SAN DIEGO, February 17, 2017 – When a boxer doesn’t possess the work ethic and discipline to back up solid physical skills, their potential won’t be fully realized.
This is the problem faced by Adrien “The Problem” Broner of Cincinnati. Blessed with plenty of physical talent, his inability to focus on training and his many distractions outside the ring haven’t served him well. Although he’s held titles in multiple divisions, he has lost several due to the inability to make weight and done little lately to impress all but his most devoted fans.
It’s a good thing for Broner he will be fighting in front of those fans in his hometown of Cincinnati Saturday night against Mexican-American Adrian Granados of Chicago. Broner (32-2-0, 24 KOs) will need all the support he can get.
Since his last fight, Broner spent time in jail after being arrested for felony assault, then got nailed with a contempt of court charge for showing up late to a hearing and spending time in jail. He claimed to have emerged a changed, more mature Broner who’s now responsible and fighting for his seven children (with six different mothers) at age 27.
You decide. Saturday’s fight was originally negotiated at a catchweight of 142 pounds. Just a few weeks prior to the fight, Granados revealed that Broner asked him to compete at the full welterweight limit of 147 pounds and he agreed. The WBA title will remain vacant; Ricky Burns of Great Britain holds the current world title.
For several tense moments at today’s weigh-in, it seemed the entire card might fall apart. Three of four fighters failed to make weight, including Granados and both men in the co-main event, Lamont Peterson and David Avanesyan. Improbably only Broner made weight. Officials should have been tipped off when Granados stripped all his clothes off and the scale didn’t budge. Finally the Ohio State Athletic Commission tested the scale, and found it was inaccurate. All fighters weighed in again on a replacement scale and all three made weight with the accurate scale. Granados had to be called back to the weigh-in; he thought he needed to drop a pound and was in the midst of working on it.
Don’t let the record of Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) fool you. He’s been underestimated before. All four of his losses were narrow decisions, including a bout he took on a week’s notice, and he’s never been stopped. Granados is coming off an upset win over rising star Amir Imam in November 2015, and although he’s only had one make work fight since, there’s no reason to believe he’s lost any momentum.
“We finally have a huge opportunity. I feel I paid my dues,” Granados said. “I know Amir Imam wasn’t a fluke. And the robberies on my record were just that, robberies. You get in the ring with Adrian Granados and you’re going to get a hell of a fight.”
Broner’s recent resume is nothing to boast about, although nothing stops AB’s mouth. He lost the WBA super lightweight title before a ridiculous match with a worn out Ashley Theophane last April because Broner couldn’t make weight, a running theme in his career. We have expressed our contempt for Broner and his behavior many times in this column, and we aren’t neutral when it comes to this bout. It would be better for boxing if Adrian Granados handed Broner his head and cleared him out of the sport.
Russia’s Avanesyan (22-1-1, 11 KOs) will defend his WBA world welterweight title against Washington DC’s Peterson (34-3-1, 17 KOs). This is a must win for both fighters, especially for Peterson. His last fight was 16 months ago, a questionable decision against Felix Diaz. Peterson knows what it’s like be on the losing end of a close one. Most observers believe he beat Danny Garcia in April 2015.
Peterson is not concerned about the layoff. “People are going to talk a lot about my layoff, but honestly that only affects people who aren’t always in the gym,” said Peterson, who trains at the Headbangers Boxing Gym in D.C. “I have been in the gym working hard this entire time. I’ve been working on my craft. I got better, and you’ll see [that Saturday night]. I have no concern about ring rust. It’s not even a thought in my head. I would be shocked if that was a problem for me.”
This will be the 33-year-old Peterson’s first fight at the full welterweight limit, and he could find himself hunting down Garcia again for a rematch after Garcia faces Keith Thurman on March 4. It’s a fight many fans would love to see. But the active Avanesyan doesn’t intend to make it easy. If he’s going to win, it will be early; a grind it out fight favors Peterson.
Showtime’s tripleheader opens with a 10-round light heavyweight bout between Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KOs), of Staten Island, New York, and Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2, 14 KOs), of Fort Washington, Maryland. The 2012 Olympian Browne is coming off a 10 month layoff after a disputed split decision win over Radivoje Kalajdzic; Williams is coming off a tough loss against WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson. Williams got the opportunity to fight Stevenson after an upset knockout win over Edwin Rodriguez. If Williams can muster the same firepower against Browne it will make for a dramatic start to the night.
It is a free viewing weekend for Showtime, so take advantage and enjoy some boxing action on the house.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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