I am not the brightest bulb on the tree. But even I have picked up on a trend which calls for investigation: Adrien Broner, an HBO mainstay, showing up at and on Showtime events.
The Cinci kid was present in the house at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, for the card put on by Floyd Mayweather, presented on Showtime, and topped by a K9 Bundrage-Ishe Smith main event. Then, the next week, Broner was ringside at another Showtime card, this one in Las Vegas and topped by a Richar Abril-Sharif Bogere scrap.
So, is Broner making like Mayweather, jumping ship to Showtime? Because that's what the rumor mill is saying…
What about it, trainer-mentor-father figure Mike Stafford? Is Adrien Broner following Floyd's footsteps to Showtime?
"He's a fight fan, that's all, he happened to be in Vegas, went to the fight, that's all," Stafford told me. "He talked to Floyd in Detroit, Floyd invited him to come for a week in Vegas, that's all it was." Just a rumor, then? Stafford chuckled. "It was a Golden Boy event, we happened to be there. I mean, I think that's Showtime, trying to show him some love."
Stafford said it's looking like June 15 will be the date of Broner's next scrap. Boxrec lists it at the Mandalay Bay, against TBA. And who might TBA be, I wondered. "It's depending on Ricky Burns, and some other people," he said. "I'm pretty sure Adrien wants to unify." Burns, a 29-year-old Scot, holds the WBO lightweight crown. He was slated to fight IBF champ Miguel Vazquez on March 16, but that whole card blew up, because of…well, boxing being boxing. The Frank Warren-promoted event was shifted to April 20, and the Burns-Vazquez face-off is supposed to take place then.
The Broner vs. TBA fight will run on HBO then?
"I'm pretty sure it will be," Stafford told me. "It could change. He's just fighting." Does that mean he's on a fight by fight contract with HBO? Yes, Stafford indicated. "It's depending on Golden Boy, I'm pretty sure, and depending on the money."
So, it looks like Broner is in a leverage sweet spot, then? "You got to get it while you can," Stafford said. "The kid just wants to fight, he just wants to win. We don't want to sit on a shelf, with contract stuff."
Yes, Stafford said, if he had to guess, he'd think they'd be getting ready for Burns in June. What about Vazquez? I admitted I'm not a fan of his fighting style, and Stafford agreed. "Fans don't want to watch him," he said. "Burns will be ready to fight. He'll have enough time to get ready, no excuses, enough money is going to be there, just come on with it." Burns held a super feather crown and a deal was almost signed for Broner to fight him for it in November 2011. But Burns deliberated and decided to go up to 135. Whispers resounded that he was ducking Broner. Instead of Broner, Burns met on the downside Michael Katsidis on Nov. 5, 2011, and won the interim WBO lightweight crown. He's beaten Paulus Moses and Kevin Mitchell since. Last October, he said he wanted to fight 13-0 Liam Walsh, and then do Broner. Walsh got hurt and a Dec. 15 Burns-Walsh tussle was scrapped after Walsh was in a car accident. Jose Ocampo was to sub in, but that fell through when his trainer died. "Burns has been sitting around," Stafford noted.
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Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?