Former four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner opens up in an extensive interview with Sports Emmy® Award-Winning writer Mark Kriegel as he prepares for his welterweight showdown against top-rated contender Adrian Granados Saturday, Feb. 18, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
This interview is the latest in a reoccurring SHOWTIME Sports® digital series, THE REVEAL with Mark Kriegel, featuring exclusive and in-depth interviews with boxing’s emerging stars.
Broner is one of the most accomplished and outspoken young stars in the sport of boxing. After picking up world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner earned a belt in a fourth weight division (140 pounds) in October 2015 when he defeated tough Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev via a stoppage in the 12th round in his last hometown appearance. He’s 9-1 in world title fights and this will be the 15th time he fights as a pro in front of his hometown crowd.
Below are bites from the interview:
KRIEGEL: “You’ve been around a lot of death. You’ve seen a lot.”
KRIEGEL: “Do you care to remember for me?”
BRONER: “I remember, but I try to forget. You know, I found out the hard way. And I’ve seen that I gotta maneuver different and that’s why I’m maneuvering differently. That’s why I put as many positive people in front of me as possible.”
MARK KRIEGEL: “Let me ask you about this year. It’s been a tough year for you. You did 30 days for contempt. What was that like?”
ADRIEN BRONER: “You know, I did a year at that place. Fighting a case.”
KRIEGEL: “As a juvenile?”
BRONER: “No, they tried me as an adult. I was only 17 at the time… I missed on the pre-trials. Boom. I beat it. I get out and I become Adrien Broner. My lifestyle is totally different. And then, one day, I wake up back in the same place—I was in one of the same [cells] I was in when I did the year.”
KRIEGEL: “What did you tell yourself?”
BRONER: “I made it the best that I can make it. But, you know, when I was in there. I used to be by myself. I used to try to be by myself as much as possible. But, I told them to put me in general population—because they wanted to put me in protective custody. I can’t do 30 days like that… I helped the whole unit…I just made it a better place at the time. If somebody needs something to eat, I gave them something to eat.”
Broner vs Granados on Feb 18
Former four-division world champion Adrien Broner hosted a press conference in his hometown of Cincinnati Tuesday as he prepares to return home to face hard-hitting contender Adrian Granados on Saturday, February 18 from the Cintas Center at Xavier University and live on SHOWTIME®.
The press conference featured Mayweather Promotions President Floyd Mayweather, who will help promote the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING card that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by About Billions Promotions and Mayweather Promotions in association with TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $100, $75, $50 and $30, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
Here is what the participants had to say on Tuesday:
“I’ve fought at home a lot and to come back with another fight like this is an awesome feeling. I know it’s going to be a great night. It’s going to be a great night for Cincinnati and for my career.
“We’ve brought Granados into camp for sparring before but I’m a much different fighter now. I know he is too and I think it’s going to make an exciting, explosive fight. Granados is no pushover. He’s not an opponent that anybody can just pick up a win. I knew Adrian Granados will bring the best out of Adrien Broner.
“I know that I have what it takes to take over boxing. To do that I need to focus 100 percent on boxing and crafting my skills. That’s my mindset and that’s what I’m focused on.
“I’m here to do less talking, and more fighting and smiling. I’m going to put on a great show on February 18. It’s all about putting on great performances and winning.
“I go into every fight with the confidence to be myself. If I do what I have to do, I can be victorious. Granados is coming to fight. I have to be focused because he won’t lay down.
“It’s just about me doing better. It’s about changing for the better and being as positive as can be. I’m not bringing negativity to anything I do.
“I won’t have any distractions fighting at home. I know how to block everything out and stay focused on what’s in front of me.
“I’ve been on the downside and the upside of boxing, but my name has made it through. I’m not going to take my talent for granted and I’m going to change for the better.
“It’s great to have Floyd and Mayweather Promotions involved in this event. Floyd has always supported me and I owe him a lot. He’s really been a mentor to me. He’s helped me stay level-headed throughout everything.
“Right now I’m all about my future, my kids, my team and putting on a great performance as a boxer. I’m always going to be entertaining, because I’m always going to be me.”
“I’m confident that I’m more determined than any other fighter I’ll face. I’ll also have a few tricks up my sleeve on fight night. I haven’t shown everything in my arsenal.
“I was in camp with Adrien Broner when he fought Marcos Maidana, so I know him pretty well. I’ve been compared to Maidana, but everyone has their own style. I’m going to get this win my own way.
“I’m focused on what I have to do as a fighter. We have different weapons and we can mix it up and fight in different ways. The accumulation of my punches can wear a fighter down.
“It’s a great honor to be here and I’ve let Adrien know that I’m grateful for the opportunity. This is a great fight for boxing. There are a lot of great big fights out there and our fight isn’t as well-known, but if you know boxing, you know that I come to win.
“Adrien Broner is a great fighter. He’s a four-division champion and that’s no fluke. He’s fought everybody at the championship level. Now he’s giving me this opportunity and I’ve let it be known that the best man will win.
“We’re going to wait and see round by round. I don’t like going to the judges’ scorecard and fighting in his hometown, I’m going to try to get a knockout. I have to do anything in my power to keep the fight out of the judges’ hands.
“I’ve mostly fought at home in Chicago but I’ve always wanted a tough challenge on the road like this. I’m excited to step into someone’s backyard and be the villain who ruins the day.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER, President of Mayweather Promotions
“These are going to be two hungry lions in the ring, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s about giving the people entertainment. Adrien Broner is flashy, flamboyant and outspoken. He’s still young and has a lot to go out there and prove. He doesn’t just want to show that he’s one of the best, but that he’s the best in the sport.
