Posts Tagged ‘Adrien Broner’

Amir Khan goes on Twitter rant after believing he lost potential Floyd Mayweather fight

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Amir Kahn

Amir Kahn hasn’t helped his case for a Mayweather fight, dropping two of his last four bouts. ( Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

If anyone is looking for Floyd Mayweather, you can find him inside Amir Khan’s head.

For nearly two decades Mayweather has been the master of the mental game, poking, prodding, doing everything he can to make an opponent uncomfortable outside the ring as he makes them look in it. Khan, the former unified junior welterweight titleholder long rumored to be a frontrunner to fight Mayweather in May, is the latest potential foe to understand this.

To recap: Last December, Khan believed he had a deal to fight Mayweather sewn up. In an interview at Showtime’s Manhattan offices, Khan was practically giddy. While acknowledging that he couldn’t confirm anything, Khan consistently referred to a fight with Mayweather in the present tense. Privately, members of his team said that virtually all the deal points were agreed to.

Things changed quickly on December 14th, when Argentinean slugger Marcos Maidana upset Adrien Broner. Suddenly Maidana—who Khan defeated back in 2010—was a player in the Mayweather sweepstakes. And Mayweather, never one to miss a chance to self promote, took advantage, publicly saying Maidana was a candidate, even putting a poll featuring the two fighters up on his website to give fans an opportunity to vote for their choice.

As the weeks have gone by, Khan has begun to come unraveled. After urging his Twitter followers to vote for him in the poll, Khan tweeted after winning that he was just waiting for Mayweather’s call. There was a measurable desperation in his words. And then, on Wednesday, Khan tweeted this:

Somewhere, Mayweather has to be laughing.

Despite Khan’s surrender, it’s entirely possible he could still be Mayweather’s next opponent. Mayweather is about one thing: Money. Though Maidana offers the more crowd-pleasing style — and is coming off his biggest win — he brings little to a promotion. He speaks minimal English which diminishes his value on a U.S. press tour —  To those that say Saul Alvarez didn’t speak much English either, Alvarez is exponentially more popular than Maidana. Khan, on the other hand, is well known in the U.S., popular in his home country of the U.K. and has 1.38 million Twitter followers to sell the fight to. Showtime has been one of the biggest proponents for Khan, as network executives wanted to cash in on Khan’s popularity while he was still a viable opponent.

Moreover, Khan may be a more dangerous opponent. Maidana’s brawling style is a hit with audiences, but it’s a solvable attack. Khan beat him in ’10. Devon Alexander virtually shut him out in ’12. Beating Broner was a nice feather in Maidana’s cap, and he has undoubtedly improved as he has grown more comfortable at 147-pounds. But a wild free swinger would seem to be a tailor made opponent for one of the best ring tacticians in boxing. Khan, on the other hand, brings a different level of hand speed and footwork, albeit with a weak chin.

Whatever happens, Khan has no one to blame for this mess but himself. His sense of entitlement towards a Mayweather fight is mind boggling when you considering he has lost two of his last four fights—a decision defeat to Lamont Peterson and a knockout loss to Danny Garcia—and his two-fight winning streak has come against low level opponents. Khan has yet to fight as a full 147-pounder, yet he believes he has earned a shot at the best fighter in boxing?

Khan put himself in this position, and now he has to live with the consequences. What he should have done was gone forward with a planned welterweight title fight against Alexander last December. Had Khan beaten Alexander, he would have been a strong candidate to face Mayweather. Instead Khan passed on the offer to wait on a phone call that has never come.

– Chris Mannix

  • Published On Feb 21, 2014
  • Showtime announces changes to schedule, including addition of Adrien Broner title defense

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    Adrien Broner

    Adrien Broner (right) lands a punch on Paulie Malignaggi during their WBA Welterweight Title bout in June. ( Al Bello/Getty Images)

    ATLANTIC CITY — Hours before Showtime was set to televise Bernard Hopkins light heavyweight title defense against Karo Murat, Showtime Sports Executive Vice President and General Manager Stephen Espinoza announced significant changes to its end of the year schedule.

