In May, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Mayweather Promotions counterpart Leonard Ellerbe announced the completion of a deal matching Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Canelo Alvarez in a bout for Alvarez’s RING junior middleweight championship on Showtime Pay Per View from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
On Thursday, the duo did the same, having RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia put his WBA and WBC belts on the line against RING No. 1-rated Lucas Matthysse on the Mayweather-Alvarez undercard.
Now that each of those deals is out of the way, Schaefer believes that perhaps the sport’s next major fight would be one featuring newly-crowned WBA welterweight beltholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner (27-0, 22 knockouts) against hammer-fisted Argentine Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) as early as this year.
“I personally think that now that Mayweather and Canelo are done, and that Garcia and Matthysse is done, I think that Broner against Maidana would be the next biggest fight that you can make in the sport,” said Schaefer.
“Winning is important, but winning is not everything, it’s about entertainment, and I can tell you that a potential Broner-Maidana fight would be as entertaining as any fight that I can think of.”
Rated No. 8 among THE RING’s top 10 fighters, pound-for-pound, Broner, 23, already was a two-division titlewinner who was riding a six-fight knockout streak when he came up with last month’s WBA-title-winning split-decision victory over Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi in his 147-pound debut.
Meanwhile, Maidana, 30, is coming off last month’s sixth-round knockout of Josesito Lopez, representing his third straight stoppage win since falling by unanimous decision to current IBF welterweight beltholder Devon Alexander in his own 147-pound debut in February of last year.
“I said after Adrien’s becoming the welterweight world champion that this [Maidana] is a fight which, as a fight fan, I would like to see. Adrien took it actually a step further and challenged his fans to pick his next opponent, and there were some polls out there, I think I saw it on THE RING, as to who fans would want to see Adrien fight next,” said Schaefer of Broner, who, like Mayweather, is advised by Al Haymon.
“I think that the runaway favorite fighter that fans would like to see Adrien fight was Marcos Maidana. So that’s going to be a fight which I will be discussing with Team Broner and with Al Haymon and Team Maidana, and with Showtime, to see if this is something which we can pull off. This would be a huge, huge, huge fight. So I’ll be working on it and see if it’s a fight that can happen.”
Maidana certainly has made it public his desire to face Broner, to the point of having gone after the younger man on his Twitter account.
“Has anyone heard from Adrien Broner(?)” wrote Maidana, later referencing Broner’s amateur rapper status and his recent tour with the artist Lil Wayne. “Let’s get this straight with Broner. If he doesn’t wanna fight me, he quits the WBA title and I’ll take care of him by buying his rap record.”
Broner retaliated with his own tweets, writing, in part, “A lot of people talking s–t, but what happen when I f–k this Argentine mf up den what?”
“Maidana’s the mandatory, so he won’t have to look for Adrien,” said Stafford, on Tuesday. “He ain’t hard to find. We’ll be right there in the ring. We don’t hide from nobody.”
Broner rose from lightweight, skipping the 140-pound division, to challenge Malignaggi. He earned his first belt — the WBO’s junior lightweight — by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November of 2011. In November of last year, Broner’s stopped Antonio DeMarco in the eighth round to earn the WBC lightweight title.
“The question is going to be whether Adrien is going to stay at 147, because he still is the 135-pound champion. He’s sort of leap-frogged over the 140 division. The question is does he want to go to 140 and maybe win a belt there, then go back to 147,” said Schaefer.
“These are all conversations that we need to have. But I think that the key is going to be that Adrien Broner is the kind of fighter who doesn’t care. He’ll fight anybody. So is Maidana. He’ll fight anybody.Broner-Maidana is I think one of the biggest fights you can make in the sport.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]