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Adrien Broner to defend junior welterweight title vs. Ashley Theophane on April 1

Adrien Broner will defend his junior welterweight world title for the first time when he meets Ashley Theophane on April 1 at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C., where he often trains, Premier Boxing Champions announced Wednesday.

The fight will headline the first Spike-televised PBC card of the year (9 p.m. ET).

Broner (31-2, 23 KOs), 26, of Cincinnati, claimed a vacant junior welterweight belt by 12th-round knockout of Khabib Allakhverdiev on Oct. 3 in Cincinnati in a fight Broner dominated.

Broner surprisingly got the opportunity to fight for the vacant belt as he was coming off a poor performance in a unanimous decision loss to former welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter in June.

"Ashley Theophane is a world-class fighter and this is going to be a tough fight for me," said Broner, who has won belts in four weight divisions from junior lightweight to welterweight. "I'm very excited to fight in Washington, D.C. My following is huge in D.C. It's my second home, and I think we're going to give the fans what they're looking for. I want to fight the best in the 140-pound weight division and Ashley Theophane is one of the best."

Broner is overstating Theophane's position in boxing. Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs), 35, of England, who is promoted by Floyd Mayweather, has never beaten a notable opponent, although he has won six fights in a row since a split decision loss to Mexico's Pablo Cesar Cano in September 2013 on the Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez undercard in Las Vegas.

"I'm excited to face Adrien Broner for a (junior welterweight) world championship," said Theophane, the former British junior welterweight champion. "It's been a long, hard road to get here. Thanks to Floyd Mayweather and everyone at Mayweather Promotions for their support over the last 2½ years.

"I get to have my career defining fight against a four-division world champion. It gets no bigger than that. I will be leaving the ring on April 1 as the new world champion."