Adrien Broner vows to grab due respect against Mikey Garcia
Adrien Broner is steadfast: He’s underappreciated.
That’s OK, however, because Broner (33-2, 24 knockouts) promises to earn respect from fans and media alike in a marquee 140-pound matchup on July 29 against current WBC lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) on Showtime.
“They don’t put enough respect on my name for all my accomplishments in the ring,” said Broner, 27, on a Thursday conference call to officially kick off the fight promotion. “I’m the one the kids wanna be now. They wanted to be like Floyd (Mayweather Jr.) when I was growing up. Now the kids wanna be like Adrien Broner.
“It’s OK, though. This fight is just to show people I’m still here and I still can take over boxing after Mayweather and (Manny) Pacquiao are done.”
There were high hopes for Broner after he grabbed a title in a third weight class with a decision over Paulie Malignaggi in 2013. “The Problem” displayed pulverizing power at 130 pounds and 135 and, combined with his larger-than-life charisma, he had star written all over him.
But then Broner ran into Marcos Maidana’s hammer fists before a lackluster decision defeat to Shawn Porter erased any wishes of Broner carrying the torch as the face of boxing.
“Sometimes I fell short but I got right back up and keep fighting,” said Broner, who later won a title at 140 pounds. “I fought Adrian Granados because people feel like I’m not taking tough fights. I’m taking another tough fight after that in Mikey Garcia.”
Broner indeed feasted on some subpar competition following the Porter setback. First up was Khabib Allakhverdiev for a vacant 140-pound title in 2015, who Broner stopped in 12. Next up was Ashley Theophane, who Broner also stopped last year. He lost his title at the scale, however, and, afterward, reported to jail for 30 days for appearing late to court for a previous offense.
Other than the Allakhverdiev win, Broner hasn’t fought at 140 pounds since a 2014 win over Emmanuel Taylor. There are big questions whether the brash fighter can even make weight against Garcia. After all, Broner was due to fight Granados at 140 but the contracted weight was switched to 147 pounds a month out.
“I have no problem with making the weight,” Broner promised. “This fight gives me a reason to make 140 pounds. I’ll make the weight no problem, just when I fought for the title. I’ll make the weight easy.”
He returned this year with a split nod over Granados in a good action fight and then, last week, the Cincinnati native was back in jail for three days for charges related to an outstanding warrant following a disorderly conduct incident at a Kentucky bar in 2014.
He says it’s all behind him now: the legal troubles, the issues at the scale, the non-stop partying. Broner, if you believe him, is finally ready to fulfill his vast promise. And make no mistake about it: Broner possess oodles of natural athleticism.
“Once Adrien Broner is focused and on track, nobody can beat me. Only I can beat myself,” he said. “A lot has changed. I got older; I got more wise, more mature, and I’m just focused on doing everything the correct way. The first half (of my career) I tried to do things my way. I could have done better. I want to try doing things correctly.”
If Broner is going to score the upset over Garcia, one thing is certain: There must finally be no shortcuts in training camp.
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