By Chris McHugh: Every boxing fan is now beginning to hear the name of Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner – and with good reason. The young pretender to Floyd Mayweather’s pound-for-pound throne has shown he has the potential to go all the way to the top with an impressive start to his short, but already successful, career.
The rising star also exudes an air of cockiness outside of the ring, and a certain swagger inside the ring, that has all the trademarks of his self-confessed idol ‘Money’ Mayweather. And just like the world’s No.1 boxer, he seems to be able to back up his words in the ring, capturing world titles at two different weights as well as winning 21 of his 25 bouts by knockout – including an 8-round destruction job on Antonio DeMarco to capture the WBC world lightweight belt in his last fight.
However, I believe he faces the toughest test of his career when he meets the under-rated Gavin ‘The Rock’ Rees in Atlantic City next Saturday.
Despite being a former WBA light-welterweight world champion, the Welshman is far from a household name and is understandably a huge underdog against a guy who most people believe is already in the top-10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Since losing his title to Andriy Kotelnik, Rees has stepped down to a division that seems a lot more suited to a man of his stature, and allows him to outwork his opponents with lightning speed as well as still feel comfortable trading blows.
I am by no means saying ‘The Rock’ is going to do the unthinkable and defeat the next golden boy of boxing, but all you Americans who have not had the pleasure of seeing Rees in action, be warned – he is not just turning up for a payday.
The boy can certainly fight, and this is the perfect test for ‘The Problem’ to show whether he really is the man to take over the mantle from the undisputed king of boxing, while Rees will finally get the chance to showcase his talents on the biggest stage of all – and he won’t want to blow it.