- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Adrien Broner is living up to his nickname: "The Problem."
Broner, a former junior lightweight titlist who was stripped of his belt for not making weight before a July 21 fight with Vicente Escobedo (which Broner won via dominant fifth-round knockout), is moving up to lightweight and was supposed to headline an Oct. 6 HBO show in Atlantic City, N.J.
However, HBO and promoter Golden Boy were having a big problem coming up with an opponent they could agree on for Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) to face. So with time running a bit short to organize the show, HBO decided to move the card to a date to be determined in November.
So now the network and promoter have bought themselves a bit more time to find a good opponent. It won't be easy, considering the lack of depth at lightweight. I wouldn't mind seeing Broner challenge titleholder Miguel Vazquez, although that's a hard fight to make because of Vazquez's ties to Golden Boy's rival promoter, Top Rank. Ideally, when titleholder Antonio DeMarco and John Molina fight on Sept. 8, the winner of the bout will come out clean, with no injuries, and could be back in the ring to defend against Broner. That's probably a long shot, though.
When the card was postponed, it meant that the co-feature of heavyweight Seth Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs) against Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs) would also move.
Mitchell knocked out Chazz Witherspoon in an exciting three-round shootout in April in Atlantic City, but he hurt his right hand. A summer return was delayed until October, and now until November.
I spoke to Mitchell's manager, Sharif Salim, on Wednesday morning, and he said although they would love to stay on schedule for Oct. 6, he understands the business.
Salim said Golden Boy notified him of the date being moved on Tuesday and he hopes the card will remain in Atlantic City, which will attract Mitchell's fans from Brandywine, Md., and the entire Washington, D.C., area to make the easy drive to the fight.
"Seth's hand is fine; he's been sparring," Salim said. "The right hand is great. We're itching to fight. This is his longest layoff, but we know we're not the main event and [the schedule] is predicated on the main event.
"So Seth will gear down, but he will stay in the gym. We don't want to overtrain. We will wait for a solidified date and venue but keep working. We're still fighting Johnathon Banks, and I'm pretty sure he's feeling the same way we are: 'Let's get this thing on.' But they have to put that main event together. We're professional about it."
Adrien Broner is living up to his nickname: "The Problem."Broner, a former junior lightweight titlist who was stripped of his belt for not making weight before a July 21 fight with Vicente Escobedo (which Broner won via dominant fifth-round knockout), is moving up to lightweight and was supposed to headline an Oct.