    On December 7, Showtime will televise a quadruple header from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn headlined by a welterweight fight between Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah. Headlining the undercard will be Devon Alexander’s welterweight title defense against Shawn Porter. Also on the card will be Austin Trout, fighting for the first time since dropping a decision to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last April. He’ll face  Erislandy Lara for a vacant title and super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika will defend his belt against Anthony Dirrell.

    On December 14, Showtime will televise Adrien Broner’s welterweight title defense against Marcos Maidana from the Alamodome in San Antonio. Broner-Maidana was originally scheduled for pay-per-view, but executives from Golden Boy and the network decided to move it to Showtime. The card will include Keith Thurman defending an interim title against Jesus Soto-Karass, bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz against Cesar Seda, light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov against Tamas Kovacs and former welterweight champion Victor Ortiz against Alfonso Gomez.

    Either Shumenov-Kovacs or Ortiz-Gomez will be broadcast on Showtime Extreme, Espinoza said.

    There was speculation that after the success of the Floyd Mayweather-Saul “Canelo” Alvarez pay-per-view — which Espinoza says is still right around 2.2 million buys — that Showtime would consider moving Broner-Maidana to the main network. However, Espinoza insists that one has nothing to do with the other.

    It was unrelated,” Espinoza said, while pointing out that Showtime’s ratings were up 60 percent this year. “None of us were thrilled with putting that fight on pay-per-view. We thought Broner, while he is a star, could benefit from the widest possible exposure. We will see Broner on pay-per-view in the future but we combined enough quarters in the couches to put this on the Showtime network.”

    Espinoza also defused speculation that the increased spending by Showtime this year had left the network struggling for cash in the fourth quarter.

    “I’m certainly aware of the rumors that Showtime was out of money, or that we put all our best talent on the [Mayweather] pay-per-view and we didn’t have anyone to fight the rest of the year. We have a patient scheduling approach. Our talent pool is very deep. There is more than enough.”

    – By Chris Mannix

  • Published On Oct 26, 2013
  • Three Thoughts: Adrien Broner beats Paulie Malignaggi in a split decision

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    Adrien Broner didn't dominate his fight on Saturday, but he did more than enough to prevail. [Al Bello/Getty Images]

    Adrien Broner didn’t dominate his fight on Saturday, but he did more than enough to prevail. [Al Bello/Getty Images]

    NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Adrien Broner’s split decision win over Paulie Malignaggi:

    1. Competitive fight, good decision: Coming into the fight, Malignaggi was a significant underdog. He had a title, but his best days are behind him, and even then, he never quite reached an elite level. Broner is on his way there. Malignaggi was the aggressor, throwing a high volume of punches, many of which Broner absorbed into his arms. Broner was surprisingly inactive, preferring to potshot Malignaggi while Malignaggi punched himself out. In the second half of the fight, Malignaggi appeared to slow down. Broner’s power—despite Malignaggi insisting that “girls hit harder than him”—clearly had an impact. Neither fighter appeared in danger of being knocked out, but Broner’s heavy shots were a factor. Maliganggi’s were not.

    Malignaggi was upset with the decision, particularly the 117-111 score—the same score finished with—submitted by judge Tom Schreck. But though Malignaggi put in a pretty good performance and can still be a factor at welterweight, Broner was clearly the better fighter—and the winner.

    2. Broner’s rise stalls: No question, Broner won the fight. But did he distinguish himself doing it? Broner fought 30-45 seconds per round, enough to outclass Malignaggi but against some of the top fighters at 140 and 147 pounds, Broner could run into some problems. There is no doubting Broner’s talent. The shoulder-roll defense, perfected by Floyd Mayweather, who watched from ringside, is a major weapon. It’s tough to hit Broner clean, and his superior speed, power and precision make him as dangerous as anyone in or around his weight class. But younger, faster, more elusive fighters will find ways to take advantage of his reluctance to engage as much as he could.

    “I’m 32, I don’t think he would have beaten a 25-year-old Paulie Malignaggi,” Malignaggi said. “He’s got some talent, but he’s not a guy with the talent to carry the sport.”

    3. A true heel is born: Let’s be honest: Broner can be insufferable. He came to the ring rapping, with his whole team decked out in gold robes. He spent the entire fight talking to Malignaggi, mocking him for not being fast enough to hit him. And after the fight he continued yapping, continued to push the notion that he stole Malignaggi’s girlfriend from him. Broner is young, just 23, but that kind of behavior is a turn-off, evidenced by the cacophony of boos that rained on him during a postfight interview.

