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Adrien Broner – the showman’s showdown

broner poseAdrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana attracted a record number of viewers according to the host network and it provided an answer to the question whether a character like Adrien Broner is good for boxing. It also answered the question whether Broner is a great boxer as the hype (mostly self-propelled) claimed.

Marcos Maidana has been in high profile fights before and he has a substantial Argentine/Latino following but he was hardly the main draw in this event. It was Adrien Broner although he had more people rooting against him than for him. Most of the viewers wanted to see Broner served right and they did not have to wait long. He has more “anti-fans” than supporters. Adrien has built a stereotype image for himself and has taken great pains to annoy everyone he can with his antics.

If this was some sort of a reverse marketing strategy, it succeeded. Broner is a big name already and this whooping did not hurt his credentials very much. No one took seriously his boasting anyway and people still love to hate him. He is a hype creation but what transpired during his downfall is that he has certain boxing qualities as well.

Marcos Maidana is not just a brawler and a swarmer; he is a good boxer and a smart fighter. His three punch combos, although wildly telegraphed, usually include a body shot and create an environment in which most opponents are preoccupied with defense instead of counter attacks. When Broner countered, it seemed he did it theatrically only to show off instead of trying to really hurt his opponent. Perhaps he realized he couldn’t scare Maidana with power shots and went for speed and showboating. Still he allowed his showmanship obsession to get in the way of his boxing. Broner was busy complaining to the judge, talking to his corner through the ropes telling them he is fine, communicating with the audience with gestures/mimics and fighting in the meantime when he had no other option.

Even in defeat Broner passed certain tests – he showed he can take a good shot over and over and he can fight under pressure. It is really a heavy burden for an unbeaten fighter to be knocked down early and then get beaten up systematically, but Broner survived it. He needs to clean up his act and mainly he needs to start believing in his own boxing ability. In this fight he simply lost self confidence and did not even try to beat Maidana although he was able to out-box him at times. Broner’s speed and coordination need more discipline. He may not have the power for this weight class and he never impressed me as a puncher but he has the speed, it is up to him and his management to choose the right division. He has the ability and talent; he should lose the clown disposition and start training and fighting seriously. Broner needs to forget about all distractions/illusions and concentrate on boxing because boxing needs all the attractions it can get.

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