I am an Adrien Broner fan, let’s get that out of the way.
I think the world of his skills, and I enjoy his yapping, preferring the cocky rap and the insult stream toward foes and the humility-free boastings and, as with Floyd Mayweather, the way he keeps writers off balance, to an earnest but boring hitter spewing cliche combos.
Like at BB King’s on Tuesday, at a press conference to hype his Saturday clash at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, against Gavin Rees...Broner at one moment said that just as one wouldn’t need to learn the name of the gal you’re hooking up with, he sees no need to learn the name of his foe...and then a bit later said that he had a galpal, and was happy with just one squeeze.
Or when he told a group of writers during a sitdown that he doesn’t get hassled when he walks around Cinci, because, "I’m well respected from my early days" and then followed that with an admonition to the kids to stay on the straight and narrow.
I doubt we see any contradictions in the ring Saturday, on the Golden Boy show, as I expect Rees to be a step too slow of foot and hand to give the 135 pound lightweight champ much trouble.
The 32-year-old Rees, there with promoter Eddie Hearn, promised to stop Broner but didn’t lose his cool after being belittled for being short and having Broner pretend to not know his name. He told me, in an interview to run on The Boxing Channel, that he fully expects to win, not a shred of doubt in him.
Broner entertained the writers with slams on Yuriorkis Gamboa, who he slammed for being a PED user, and said that PED use in boxing is a "helluva problem." It’s no fair, he said, for guys who train the hard way to be facing off with corner-cutters.
"I don’t even take vitamins," Broner bragged.
He said he’d like meet Juan Manuel Marquez, maybe at the end of the year, but that he’d force Marquez to do stringent testing, and figures that the Mexican’s physique wouldn’t be as ripped as it was for the last Pacquiao fight.
"He wouldn’t come in looking like LT," he said, "looking like a linebacker."
A unification fight against Ricky Burns could well come first, though, before he moves up in weight.
It is best to interpret Broner as though he’s playing a role, rather than take every sentence as gospel. He playfully told us that he liked baseball most, when he played it, when he was stealing bases. The implication, the reference to a past which he hasn’t yet revealed, which featured a jail stint, was that stealing is fun. Er, and the message to the kids who might be following you? "You’re not in trouble if you don’t get caught," he said, chuckling, his voice indicating he was winking at us.
Taking a page from Floyd Mayweather, he waffled between ultra-cockiness, and humility, admitting that in three fights, he’d gotten tagged but good, including against Ponce de Leon and Antonio Demarco.
Some future fights we might see, he said, included bouts against Marquez, Robert Guerrero or Brandon Rios. A fight with Manny Pacquiao, he said, would of course do good business. He said no to an intra-promotional fight against Danny Garcia.
He said that his best ring attribute is probably his brain, that he out-thinks his foes, and that braininess was on display when he told us that he was saving some chapters of his story for down the line, maybe for a 24-7. He admitted that yes, there had been a time when he’d been a gun owner, but now he has a security detail which takes care of the holding for him.
"I did everything, but I did a 720, two spins," he said.
Yep, I admit, I’m a Broner fan. He might make me cringe once or twice, but he doesn’t commit that most cardinal of sins...he doesn’t bore me.