    “The kid is not an example for anyone to look up to,” Malignaggi said. “He’s not a good person.”

    Indeed, Broner’s behavior is unbearable … but it could be smart. No one this side of the WWE likes a heel as much as boxing, and there is plenty of evidence that bad boys—most notably Mayweather—make money. “Being disliked is as powerful a sales tool as being liked … sometimes more,” tweeted promoter and former HBO executive Lou DiBella, and he’s right. Broner’s ratings on HBO were enormous, and he is walking (rapping?) down a Mayweather-like path, where more fans will watch to see him lose than win. But as Mayweather has proven, it doesn’t matter why you watch, as long as you do.

     Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jun 23, 2013
  • Trash-talking Adrien Broner hoping for more respect after Malignaggi fight

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    Adrien Broner (right) defeated Gavin Rees to retain the WBC lightweight belt in February. (AP)

    Adrien Broner (right) defeated Gavin Rees to retain the WBC lightweight belt in February. (AP)

    LAS VEGAS — The smack talk between Paulie Malignaggi and Adrien Broner has already gone digital, with two of the most social media savvy fighters in boxing spending the last month engaged in a Twitter and Instagram street fight. But last weekend, at a press conference to promote their June 22 welterweight title fight, Broner took it to the next level. Sporting a white t-shirt with the words “Hey Paulette” emblazoned in red letters on the front, Broner stepped to a podium and declared that Malignaggi’s ex-girlfriend, Jessica, was now his “sweetheart.” He then proceeded to call Jessica, and have a conversation with her on speakerphone.

    From there it got uglier, with Broner suggesting that Malignaggi used to hit his ex, and Malignaggi — who doubles as a Showtime boxing analyst — degrading her and Broner with a variety of slurs, all in front of an audience sprinkled with women and children.

    The two will settle their differences in June in the ring, where Broner, 23, has yet to be beaten. Many have tabbed Broner (26-0) as boxing’s next big thing, a Floyd Mayweather-like talent with sharp defensive skills and blistering power in both hands. Last year, Broner moved from super featherweight (130-pounds) to lightweight (135-pounds), pounding Antonio DeMarco over eight lopsided rounds to win the WBC belt. In March, Broner defended the title, knocking out former titleholder Gavin Rees in five rounds.

    As a lightweight, Broner’s options were limited. An anticipated unification fight with Ricky Burns never materialized. And when Broner looked up to the 140-pound division — perhaps the deepest in boxing — all of the top contenders had fights already scheduled. So Broner looked to welterweight (147-pounds) and Malignaggi (32-4), the WBA titleholder, who quickly accepted the fight.

    “I was disappointed we didn’t get the Burns fight because the media and the fans wanted it,” said Broner’s trainer, Mike Stafford. “I was happy for Ricky because Ricky was smart enough to know that he couldn’t beat Adrien, and his team protected his business. Other than that, we have to move on. That’s one of the reasons we are fighting Paulie. We have not been getting the notoriety for who he was beating. People still saying we haven’t fought anybody. Paulie was the name that we felt when we beat, people will to start realize that this kid is for real. Because lot of people still think this kid is a joke.”

    Stafford says he has no concerns jumping two weight classes with Broner, who often comes to camp in the high 140’s and routinely spars with 150 and 160 pounders.

    “Adrien will be much stronger,” Stafford said. “Paulie is not a full-fledged 147-pounder, anyway. It would be different if we were fighting a 147-pounder who has been that weight for years. Paulie just got to 147. When he was an amateur, he was a little guy. His speed got him where he is today. But we have speed and power. Paulie is really not a full-fledged 147. Most 147-pounders walk around 160, 165, then they come down. Both these guys are light guys.”

    As for the criticisms of Broner — both in the ring and out — Stafford urges people to get to know him before passing judgment.

    “He is still young and most don’t know anything about him,” Stafford said. “They don’t know where he comes from. When Floyd or Oscar [De La Hoya] does something [crazy], they wave it off. With this kid, it’s something different. The world doesn’t know.”

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On May 10, 2013
  • HBO announces it won’t televise Golden Boy Promotions’ fights

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    Rising star Adrien Broner, right, will no longer be featured on HBO after Monday's announcement.

