Home Columns Will Adrien Broner ever solve his own Problem?

Will Adrien Broner ever solve his own Problem?

Credit: Suzanne Teresa / PBC

Let’s just jump right into it and start with this: Adrien Broner wasn’t exposed by Shawn Porter. Broner had long ago been exposed — creating a legion of always faithful Marcos Maidana fans in the process — and has failed to show any legitimate signs of improvement since.

In between the Maidana defeat, and this past weekend’s loss to Porter, Broner fought a ho-hum collection of opponents in Carlos Molina, Emanuel Taylor, and John Molina Jr. He failed to impress in any of those three decision wins, all of which had been fully designed to sell him as an attraction. I know I didn’t buy it.

He had face-first, squared-up John Molina in front of him all night, and couldn’t dispatch of him. His last stoppage was against a hopelessly outclassed replacement opponent, Gavin Rees, in 2013. His win against Antonio DeMarco remains his sole true top quality W, and even that, while a breakout performance, wasn’t an exceptionally unique showing, as Rances Barthelemy just showed.

Meanwhile, we’re still force fed this petulant Problem personality, this faux-star that never actually earned his stripes. Maybe mentor Floyd Mayweather has failed to remind him that before Money made his debut, Pretty Boy earned his chops with wins over the likes of Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, and Jose Luis Castillo (twice). Not to mention Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez and Angel Manfredy.

You might love or hate Money Mayweather, but there’s no denying his position in the sport. Broner on the other hand has been spoon-fed stardom and big paydays, and would literally rather flush it down the toilet than put his innate talent and skill to use.

He’s busy rapping, blowing up in weight before fights, getting into legal entanglements, and generally self-rumor-mongering, when he should be ironing out his weak spots in the gym. AB apparently forgot about the “Hard Work! Dedication!” part of the Mayweather equation, skipping straight to playing the villain and assuming everything else would take care of itself.

That innate talent, and Broner’s apparent desire to waste it, calls to mind my longstanding assertion that Adrien Broner was never the next Floyd Mayweather, but much more clearly, the next Zab Judah. Hell, Judah hasn’t fought in two years and will turn 38 years old in October, and could you confidently say that Broner would beat him right now?

Look at the top 10 at 147 lbs. I wouldn’t favor Broner to beat a single one of ’em. Look at the top 10 at 140 lbs. The division is home to Terence Crawford and Lucas Matthysse, and Broner doesn’t have a damn thing for either of those two guys.

The only problem with The Problem is himself. He still has time to fix it, although if it was ever going to happen, you would have thought the Maidana defeat would have been what kicked him into gear. Nevertheless, Broner could apply himself and improve, and turn into a more complete, well-rounded and focused fighter. Until and unless he does though, he’s nothing more than a contender who will be out-hustled, out-fought, and out-thought, against A-level opponents.