Last Saturday’s fight between former four-division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) and Jovanie Santiago (14-1, 10 KOs) averaged 288,000 viewers in their fight on Showtime from the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Conn.
The low numbers have to be viewed as worrisome if you’re Showtime because those are a huge departure from the kind of ratings the once-popular Broner brought in the past.
On the same night last weekend, the ESPN telecast between Oscar Valdez and WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt average 771,000 viewers. Those are the kind of ratings that Showtime likely would love to have had for the Broner-Santiago fight.
After having the contract weight moved from 140 to 147, Broner labored to a 12 round unanimous decision win over Santiago. Broner looked worse than rusty in winning a questionable decision.
Santiago outworked and outslugged Broner every step of the way, and the judges’ scoring looked like they were backward. They scored it for Broner as follows:
Those scores would make more sense if Santiago were given the win than Broner.
If Showtime will stick it out with Broner and continue to televise his fights, they’re going to need to raise yardstick for what is acceptable as an opponent for him.
Unless Showtime is good with Broner fighting no-names and bringing terrible ratings, they need to be firm and let him know that he’s got to fight top 5-level world-class opposition if he wants to headline.
Broner-Santiago wouldn’t have been a bad fight if it were the opening match on a card headlined by a world champion. But it was a poor choice for the main event, even during the pandemic.
Unclear how much Broner was paid to headline on Showtime, but the ratings he brought in, it’s hard to imagine the network getting their money’s worth. I mean, they could fighters that could likely come in at a lower price than Broner and bring in similar low ratings.
Broner looks so far off from the talent that we see from the elite-level fighters at 140; it doesn’t seem realistic for him to accomplish his goal of capturing a world title in his comeback to the sport.
AB had been out of the ring for two years before last Saturday’s fight against Santiago, but he fought the same way in his last four fights before his long layoff. Broner looked just as poor in these previous four contests as he did against Santiago:
- Manny Pacquiao
- Jessie Vargas
- Mikey Garcia
- Adrien Granados
It seems obvious that Broner won’t be improving his game, and that means he’s never going to win another world title. If Showtime keeps Broner around, he’ll be good at just getting attention to his fights with his trash-talking rather than from him building interest by performing at a high level.
Earlier in Broner’s career, when he was fighting at 130 and 135, he got boxing fans excited about seeing him because he was knocking everyone out and looking like a Floyd Mayweather Jr copy.
But he’s not been the same since he moved up to 147, and he’s lost a lot from his game in terms of his punch output and speed.
Showtime would do well by insisting that Broner’s next opponent be one of these fighters:
- Regis Prograis
- Arnold Barboza
- Viktor Postol
- Jose Zepeda
- Jose Pedraza
- Pablo Cesar Cano
- Ivan Baranchyk
- Mario Barrios
- Rances Barthelemy
Those are the type of fighters that will push Broner, and they’d good way of testing whether it’s worth it to keep him around. If Broner can’t beat those kinds of fighters, he probably shouldn’t be headlining any longer.
Prograis is the best of that bunch, and he really wants to face Broner. The winner of a fight between those two will be ready to challenge for a title. It’s doubtful that Broner or his adviser will agree to take the fight with Prograis next because he’s clearly not going to win that fight.