    Rising star Adrien Broner, right, will no longer be featured on HBO after Monday’s announcement. [Richard Vogel/AP]

    For the last year, HBO has watched as Golden Boy Promotions has moved many of its top fighters from HBO to Showtime. On Monday, HBO struck back: The network announced that it would no longer buy any fights from Golden Boy Promotions.

    “In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” HBO Sports President Ken Hershman said in a statement.

    The decision is a decisive move from HBO to strike back at Golden Boy. Since Stephen Espinoza — a former Golden Boy attorney — took over as the head of the sports department at Showtime, Golden Boy has pulled several of its top fighters including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Canelo Alavarez and Andre Berto off of HBO and onto Showtime. Last month, Floyd Mayweather — who works closely with Golden Boy —announced he was leaving HBO, his broadcast partner for virtually his entire career, to sign a lucrative deal with Showtime.

    Among the casualties of HBO’s decision is Adrien Broner, a rising star who has been a staple on HBO. HBO sources made it clear that it was nothing against Broner, but they will not put him on the network as long as Golden Boy represents him. Likewise for Bernard Hopkins, a longtime HBO fighter who last week became the oldest man to win a major title when he defeated Tavoris Cloud on HBO.

    The decision to stop doing business with Golden Boy is being called indefinite.

    Golden Boy CEO called the decision “retaliation” and “ill advised.”

    I’m not really surprised,” Schaefer told “I have not had a conversation with Ken Hershman since last November or December. They are upset at me, I’m sure they are upset at Al Haymon. But the ones getting hurt are the subscribers. Whether you like Golden Boy or you don’t, our stable is second to none. I wished them well. (HBO Vice President) Kery Davis, (VP) Mart Taffet, (CEO) Richard Plepler, I consider them friends. But there are people making decisions in the HBO sports department that don’t know the difference between Floyd Mayweather and Jessie Vargas.”

    — Chris Mannix

  • Published On Mar 18, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Manny Pacquiao in no rush to fight, Glazkov-Scott card could be unwatchable, more

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    Manny Pacquiao

    Despite rumors, Manny Pacquiao probably will not be fighting in April. (AP)

    • Speculation has been rampant in the boxing industry that Manny Pacquiao could return to the ring in April, possibly in a fight in Singapore, Macau or Abu Dhabi. Yet I’m told that there is no sense of urgency to rush Pacquiao back into the ring.

    Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, told recently that he prefers that Pacquiao — who was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last month — stay out of the ring until September. Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, isn’t pushing to make the fight, partly because getting a $10-million site fee secured in the next two months would not be easy, and partly because Top Rank, like Roach, doesn’t see any need to rush back in the ring, not with another $30 million payday coming Pacquiao’s way in a potential fifth fight with Marquez. Most of the talk of a comeback fight is coming from Pacquiao’s business advisor, Michael Koncz, who will need the full support of Top Rank to make the fight happen. And right now, he doesn’t have it.

    • Last week, Main Events announced that heavyweight prospect Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov would headline an NBC Sports Network Fight Night show against undefeated Malik Scott on February 23. Now there has been some backlash to the choice of Scott. Despite good size (6-foot-3) and an unblemished record, Scott is rarely, if ever, in an entertaining fight, preferring to jab his way to lopsided wins on the outside against inferior opposition. It’s how his career has gone and, at 32, it’s likely how his career is going to be.

    Certainly Scott wasn’t the promoters’ first choice. Main Events thought it had a deal with heavy-handed heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov before he backed out. They it turned to Joe Hanks, Jason Estrada, Travis Kauffman, David Rodriguez, Justin Jones and Franklin Lawrence. Each turned the offer down.

    There is plenty of upside for Glazkov (14-0). Beating Scott (35-0) would be a nice feather in his cap. The fear though is that Scott, as he has done his whole career, will use his length, box on the outside and win a boring, unwatchable decision. And for Main Events, which has made Fight Night a success largely by putting together exciting fights, that would be a disaster.

    • Shane Mosley, whose skills have deteriorated significantly in recent years and who retired following a lopsided decision defeat to Saul Alvarez last May, is coming out of retirement to challenge welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in April. Putting aside that Mosley, 41, whose declining motor skills have been noticeable to reporters who have interviewed him the last few years, has reached the point where just fighting is especially dangerous, there is almost no way that can be an entertaining fight.

