Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Did Errol Spence Jr. really wobble Adrien Broner in sparring?

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Memories are funny things in that two persons experiencing the same memory can recall it quite differently.

Such as, Errol Spence Jr. told Mark Kriegel of Showtime that he smashed Adrien Broner in a big way when they sparred in 2014.

“Basically, we were sparring and I hit him with a good, clean shot and he got hurt,” Spence told Kriegel, in “THE REVEAL with Mark Kriegel,” and the session had to be stopped.

Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach chimed in to, and told Keith Idec his memory of the November 2014 event. “(Spence is) a very good fighter and he knocked out Adrien Broner in the gym,” Roach said to Idec. “I was there. He was out. It’s not a lie. Broner had no idea where he was. He didn’t go down but he was walking around (out on his feet) and they had to stop it. Then Broner wanted to finish and they wouldn’t let him finish. And then it almost turned into a street fight.”

True or false? Well, Broner coach Mike Stafford tells RING he recalls the situation differently.

Stafford, the Cincy-based tutor who has been with Broner since the boxer was in short pants, said pros were present during this session in Colorado Springs, helping amateurs get seasoning. Errol was a bigger guy, Broner smaller, but Broner worked with Spence anyway. “They worked good together,” said Stafford, who told me it was his idea to bring pros in to help the young ‘uns excel. Barry Hunter was there, Roach too and Joe Zanders was the head coach of the amateurs then. Lamont Peterson, Peter Quillin, Broner, they went to Colorado. “Errol had no sparring, really, beyond Lamont Peterson, so ‘AB’ was doing him a favor. Errol and AB were sparring; there was no ref. Both were hitting each other with good shots. Then Errol hit Adrien after the bell, the same way (Jose) Uzacategui hit (Andre) Dirrell (last weekend). It was like that. Adrien was staggered. Errol’s saying he got knocked down. Errol should have said what happened. People think there were like two minutes left in sparring. This was between two fighters. At the end of the day, they need to make each other better. It’s like Errol is trying to make a name for himself.”

I asked, then, what Stafford thinks will happen Saturday, when the Texan meets the Brit IBF 147-pound beltholder Kell Brook in England, with the winner being seen perhaps as the best in the welterweight division, or second in line behind WBA/WBC titlist Keith Thurman. “I’m not gonna comment,” Stafford said. “I’m kind of pissed Spence was talking about that sparring.”

Stafford said that sparring is sparring. It is what it is and what happens in sparring should stay in sparring. He noted that Adrien knocked Shawn Porter down a few times in sparring but, when they fought, Porter got the “W.” “What matters is what happens when the hot lights come on,” the coach said.

“I still love Errol; AB loves Errol. There’s no no beef but I need to set the record straight,” Stafford said. “It was the last round, of four, and Adrien wanted another round. In my gym, in Cincinnati, we would have done another round!”




In Brooklyn, we would have done another round…OF SHOTS! Well, except for Michael Woods. Since he doesn’t partake, bring him seltzer, please.




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