SAN DIEGO, September 6, 2014 – If Adrien Broner fails to live up to his considerable potential, the 25-year-old junior welterweight from Cincinnati only has to look into the mirror for someone to blame.
Broner (28-1, 22 KOs) will headline a card in his hometown Saturday night, the first time he has competed at home in two years, against opponent Emmanuel Taylor (18-2-0, 12 KOs) of Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. Showtime broadcasts the fight and major undercards starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Broner is a fighter with tremendous natural talent. He made a quick rise through the ranks, winning belts in three divisions. He was criticized for a lack of upper tier opponents on the way up, but no one could deny his speed, power and aggression. But his antics and lifestyle outside the ring plus a lack of work ethic caught up with him. He struggled against Daniel Ponce de Leon, and nearly lost to an aggressive Paulie Malignaggi. The writing was on the wall.
Broner needed a good showing against Marcos Maidana in December 2013; instead, Maidana battered Broner, knocking him down twice for the first time in Broner’s career. The win set Maidana up to fight Floyd Mayweather last September; the fight was so compelling that Mayweather gave Maidana a rematch, scheduled next weekend.
Meanwhile, Broner won on paper against Carlos Molina on the Mayweather vs. Maidana undercard in May, but he didn’t execute the kind of exciting fight he needed to rebuild his career. In his post-fight interview on Showtime, he chose to engage in some profanity laden putdowns along the same lines that got Donald Sterling in trouble and was briefly suspended by the World Boxing Council for it.
Nicknamed “The Problem,” Broner loves to play the big pimping bad boy. He’d like to think he is the next Floyd Mayweather. Broner’s skills aren’t strong enough to overcome his shortcomings of character. This column has gotten on Broner’s case several times for his antics and lack of work ethic. If Broner doesn’t turn it around, it won’t be long before fans turn their back on him for good.
Broner has kept up the steady stream of smack talk against his opponent, 23-year-old Taylor including a shoving match at a pre-fight news conference. After their weigh-in Friday, Taylor said Broner has treated this fight as “a joke,” saying “He better be ready, I’m coming for him.”
Taylor isn’t Marcos Maidana. He was tough enough to get up after a knockdown and win a decision as he did against Karim Mayfield in July, but he couldn’t beat rising star Chris Algieri earlier in the year. Algieri will fight Manny Pacquiao in November, while Taylor is settling for Cincinnati. Taylor is not as fast with his hands as Broner, so he’ll get hit more. He may be able to take it, but this is probably not going to be enough to win unless he gets very busy and makes Broner burn himself out.
On the undercard, popular hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse (35-3-0, 33 KOs) of Argentina faces Roberto Ortiz (34-0-1, 24 KOs) of Mexico in what is sure to be an entertaining bit of combustion in the ring. Matthysse is a fan favorite whose losses were all razor thin decisions against Danny Garcia, Zab Judah, and Devon Alexander. Matthysse ducks no one and likes to keep the fans happy. Ortiz is making his first appearance outside Mexico. We will see what that unbeaten record really represents.
Welterweight Andre Berto (28-3-0, 22 KOs) of Florida tries to get back in the division mix against Steve Upsher Chambers of Philadelphia (24-3-1, 6 KOs). Berto is a Haitian born fighter fans have enjoyed watching, even in losses to the likes of Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass. He has been out of the ring over a year while he recovered from shoulder surgery. Berto says he used the time off to perfect his skills. He is now working with trainer Virgil Hunter, who also trains defensive superstar Andre Ward. Did Berto pick up some of Ward’s tricks?
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 Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google
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