    • British promoter Frank Warren announced a terrific card to be held March 16 at Wembley Stadium in London. Headlining will be lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns, who will attempt to unify the 135-pound titles against fellow titleholder Miguel Vazquez. In addition, light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will defend his belt against mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi, super middleweight prospect George Groves will face Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye, and Dereck Chisora, who has not fought since being knocked out by David Haye last summer, will face an undetermined opponent.

    Chisora’s participation in the show is contingent on him being relicensed by the British Boxing Board of Control, which suspended Chisora’s license indefinitely after he provoked an ugly brawl with Haye last year.

    The card will be televised in the U.S. on Epix and

    • Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek will likely have to deal with charges stemming from an arrest for driving under the influence in upstate New York last week, but physically Adamek emerged from the three-car wreck unscathed. Adamek reportedly crashed his car into a parked vehicle, which was pushed into another parked car, while driving late Saturday night near Lake Placid, N.Y.

    Adamek is hoping to face Kubrat Pulev later this year in a fight that will determine the next mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko.

    “Fortunately, he’s fine,” said Adamek’s promoter, Kathy Duva, in an email. “This will not affect his next fight.”

    • Undefeated heavyweight Denis Boytsov, who is recovering from elbow surgery, has resumed training again. I’ll care when the oft-injured Boytsov starts fighting again.

    • Lightweight Adrien Broner’s impressive stoppage of Antonio DeMarco last November has many clamoring to see him in more big fights, including some at junior welterweight, one of the deepest divisions in boxing. However Broner, 23, has no plans to move up in weight anytime soon.

    “That’s what everybody wants you to do,” Broner said. “They have just seen me dominate and put on a great performance… but I just moved up to this weight [135 pounds]. I still make the weight [by] eating steak and potatoes every night at training camp. I make the weight comfortably, so I’m going to stay here for a lot of good fights that I still can have at 135-pounds.  So, I’m going to flush out this lightweight division and then we can go up to the light welterweight and crush their dreams. We’re going to stay here for a while.”

    • An interesting fight under discussion for the spring: Steve Cunningham, the former cruiserweight titleholder coming off a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek last month, against Tyson Fury, the big (6-foot-8) heavyweight prospect who has been looking for name opponents.

    -Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jan 15, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Gennady Golovkin’s next move, Seth Mitchell experiment probably over and more

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    Gennady Golovkin (above) will defend his middleweight title against an opponent to be determined on Jan. 19 in New York at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • I’m told HBO is now considering two possible opponents for Gennady Golovkin’s Jan. 19 middleweight title defense: Fernando Guerrero, a one-time prospect who is represented by Al Haymon, and Gabriel Rosado, a rising junior middleweight who is currently the IBF’s mandatory challenger for Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage’s title. To me, the decision is an easy one: Guerrero — who beat Rosado in a controversial eight-round middleweight fight in 2009 — has done nothing recently to warrant this kind of opportunity. Rosado, meanwhile, beat three quality opponents in 2012, all on NBC Sports Network, all by knockout. Rosado is the definition of a television-friendly fighter. A matchup with Golovkin would be a war.

    • Super featherweight Teon Kennedy’s injury forced Main Events to find a new opponent for undefeated prospect Jerry Belmontes in the co-feature of the Dec. 8 card on NBC Sports Network. On Monday they announced that Eric Hunter (16-2) would step in. Hunter has been on the shelf for most of the last two years, fighting once (last July) since December of 2010.

    • Kudos to Seth Mitchell for accomplishing a lot in boxing despite not picking up the gloves until he was 24. But this experiment is probably over. You can’t teach a chin and in his last two fights Mitchell has been buzzed by Chazz Witherspoon and knocked out in two rounds by Johnathan Banks. There are things Mitchell can do to improve — he still has no idea how to hold when he gets hurt — but if light hitters like Witherspoon and Banks can wobble him, he’s a sitting duck for one of the Klitschko brothers.

    • Speaking of Banks: I’d like to see him face one more quality opponent before looking for a fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. A matchup with Tyson Fury, David Price or his preferred choice, Alexander Povetkin, next year could make Banks some money and, if he wins, give him some momentum heading into a major title fight.

