johnson, Special to the AFRO
At this point, what is there left to say about Adrien Broner?
The self-proclaimed “Problem” is only a problem to the easily-duped boxing public who continues to waste time and hard-earned money to watch this man shortchange the sweet science of boxing on a regular basis.
From a business standpoint, I totally get “the act” of Broner. I really do. His antics make people want to watch, which translates into ticket sales and pay-per-view hits, which then translates to money. But when that act does not bring the desired results in the ring, it’s basically nothing but trolling at this point.
Broner and his opponent Jessie Vargas, both former welterweight world titleholders hoping to get back in position for another big opportunity, were looking to bounce back from poor performances the last time they faced a top opponent, respectively. What we got instead was a typical Broner performance against a fighter that was obviously less talented yet brought the heat to Broner for the majority of the fight.
Luckily for Broner, Vargas is a very light puncher with no knockout power so Broner was able to recover in the second half of the bout to secure a majority draw from the scorecards.
Boxing fans wondered how Broner would look in his first fight after splitting with long-time trainer Mike Stafford following a clear decision loss to Mikey Garcia last July. In my eyes, I didn’t see any difference in Broner. This is who he is, someone who looks the part.
From the beginning of his rise up the ranks, Broner was always – and possibly unfairly – compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr. They’re both cocky, arrogant button-pushers but that’s where the comparison ends. The one true attribute Mayweather has that Broner will never have is the 100 percent dedication to the sport. See, that’s exactly what makes Mayweather a success. And, Broner’s lack of dedication to the details of being a great boxer has now fashioned him into this underachieving caricature of a real boxer.
All he has left now are his outrageous antics before and after fights. How he recently called out promoter Leonard Ellerbe in the final pre-fight presser and called him “those three fighting words” without looking the man in his face showed you the type of man we are dealing with in Broner. Then after the fight, during the post-match interview with Jim Gray, Vargas attempted to be the voice of reason, but Broner quickly brought things to a distasteful place by dragging race and ethnicity into the conversation.
“Let’s go to my town,” Broner said in reference to the crowd. “I want to fight him where I’m from. These hella Mexicans in here booing me and s***.”
As a boxing fan and, most importantly, a Black man, these antics do nothing for me but cause me to roll my eyes in disgust. I’m sick of this stuff being passed around and disguised as banter to boost ticket sales. Let your ring showmanship do the talking. Let us be the judge with our wallets.