Adrien Broner says he’s going to be “explosive” like he was in the past when he returns to the ring from a long two-year layoff to fight replacement opponent Michael Williams Jr on February 25th on BLK Prime PPV at the Gateway Center Arena in College Park, Georgia.’
AB didn’t look good in his last fight two years ago against Jovanie Santiago, winning a controversial 12 round unanimous decision in February 2021. Santiago has since been wiped out by Mario Barrios and Gary Antuanne Russell. The fact that Broner had such a hard time against Santiago shows how far he’s slipped as a fighter.
This is an important fight for the 33-year-old Broner because it’s the first of three with his multi-fight contract with BLK Prime, and he must get off to a strong start by either stopping the little-known 23-year-old Williams Jr (20-1, 13 KOs) or dominating him in winning a wide decision.
Broner was originally scheduled to face Ivan Redkach, but unfortunately that fight fell out, and he was replaced by Hank Lundy. He, too, needed to be replaced, and Broner is now fighting someone a lot younger and arguably more able-bodied than he would have had.
It’s been a long, long time since the former four-division world champion Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) fit the description of being “explosive” in one of his fights, perhaps dating as far back as 2012 when he destroyed Eloy Perez in four rounds at super featherweight.
Back then, Broner was able to melt down to 130, which enabled him to overpower his smaller position. Since Adrien moved up to 140 and 147 a decade ago, his power has disappeared, and he’s had to win fights by outworking his opponents.
“He’s a good fighter. I actually like Regis [Prograis]. I talk to him all the time. We know we’re eventually going to have to fight,” said Adrien Broner to Fight Hub TV about his planning on challenging WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis soon.
“Right now, I’m not looking at Regis. I’m not looking past Michael [Williams Jr]. That’s my main focus right now, Michael. I’m not worrying about nobody but Michael Williams Jr.,” an irritated-sounding Broner said.
“I’m not worrying about who’s coming up; I’m not worried about who’s coming down. I’m just worried about my task at hand on February 25th. Everything I see, I will exploit on February 25th.
“My mental is very strong right now, and everyone will love the performance I put on February 25th. My objective right now is to get past Michael. After that, we can talk about 140 and other fights.
“This is definitely the second half of my career, and I can’t wait to put on a show. I can’t wait. I wouldn’t say I’m lucky because everything I’ve accomplished in boxing and gotten out of it, I’ve worked hard for.
“I don’t call that luck. That’s hard work. I was definitely put in great situations and positions, and I took advantage of them.
“I’m more focused and more mature. On February 25th, it’s going to be a great night. That’s what I was aiming for. I was shooting for the stars, and I was making it happen,” said Broner about his earlier success when he was still capturing world titles 10+ years ago before he began going downhill as a fighter beginning in 2012.
“I just love the sport, and I feel I’ve got a lot more to go, and I’ll be champion again,” said Adrien. “This next run, I’m set for three fights. My main focus is February 25th, and after that, we’re going to go back to the drawing board.
“I’ll probably go back down to 140 lbs, but this next fight is at 147,” said Broner when asked where he plans on becoming a world champion again. “I’ve fought at 140 and 147. I take their punches great. I feel good, and I can’t wait to perform on February 25th.
“They’re going to get a more mature Adrien Broner and a more focused Adrien Broner. I’m going to come back and be explosive just like I was. We got our eyes on the prize and doing what I got to do to get my victory on February 25th,” said Broner.