ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (February 5) - When it comes to Valentine's Day, even the toughest guys can be softies. This is the case with WBC Lightweight World Champion Adrien Broner, NABO & WBC International Heavyweight Champion Johnathon Banks and heavyweight contender Seth Mitchell. Despite being deep in training camp for their respective February 16 fights at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City which will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, Broner, Banks and Mitchell took time to discuss their Valentine's Day memories, secret admirers and their special some ones for this year.
Even Broner, whose ring name is "The Problem," offered his recipe for a successful relationship saying, "If you feel like you have somebody special, hold on to them, don't let them go and fight for them."
VALENTINE'S DAY Q&A:
Q: Do you remember your first Valentine? If so, what grade were you in and why was she your Valentine?
Adrien Broner: Should I name all eight? I was in first grade and they were all cute. I have had all types of Valentines. I even had teachers as Valentines.
Johnathon Banks: My first Valentine was in the third grade. I thought she was pretty. She was in the same class as me and was the smartest girl in the class. Brains and beauty, I fell for her like a sack of rocks.
Seth Mitchell: My first real Valentine was in the 10th grade. She was my first Valentine because we were actually dating at the time. I didn't have a car, so her mom came, picked us up and dropped us off at Red Lobster. We ate dinner and then went to a movie. Then her mom came and picked us up and dropped me back off at home. I was able to sneak in a hug, but that's about it. It was a fun night though.
Q: What was the nicest Valentine you ever received?
Adrien Broner: I have gotten too many to count. I got a huge heart shaped cake once, which was pretty tasty. Other than that, I would rather not say...
Johnathon Banks: The nicest Valentine I received was a teddy bear, candy and a card with money from a girl when I was 15. She became my girlfriend after that. She knew that I liked her and I knew she liked me, but I was too shy at the time.
Seth Mitchell: When I was a junior in college, my girlfriend at the time invited me over. When I walked into her apartment, slow jams were playing. I could smell something good cooking in the kitchen. I sat and watched her put the final touches on the meal she was making for me, while she wearing my favorite pumps. It was the beginning of a very romantic evening...let's just say that girl ended up being my wife.
Q: What was the best/most exciting Valentine's Day gift you have given someone?
Adrien Broner: I am usually in training camp so that's tough, but I always send gifts. This year, I am sending my girlfriend a huge teddy bear, it's as big as a couch. All I can say is when it comes to Valentine's Day presents, you have to go all out, every time. Every year, presents should be better than the year before.
Johnathon Banks: I gave my mom a large sum of cash on Valentine's Day a couple of years back. The smile on her face was priceless.
Seth Mitchell: When I'm with my wife, I pay attention to comments she makes about things she likes while we are at the mall or out and about. I make mental notes of these things and Valentine's Day is one day out of many days of the year, where I try to surprise her by getting her a gift to make her day special.
Q: Did you ever have a secret Valentine or crush that you always wondered about?
Adrien Broner: All the girls that were cute back then have kids now and are all out of shape...so no.
Johnathon Banks: I don't remember having a secret Valentine, but I have always had a crush on [actress] Halle Berry.
Seth Mitchell: Growing up, [actress] Nia Long was my wish for a Valentine. I thought she was beautiful and I have a thing for dark-skinned women. I thought she was a natural beauty.
Q: When was your first kiss? Who was she and how did it happen?
Adrien Broner: Whew. I don't know. I can't think that far back. It was like really early. I was a 'baby kid.'
Johnathon Banks: It was in the fifth grade, after a choir assembly in an after school program. I was scared and shaking-I kissed her on the lips.
Seth Mitchell: My first kiss was when I was in the second grade. The girl I kissed was in the fourth grade. She lived next door to me. It happened on her porch. We were just talking and one thing led to another. I was scared and I didn't know what I was doing. It took a few more years to perfect my technique.
Q: Even though it will be two days before your fight, who is your Valentine this year and why?
Adrien Broner: My girlfriend. We are going to celebrate Valentine's Day after the fight. It's going to be good.
Johnathon Banks: I don't have one this year, I'll send flowers to my mom like I do every year.
Seth Mitchell: My Valentine this year is my wife. She's my best friend. She knows what makes me happy. She has given me my children, who are my two most precious gifts. I trust her and I can confide in her. She makes me feel special by just being around me.
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Broner vs. Rees, a 12-round fight for Broner's WBC Lightweight World Championship will take place Saturday, February 16 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, R&R Promotions, sponsored by Caesars Atlantic City, Corona and AT&T and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. The co-main event will be a 12-round heavyweight rematch between Johnathon Banks and Seth "Mayhem" Mitchell for Banks' NABO and WBC International Heavyweight titles which is co-promoted by K2 Promotions.
Tickets priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes and service charges, are available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.