    • I’m looking forward to Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden, but that undercard is horrendous. Jayson Velez and Danny Jacobs — questionable choices for a televised undercard to begin with — will fight separately on Showtime’s broadcast in fights that do nothing for me. Velez (19-0) will face Salvador Sanchez II (30-4-3), nephew of Mexican legend Salvador Sanchez, while Jacobs (23-1), the former prospect and cancer survivor who will fight for the second time in three months, gets Chris Fitzpatrick (15-2).

    • I don’t know what has gotten into Carl Froch, but after another impressive knockout — this one over handpicked challenger Yusaf Mack — I just don’t know how Lucian Bute can beat him. Froch is just too strong.

    • Bring on Adrien Broner-Ricky Burns.

    • Thank you, Fred Sternburg, for sending out 400 emails letting everyone know that Manny Pacquiao gave away free turkeys last week. My overflowing inbox extends its regards.

    • Hey British promoter Frank Maloney: Your comment that Wladimir Klitschko would be happy not to have to pay Emanuel Steward his 10 percent after a one-sided win over Mariusz Wach last week was disgusting and classless. Steward, a longtime mentor and trainer for Klitschko, lost a battle with cancer last month. Maloney should be ashamed.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Nov 20, 2012
  • Roundtable: Is Adrien Broner boxing’s next superstar?

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    The sky is the limit for Adrien Broner, the Cincinnati native who became a two-division world champion with Saturday’s knockout win. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

    Is Adrien Broner boxing’s next superstar?

    CHRIS MANNIX: Color me impressed. There has been something about Broner that didn’t sit right with me — maybe it was the connection to Al Haymon, who puffed up Broner’s record by keeping him away from the toughest challenges for most of his young career — but after that pounding of DeMarco, there is no doubt Broner is a bona fide star in the sport. DeMarco is an underrated fighter and an excellent finisher, and Broner picked him apart, savaging him with uppercuts, patiently peppering him with jabs while utilizing that (wait for it) shoulder-roll defense to deflect DeMarco’s power shots.

    Broner was already a television star; he has the HBO numbers to prove it. Now he has earned his status in the ring, too. Let’s hope he keeps it going. Ricky Burns, who will defend his version of the lightweight title on Dec. 15, is a logical next opponent, and there are no shortage of guys at 140 pounds to give Broner a fight. Finally, a young American star who seems worthy of the hype.

    RICHARD O’BRIEN: After an impressive and, on his part, decidedly relaxed dismantling of DeMarco on Saturday night (it was more like watching an enthusiastic technician entering code on a keyboard than it was like seeing a guy actually fighting), Broner declared himself “the new era of boxing.” That remains to be seen, of course.

    Certainly Broner, at 23, and clearly comfortable having stepped up to the 135-pound limit, has the physical gifts (speed, strength, power) and the schooling (he’s technically very sound, with a varied offense and a polished defense) to make him, well, a problem for any fighter in the lightweight or junior welterweight divisions. (A quick assault on Juan Manuel Marquez or Ricky Burns would be a great start.) The question, of course, is how far can he extend his effectiveness. At 5-foot-7, Broner may be a bit too compact to keep moving up, to junior welter, welter and beyond. And multiple titles and challenges to the best across a range of weight classes are what make for the biggest stars in boxing.

    At the same time, I also think there’s the danger that Broner could get pegged — or, indeed, could peg himself — as a kind of poor man’s Money, a Mayweather clone, and that such an image could keep him from becoming the star he could be. There’s the physical resemblance, of course, and the shoulder-rolling defense (and the smirking and self-celebratory rhetoric), but Broner has a natural aggressiveness in the ring that Mayweather has seldom shown. He would be wise to play that element up. A boxing public weary of Mayweather’s slick showmanship would welcome a supremely talented champion who actually came to fight. If Broner does that, superstardom should be no problem.

    BRYAN ARMEN GRAHAM: Broner is now a two-division world champion at 23. He’s 25-0 with 21 knockouts. He just cracked’s pound-for-pound list at No. 12. On Saturday, he made his seventh appearance on HBO and his headlining debut on the flagship “World Championship Boxing” franchise: He took a step up, both competitively and commercially, and he dominated.

