He’s back. No, not Floyd Mayweather, JR., I’m talking about the form four-division world champion, Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 32-2, 24 KO’s. The last time we saw Broner in the ring was in Washington, D.C., where he defeated Britain’s Ashley Theophane in rather easing fashion via 9th round TKO. Broner had an opportunity to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) junior welterweight but lost out on that chance at the scale when he came in overweight. Like many fights in recent years where the A-side came in overweight, the fight continued as often times the B-side fighter can’t afford to lose a payday after a full training camp.
When Broner makes his return on February 18th, 2017, he’ll take on a relative unknown in Adrian Granados, 18-4-2, 12 KO’s. Broner will have gone 10 months since his last fight so this is more along the lines of a tuneup fight to get him back into the flow of real boxing before he takes on a higher level of competition. Broner fighting again is a good thing because a few months back he seemed to be in a dark state. In October of 2016, he posted messages via his Instagram account that alluded to thought of suicide. Floyd Mayweather, JR., whom he had previously been beefing with, reached out and we eventually saw posts of the two training together.
Broner has always been a fighter with tremendous talent. The question has always been whether he was truly dedicated enough to the sport? At one point considered the protégé to Floyd Mayweather, JR., Broner saw a few setbacks in defeats to Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. While these aren’t elite level fighters, Broner was highly regarded and viewed as a favorite by many leading up to each fight. These loses don’t have to be the defining moments for his career as he’s only 27 and hasn’t taken a lot of damage as a fighter. Ideally, he may very well just be entering his prime. Could this mean we haven’t seen the best of Broner? Only time will tell.
Having gone 1-1 at welterweight, Broner seems to be set on continuing his career at junior welterweight for the time being. There are plenty of challenges out there for him that could provide beneficial for him and the fans. The man at 140 pounds is without a doubt Terence “Bud” Crawford. I think we’ll need to see a better version of Broner than we’ve seen of late before he’s ready for this fight. That being said, after his current fight there is talk that Scotland’s Ricky Burns is in the pipeline for later in 2017. Crawford has previously defeated Burns via unanimous decision. If Broner Vs Burns takes place and Broner were to win in dominating fashion, or even be the first to stop Burns, I think fans will start calling for a fight between Crawford and Broner prior to Crawford moving up to welterweight.
For now, everything is speculation and as we know with boxing, things change at a moment’s notice. Adrien Broner seems to be in good spirits these days and if he can somehow regain the form that led him to being ranking in many pound-for-pound lists. The Granados fight is our first opportunity to see where Broner is at. I’m sure his confidence leading up to the fight will be at an all-time high, as usual. Let’s just see if his showing can lead to bigger fights and bigger 2017 year for boxing. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the ride.Contact the Feature Writers