“You have to go out there every day and prove you’re the best. Adrian Granados is always in action-packed fights and he brings excitement. This is a great matchup. These guys know that they aren’t fighting pushovers. It’s the best versus the best.
“Both fighters have great trainers and great teams. I’ve helped pave the way for these guys, but so have these trainers. They’ve helped bring these men to this point. I think they both have potential to be stars.
“The sport of boxing is so interesting and there are so many great fights coming up. This is an important fight for the sport in a stretch where there are a lot of exciting matchups.
“I’m proud of Adrien Broner. He’s had a minor setback leading to major comeback. He’s going to come back better than ever. But he can’t overlook this opponent. You can look up and all of a sudden you’re down.
“No one can overlook Adrian Granados. It’s a really good matchup. This guy definitely reminds me of Marcos Maidana. I don’t know if he can punch like him, but the style and aggressiveness is there. He’s always in action packed fights.
“Adrien has speed and power, but I’m looking to see Adrien throwing combinations. That’s what some fighters lack nowadays. We think too much about ‘Money’ Mayweather, and forget about ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd. He had a 90 percent knockout rate. I think we need to see an aggressive Adrien that will throw combinations while staying smart.
“I love being a promoter and giving back to young fighters. I didn’t become a promoter to make money. I did it because I want to make money for fighters and make their dreams come true. My company is easy to work with, because we’re only focused on the fighters.
“I want both fighters to give Cincinnati and the whole world a great fight. You’re young, hungry and dedicated. Show the world what you’re about.”
RAVONE LITTLEJOHN, CEO of About Billions
“This is going to be a great fight for the city of Cincinnati. Adrien is undefeated when he fights in his hometown. We can’t wait to do it again.
“It’s been a year since Adrien’s last fight in Cincinnati and we’re excited that the time is now. It’s going to be a tough fight. Adrien knows that Granados isn’t easy at all.
“We’ve brought Granados in as a sparring partner before so we know what we’re up against. I think this is a perfect matchup for Adrien and the fans to enjoy a great night of action.”
LEONARD ELLERBE, CEO of Mayweather Promotions
“We know on February 18 that Adrien Broner is going to bring his best. He’s one of the top stars in the sport and I know that he’s going to put on a great show for his city.
“Adrian Granados has only lost by split or majority decision, no one has ever dominated this man. We know that he’s going to be there to make this a competitive fight.
“We’re looking forward to working with About Billions on making this a great, sold-out event. This venue is fabulous and we think it will be electric on fight night.”
MIKE STAFFORD, Broner’s Trainer
“Adrien has been training hard for this fight. This is about winning. Adrien wants to win and he wants to compete. This is a going to be an exciting and explosive fight.
“This is going to be a great fight with a great undercard. It’s going to be a fun atmosphere and we hope that everyone comes out and supports us on February 18.”
GEORGE HERNANDEZ, Granados’ Trainer
“Mike Stafford and I go all the way back to about 1978 at the Olympic training center. We’ve trained a lot of guys together and I know him very well. I’ve come here to bring fighters for sparring since Adrien Broner was a little kid.
“Adrien Broner has the big name and every fighter needs a big name so that he can take that step up. It’s a business and we’ll mean business inside the ring.”
Adrien Broner battles Adrian Granados on February 18 on Showtime
“I’m back at home and excited to get back in the ring,” said Broner. “I’m ready to fight. The boxing game isn’t the same without me. Granados is a solid guy who beat someone that no one thought he would beat. I know him well and I know there’s no doubt he’ll be ready to fight.”
“I’m fully prepared to go to war with Adrien Broner on February 18 in Cincinnati,” said Granados. “I’m very thankful to Tom Brown of TGB promotions and my manager Andy Zak for helping me get this big opportunity on SHOWTIME. I’m training hard and I will come out victorious on fight night.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by About Billions Promotions and Mayweather Promotions in association with TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $100, $75, $50 and $30, not including applicable fees, and are on sale today at 3 p.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
“This is going to be a great fight and a great step forward for our company,” said Ravone Littlejohn, CEO of About Billions. “Cincinnati appreciates when Adrien fights at home. Boxing provides a thrill that exceeds other professional sports in our area.”
“Mayweather Promotions is looking forward to co-promoting another event with About Billions, as Adrien Broner looks to put on a big show in his hometown of Cincinnati,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We’re anticipating a big crowd to support Adrien as he takes on the very tough Adrian Granados, in addition to the exciting undercard bouts that should make this a great night of boxing at Cintas Center and live on SHOWTIME.”
“Adrian Granados has demonstrated his skill and his ability to compete in this sport multiple times,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “This is proven with his record of huge upsets. I am confident that February 18 will be no different. It will be another win and another big upset.”
At 27-years-old, Broner is one of the most accomplished and outspoken young stars in the sport today. After picking up world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner earned a belt in a fourth weight division in October 2015 when he defeated tough Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev via a stoppage in the 12th and final round in his last hometown appearance. Broner boasts a 9-1 record in world title fights on his way to picking up belts in four weight divisions. He will be fighting in his hometown for the 15th time in a pro career that has seen him defeat the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Ashley Theophane, John Molina Jr., Antonio DeMarco and Gavis Rees. Broner compiled a 300-19 amateur record under the guidance of his trainer Mike Stafford, who continues to train him throughout his pro career.
A tough fighter representing Chicago, Granados enters this fight on a five-bout winning streak, including his impressive stoppage over then unbeaten top contender Amir Imam in November 2015. Most recently, the 27-year-old dominated Ariel Vasquez over eight rounds in July. Granados has picked up wins over previously unbeaten fighters Mark Salser, Antonio Canas, Antton Slaughter and Imam. Granados’ defeats have all come in close contests and by either split or majority decisions. With a win over Broner, Granados can position himself for his first career world title shot.