    He is opinionated. He is eccentric. (Quite eccentric.) Call him cocky and call him profane, but Broner gets it. It’s not enough to be Andre Ward, not if you want to be the first boxer to generate a billion dollars, which is Broner’s articulated goal. “I’m not just a professional boxer, I am a professional entertainer too,” he said over lunch in Manhattan last month. “Since the first grade I’ve been a class clown. This is just me.”

    Broner is coming along at a time when boxing needs fresh stars, with Floyd Mayweather (35 years old) and Manny Pacquiao (34 next month) nearing the twilights of their careers. He’s managed by Al Haymon, the enigmatic force responsible for making Mayweather the richest athlete in sports. The heavyweight division remains stagnant and domestically irrelevant. HBO has invested millions in building him up and they’re enthused by the return thus far. “He’s making the progression that great fighters make,” HBO’s pay-per-view chief Mark Taffet said last month. “He’s on the path. For a 23-year-old man, he’s exactly where he needs to be.” If he stays hungry, keeps winning and keeps entertaining, there’s no reason why Broner can’t be one of the top names in boxing within the next three years.

  • Published On Nov 19, 2012
  • Adrien Broner stands by remarks that black fans don’t support black fighters

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    Adrien Broner (above), a former 130-pound champion, is moving up to lightweight to try for a second title in two weight divisions on Nov. 17 against Antonio DeMarco. (AP)

    NEW YORK – Adrien Broner didn’t back down from his recent comments that African-American fighters don’t get enough credit Wednesday at HBO’s midtown headquarters.

    The former WBO junior lightweight champion said he was unaware of the backlash stemming from an interview with Ring Magazine, where he intimated that African-American boxers are held to a harsher standard than fighters of other racial backgrounds.

    “I was telling the truth,” the 23-year-old Broner said. “It’s something that I know. It’s something that I’ve seen. That’s why I work so hard. One mistake and I can fall so far.”

    Broner, who is moving up to fight WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco on Nov. 17 in Atlantic City, said black fighters don’t enjoy the same brand of unconditional support as fighters from other races.

    “African-American [fans], we really don’t follow each other in boxing as much as the Hispanics, the Mexicans, the Puerto Ricans,” Broner said. “I’m just saying, they support their fighters. It’s so hard for us to support our own because coming up where we come from, they don’t want to see the next man doing better than them. That’s just how it is. I’m so used to it. I really don’t let it get to me.”

    Broner said he was disappointed with how the comments were packaged.

    “It’s like a lot of writers do, they mix it up,” Broner said. “The way he wrote it up, he was saying it like I was a racist or something.”

    Broner (24-0, 20 KOs), who became the youngest American world champion with a third-round knockout of Martin Rodriguez in 2011, has long been considered one of the sport’s most promising young stars. He drew a 3.4 rating and 1.4 million live viewers for a July 21 knockout of Vincente Escobedo, HBO’s top-rated Boxing After Dark telecast of 2012. When asked what he could do to improve the disconnect between African-American boxers and fight fans, Broner — no stranger to Mayweather-style showmanship — was quick to respond.

    “We just have to connect with them,” he said. “They want to see excitement. They want to laugh. They don’t want to just go in and see a bloodbath boxing match. They want to be entertained and that’s what I give them. I’m not just a professional boxer, I am a professional entertainer too. I love to entertain.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham

  • Published On Oct 10, 2012
  • Quick jabs: Ricky Hatton comes back, Amir Khan finds new trainer, more

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    Former two-division world champion Ricky Hatton (above), who announced a comeback last week, might be an attractive opponent for compatriot Amir Khan. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • How much money did Miguel Cotto leave on the table when he passed on a rematch with Manny Pacquiao? According to Bob Arum, a lot. Arum said Cotto’s guarantee for a Dec. 1 date with Pacquiao would have been around $13 million, with the possibility of going as high as $15 million if the pay-per-view numbers were strong. Instead, Cotto will settle for significantly less in a fight with unknown junior middleweight Austin Trout while Arum signed Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth fight with Pacquiao by guaranteeing just $6 million.

    • HBO was thrilled with the rating it got for the heavily promoted Sept. 8 showdown between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. According to the Neilsen numbers, Ward-Dawson attracted 1.3 million viewers, the sixth straight World Championship Boxing telecast exceeding 1 million viewers for HBO.

