Home Columns Can Adrien Broner prove he belongs at the top against Ashley Theophane?

Can Adrien Broner prove he belongs at the top against Ashley Theophane?

Credit: Stephanie Trapp / Showtime

Broner Still Seeking Redemption Against Theophane

After being hyped as the next mega star in the sport, life has been made difficult for Adrien Broner during the past couple of years. Broner was often compared to his mentor, Floyd Mayweather. Yet, once he started facing tough opposition, it was clear to see that the only comparison there was in the realm of trash talk, because the combination of skill and work ethic simply weren’t there in tandem.

This was most clearly seen while he was hitting the canvas twice against Marcos Maidana in his first loss. He rebounded with wins and largely ho-hum performances over mismatched opposition until his next big fight against fellow Ohio native, Shawn Porter. Again, Broner was dominated, although he did manage to score a late knockdown.

Yet, with the backing of Mayweather, he was positioned to win a vacant title at junior welterweight against Khabib Allakhverdiev. So, flaws and losses and all, he has a fringe belt around his waist. Now, he takes on another member of The Money Team in Ashley Theophane. From anyone holding an unbiased perspective, it’s a ridiculous spectacle in terms of its status as being for a “world title.”

Broner should be expected to win, but he needs to do more than that if he’s to begin finding redemption and living up to a portion of the claims formerly made of him. He needs to put together rapid-fire, diverse combinations, improve his punching accuracy, and stay active throughout the duration of each round. If not, against a savvy if overmatched veteran in Theopane, he could be in for a long evening.

Theophane is a tough competitor, and he won’t be coming to lie down. That’s why Broner needs to take his confidence from him early, and continue applying pressure until he can look for the opportunity to potentially wear him down and stop him.

Further, not only is Theophane part of the Mayweather crew, but he’s also trained by Nate Jones and managed by Dajuan Blake. That means there’s at least three men in his camp who know Broner well, and will be able to advise and prepare Theophane to capitalize on his strengths and weaknesses in the ring.

Broner needs a knockout win in this fight to prove that he’s not only capable of earning television ratings because of his personality, but that he’s legitimately worthy of any sort of top-tier place in the sport. And that’s what he’s hoping for, with the possibilities of fights against Terence Crawford or other notable names in and around 140 lbs coming next.

Unless Broner looks absolutely scintillating though, at this point, a Crawford vs. Broner fight has to be viewed as nothing more than a feeding frenzy for “Bud”. We’ll see if Broner has anything to show us on April 1st against Theophane which proves otherwise.