It speaks volumes about the modern era of Boxing when a 4 weight ‘world’ champion is widely considered as a disappointment and an under achiever of squandered potential. The rot set in for Adrien Broner back in 2013 when the touted incumbent superstar was on the painful end of a one sided 12 round drubbing at the hands of Marcos Maidana in San Antonio.
Rarely has such glee been engendered by a fighter’s comeuppance as when Cincinnati’s finest was decked, embarrassed and soundly beaten by an Argentinian thrashing machine at the Alamodome that night. The critics had been vindicated. Adrien Broner was just a cardboard Karaoke version of Floyd Mayweather Jr after all. And they had told you so all along.
Prior to this humbling reversal, the man who dubbed himself ‘The Problem’ hadn’t encountered too many whilst cutting a swathe through assorted world class opponents from 130-147 pounds. But while he employed the trademark ‘shoulder roll’ and ghetto bling bombast of his self proclaimed ‘Big Bro’ the naysayers warned that Adrien wasn’t nearly as gifted or, crucially, as hard working as the best fighter of his generation.
Broner rebounded to a degree with a triumvirate of wins but ultimately seemed keener on flushing dollar bills down the toilet or performing oral sex on strippers than on securing his legacy inside the squared circle. Another one sided points loss to Shawn Porter, despite scoring a 12 round knockdown against the run of play, seemed to confirm his lack of commitment to fistic excellence. A subsequent stoppage of transplanted Londoner, Ashley Theophane and a 10 round split decision win over Adrian Granados have done nothing to renew any confidence in the notion that the fighter that most fans love to hate cam yet become a crossover star in the surely imminent post Mayweather era.
The oddsmakers have installed the 27 year old as a 3-1 outsider when he meets undefeated WBC lightweight kingpin, Mickey Garcia ,at the Barclays Centre on Saturday Week and an influx of smart money between now and the first bell looks unlikely.
Odd perhaps, since the naturally smaller Garcia has never competed north of 135 pounds and Broner can boast a WBA welterweight title amongst his catalogue of baubles. For his part, the Californian knockout artist claims that he was unable to nail down a suitable world title fight and Broner represents an ‘interesting opportunity’ while Garcia waits for a unification showdown with WBA lightweight champ, Jorge Linares.
Mikey is not a betting favourite for nothing but perhaps it is unwise to look ahead of the immediate obstacle in front of him on July 29.
Who knows…? Maybe ‘The Problem’ can redeem himself and become part of the solution..