I guess I was one of those that hoped Adrien Broner might mature a little bit in defeat, use such a humbling as a learning curve and come back not only stronger but having had a much needed “attitude adjustment.”
Like so many people constantly say about “The Problem”, it’s not necessarily ability that’s the issue for him – he has natural talent in spades – rather his attitude, arrogance and out of ring histrionics and theatrics that have given to so many people disliking him and willing he be knocked out whenever he gets between the ropes.
Since that loss to Marcos Maidana a little over 18 months ago – as he still seems to still be struggling to find his most effective weight – we have witnessed 3 unremarkable and routine decisions against Carlos Molina, Emmanuel Taylor and an evidently finished John Molina Jr, that have barely seen Broner get out of 1st gear.
So, I’ve been a little surprised that Broner seems to be so dismissive of the magnitude of the task in hand when he steps up against Shawn Porter on June 20th at the MGM Grand as part of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, casually saying it’ll just be another day for him and seemingly overlooking his fellow American.
There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that Porter is his most credible and dangerous opponent since he suffered the loss to Maidana, especially when one considers what Porter did to Paulie Malignaggi. Broner struggled badly at times against the New Yorker when he captured his 3rd divisional world title and was given fits earning the close and contentious SD. Porter blew Paulie away inside 4 rounds.
Of course, there are many other factors that could influence the outcome of the fight – notably the 144 lb catch weight and 10 lb rehydration clause that will ensure Porter weighs no more than 154 lb on fight night. Maybe that’s what is making Broner so confident and dismissive of his opponents chances?
However – at the media scrum, it was made pretty clear that the catch weight was something Broner did NOT want to talk about.
Speaking to assembled press via ThaBoxingVoice.com, Broner was asked if he’s feeling any pressure in the build up to the fight;
“Anxious? No. Am I ready to fight? Of course. I’m not rushing it, you know? It’s just gonna be a normal day for me. It’s gotta happen.”
Making all the right noises about his future and the fights he’s seeking, Broner spoke from behind shades, which always makes a judgement on a speaker’s truth a little harder to call!
Asked why Porter for this fight? He said;
“I wanna fight the best and to be the best, you gotta beat the best. He (Porter) wasn’t the only other option out there, he just the one who took the fight. I wanted Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Maidana, again (and) Matthysse. I wanna fight them all but right now we got Shawn Porter in front of us.”
Due to their similar styles and based largely on the Maidana fight – many have labelled Broner as the underdog going into this clash, just by virtue of the fact that the marauding, swarming tactics and intensity of Maidana are very similar to what Porter is himself is expected to bring.
Probed on this and how it feels not going in favourite with the odds-makers, Broner said;
“Oh, man. It’s okay. I blame myself you know because the only reason that I’m the underdog is because….(pauses for a while) the WAY I fought (the) Maidana fight. You know, don’t get me wrong – Maidana beat me, but I beat myself in that fight.”
“I guess everybody feel like his (Porter) style is ‘similar’ but you can’t even put those two in the same kind of group.”
“Every fight from here on out is the biggest fight of my career and right now this is the biggest fight of my career. It is what it is, man. I’m ready and I’m sharp and I’m ready for whatever on June 20.”
Something just doesn’t seem to fit with how he’s coming across to me, though maybe I’m imagining it?
Porter has all the tools and strength to bully and dominate Broner, possibly even stop him. That’s obvious. Though perhaps what isn’t so obvious is how badly the catch-weight clause and re-hydration limit is going to impact upon a fighter who has been up at 154 lb before – irrespective of if Kenny Porter has stated his son will be fine.
The fact Broner flatly refused to talk about the catch-weight subject when asked also tells you a lot about where he’s potentially drawing so much of this confidence ahead of the fight from.
Only on June 20th will we find out how much of an issue it proves to be and how drained Porter looks.