    • Here’s my one and only thought on the proposed partnership between Manny Pacquiao and 50 Cent: I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • I’m fully expecting a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez to take place early next year. Chavez Jr. wants it and Martinez isn’t going to sniff that much money against anyone else. Hopefully Chavez will take his training a little more seriously next time. He has the talent to beat Martinez but he has to be in peak condition both mentally and physically if he expects to have a shot against a fighter as fast and skilled as Martinez.

    • At 33, comebacking Ricky Hatton probably has one more big fight left in him. And perhaps the biggest one of his career could be out there: Amir Khan. They haven’t invented a word for how big Hatton-Khan could be in England and after a tune-up or two both could be ready for it.

    • Little tired of strength coach Alex Ariza taking to Twitter and passive aggressively implying that a fighter would have done better had he been more involved. In the aftermath of Chavez’s loss to Martinez, Ariza, who had reduced role in Chavez’s camp this time around, in a Q&A with his followers, suggested that Chavez would have performed better had he followed his diet and that Chavez was “not in my kind of shape.” It’s not the first time Ariza has done this and it’s getting a little old.

    • Arum says he plans on bringing welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley back in December. Possible opponents include Ruslan Provodnikov, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Robert Guerrero. Guerrero is under contract with archrival Golden Boy but Arum told a handful of reporters last week that Bradley-Guerrero was a fight he would really like to make.

    • Hasim Rahman, who held the WBC heavyweight title for a year between 2005 and ’06, is getting another crack at a world title. Rahman, 39, will travel to Germany to take on Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 29 in a fight that will be televised in the U.S. on Epix.

    • Predictably, the Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco negotiations are progressing slowly. Broner, who is represented by influential and divisive manager Al Haymon, wants the lion’s share of the money and DeMarco isn’t willing to give it to him. Like I’ve said before: Fight each other or don’t fight anyone else in your weight class on premium TV.

    • How much did it cost 50 Cent to pry Yuri Gamboa away from Top Rank? That would be $1.2 million. From what I hear from Top Rank officials, that’s just about how much the company invested in Gamboa.

    • The always entertaining Gabriel Rosado (20-5) is back in action on Friday night, when he headlines the next installment of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night series against Charles Whittaker (38-12-2). This is a big fight for Rosado: If he wins, he becomes the No. 1 contender for the IBF junior middleweight title held by Cornelius Bundrage.

    • While we all wait (and wait, and wait) for Pacquiao-Mayweather, it’s clear Arum is setting up the winner of next month’s junior welterweight fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado as the next opponent for Pacquiao. Rios-Alvarado is expected to be a war, which should give the winner a nice bounce going into a Pacquiao fight.

    • Showtime has to be pleased with the numbers for Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez on Saturday. According to Neilsen ratings, Alvarez-Lopez attracted 1.04 million viewers. Still, that’s a 42 percent drop from Alvarez’s HBO-televised fight against Kermit Cintron in November 2011, which drew 1.47 million viewers.

    • Amir Khan is reportedly set to name Virgil Hunter, best known for training super middleweight champion Andre Ward, as his new coach. That’s a good call. Hunter has a brilliant boxing mind who believes hit-and-don’t-get-hit is the only philosophy a fighter should live by. For a shaky-chinned fighter like Khan, that’s the best kind of trainer.

    • Speaking of Ward, cross Mikkel Kessler off the list of potential next opponents. Ward had expressed interest in a rematch with Kessler — whom he picked apart over 11 lopsided rounds in 2009 — but Kessler elected to face 37-year old Brian Magee, who owns a minor super middleweight title. It’s just as well: Ward-Kessler would have created no buzz in the United States.

    • Last week, Arum spent a lot of time talking to reporters about junior middleweight prospect John Jackson, even going as far as to say Jackson would get a televised slot on the Pacquiao pay-per-view telecast. But on Saturday, Jackson (13-1) ran into another pretty good prospect, the Jack Loew-trained Willie Nelson (19-1-1), who beat him in a close decision. Jackson still has potential and a lot of power (12 knockouts) but needs to polish his game so he can out box fighters he can’t knock out.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Sep 18, 2012