Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Adrien Broner: Pound-for-pound talker
By Michael Woods
I would not be a good fight promoter. I think I'd be too hasty, not let the souffle rise with proper patience. For instance, I think if I promoted the supremely talented Adrien Broner, who fights Saturday night in Atlantic City, I'd be pushing for him to secure a fight with Floyd Mayweather and prove his skills beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Broner, a 23-year-old Cincinnati resident, is promoted by Golden Boy and advised by Al Haymon, so his career path is being laid out in a more meticulous fashion than I'd choose. HBO too thinks highly of Broner, and will show his bout against 37-1-1 Brit Gavin Rees (age 32) from Boardwalk Hall.
It is probably as much as anything a testament to the high esteem Broner (25-0) is held in by pundits that nobody seems to be giving Rees much of any shot to introduce Broner to the taste of defeat.
Broner himself showed the odd flash of respect to the underdog at a Tuesday news conference held at BB King's in the theater district to hype the scrap, telling the assembled media that he respects all fighters he's going to meet, because he knows how hard it is to train at the world-class level.
But Broner didn't give off a hint of doubt that he'd have his hand raised in A.C. after showing Rees his arsenal. He did, though, have trouble grasping his opponent's name, referring to him as "Cabbage" Rees and all-together whiffing on his last name a few times. "I can't remember his name!" he kept saying with mock consternation.
He made light of Rees' height, or lack thereof, and told us that he hadn't bothered to watch even a second of tape on Rees.
The Brit held his temper, basically, though he did allow, "I'm gonna knock this [expletive] out Saturday and I can't wait."
I confess, I enjoy fully Broner's cocky antics, preferring that, put-on or no, to a studiously dry and earnest pugilist who answers in monosyllables and clumps of cliches. Broner has a way with words, no doubt, as when asked if he'd gotten his proper due, and replied, "I can't get mad, I make everybody look like a nobody."
A la Mayweather, Broner can make wins look ultra-easy, so his trash-talking can be the highlight of his promotions. Humility is largely missing from Broner's DNA: When asked if he's the best, pound for pound, he said, "I can beat anybody," and said Mayweather is the best of his era, but proclaimed this the Broner era and said Floyd's window of supremacy is closing.
I recommend, if you haven't tuned in to watch him, you see Broner in A.C. or on the tube; he's my pick to be the game's top dog when Floyd and Manny hang up their mitts.