Former three division title holder Adrien “The Problem” Broner 30-2 (22) now has a problem. And it was on full display this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The problem for Broner is he was beaten up for 12 rounds by former IBF title holder Shawn Porter 26-1 (16) in a high profile welterweight bout that was contested with a 144 catch-weight stipulation.
The thinking before the fight was Porter would be the one most compromised by having to come in at 144.
It was just a couple years ago that some observers were looking at Broner as being the next Floyd Mayweather stylistically along with his over the top garish “look at me” personality. Two losses later it’s painfully obvious that he’s not that fighter nor does he possess Mayweather’s maturity as a fighter. And since he isn’t as good as Mayweather, he’s even more annoying and harder to take as a person. At only 25, Broner’s career is in bad shape after getting worked over by Porter.
The worst part for Broner is, he’s a very physically gifted and skilled boxer. He has quick hands and feet, good reflexes and he has more than adequate power when he lines everything up. However, he lacks one thing that elite fighters all have – and that is he’s not hard inside or outside. He was cruising along good until a rough ‘n tough guy named Marcos Maidana 35-5 (31) got in face and showed up with the intention of fighting him and not allowing him to box. Broner was overwhelmed by Maidana’s aggression and was down twice in the fight. Yes, he got up and tried to come back, but he was too far off his game by then and was fighting Maidana’s fight and suffered his first defeat. He was given a pass by most after the fight because Maidana’s crude aggression has thrown off many others, that along with the plausibility in which Broner probably overrated himself and played Maidana cheap before the bout.
This time Broner doesn’t have that luxury to fall back on those excuses to bail himself out with for his thumping at the hands of Shawn Porter. Broner knew going in that Porter, 27, wasn’t intimidated or in awe of him. And everybody knows that Porter is a serious guy who trains his rear-end off and is certainly no joke. Porter knew going in that if he took the fight to Broner that Adrien would come undone and be reduced to a jab and a big hook or right hand after it strategy, and that’s not boxing. Porter had no trouble dealing with the ‘escape, attempt a quick-counter and then hold’ pattern Broner lapsed into. Against Porter, it was on display for all to see that Broner isn’t a terrific boxer like Mayweather, Andre Ward or Terence Crawford. He’s really just fast and flashy, and that doesn’t hold off or neutralize real fighters like Maidana and Porter.
The problem for “The Problem” is now all the top junior welterweights and welterweights know it for a fact. I have to think that the elite fighters campaigning in between 140-147 will now step into the ring with Broner and view him as a guy who really doesn’t like it when the heat is turned up. His flashiness disguised as boxing doesn’t hold up. And it seems as though Broner doesn’t even realize it. Adrien doesn’t grasp that winning is the most important thing. With it comes the money and the notoriety, but it starts with winning and that has to be paramount to all fighters at every level. Bernard Hopkins knew it and obviously Mayweather got it.
If you want further proof that Broner doesn’t get it as a fighter or person – he said after the fight, “Listen, I still will fight anybody. It don’t matter, man. I’m a real animal. I’m an animal,” said Broner. “This time I didn’t get the decision, but it’s OK. At the end of the day, everybody in here will take my autograph and take my picture.”
No, Adrien. You’re almost to the point that no one has interest in you fighting anybody. And why should they when the two best fighters you had in front of you put you down and the other had you holding and looking to land the desperate Tyson-esque elbow on the inside. If you’re an animal, Adrien, at least when facing world class opposition, you’re a mountain lion that’s been de-clawed. You didn’t get the decision? Oh, it must have been a flip of a coin and it turned up for Porter on June 20th. You didn’t get the decision because Porter beat you up, other than one big left hook that you landed in the 12th round when you realized that your career was teetering on you becoming nothing more than a side show for future main events.
Broner’s career is at a crossroad and he’s just 25. He’s not getting any better, actually, he’s regressed. And I don’t think he realizes it and is willing to do the work necessary to hopefully get it back on track. He’s one loss away from becoming a trial horse and gate keeper. Add to that there’s a book on how to fight him now, which translates into every future opponent he faces now believing in their heart they can beat him. Now everybody will bring their A-game for Adrien Broner.
As of this writing the interest most fans probably have in Adrien Broner is watching and hoping he fails. And he really is too skilled to be at that stage at 25 only years old. Now the guy who flushed twenty dollar bills down the toilet is on the verge of his career being flushed down the toilet.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com