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Pryor to Broner: Keep talking and winning
Of unbeaten lightweight Adrien Broner, hall-of-famer and fellow Cincinnati native Aaron Pryor says it's okay to be "a little bit cocky... but you gotta win."
"There's nothing wrong with predicting what you're going to do," said Pryor, 57, who, like Broner, is from Cincinnati. "It's a little bit cocky, you know, but like I've told him, 'You can do all of that if you want to, but you gotta win. You've got to win.'"
And that, Broner has done.
A 23-year-old former WBO junior lightweight beltholder, Broner (24-0, 20 knockouts) will pursue his fifth consecutive stoppage win against WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, as part of an HBO-televised doubleheader at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Nov. 17.
"I think that Adrien Broner is going to look real good in this next fight. I think that the harder the guy fights, the better Adrien Broner gets," said Pryor.
"I think that somewhere from the seventh round to the 10th round, Adrien Broner's going to get him. Those will be the rounds that I think he'll take to knock the dude out."
A former IBF and WBA 140-pound champion who retired with a mark of 39-1 that included 35 KOs, Pryor was 12-0 with 10 stoppage victories when fighting in Cincinnati, where Broner is 11-0 with 10 knockouts.
Known for pointing an ominous fist at his opponent prior to his fights, and for crashing a Sugar Ray Leonard press conference before challenging him to a fight at the podium, Pryor has no problem with Broner's bravado.
"You've got to go out there and fight the fight that you predicted to everybody that you would," said Pryor, whose desired clash with Leonard never materialized. "I mean, if you're coming out there like Aaron 'The Hawk' Pryor, then, you know, Aaron 'The Hawk' is a boxer."
Pryor is most well-known for his two classic battles against the late Alexis Arguello, whom he stopped in the 14th and 10th rounds in November of 1982, and, September of 1983, respectively.
Pryor's lone defeat was by seventh-round stoppage against Bobby Joe Young following a 27-month ring absence in August of 1987. But Pryor rebounded to score knockouts in the final three bouts of his career, the last being in the seventh round over Robert Choate in December of 1990.
Broner's last two fights in Cincinnati, at U.S. Bank Arena, were knockouts in the third and fifth rounds over Vicente Martin Rodriguez and Vicente Escobedo in November of last year and July, respectively.
Among those Broner surpassed were the network's tape-delayed re-broadcast of Tim Bradley's controversial split-decision over Manny Pacquiao, as well as Danny Garcia's upset fourth-round knockout of Amir Khan in July.
Broner's sometimes polarizing in- and, out-of-the-ring antics have included the rap monicker, "AJ Da Problem," regularly posting videos on Youtube as that character, entrances such as that for his fourth-round knockout of Eloy Perez in February that was highlighted by Broner's dancing and rapping a cut of his own creation, and a post-fight his in-the-ring interview following the Escobedo victory that ended with a mock marriage proposal.
Broner has admitted to borrowing from the persona of Floyd Mayweaer Jr., and has taken similar criticism for his opinions. Most recently, during an interview with RingTV.com, for example, Broner said that it's difficult to get credit for his accomplishments as an African American.
But Pryor believes Broner should make no apologies for his bombastic personality, which has spawned a local, and, apparently, a national popularity that may soon rival his own.
"He's an underdog to a certain degree. I think that's how it is for most of the fighters who come out of Cincinnati. Cincinnati is not a real, real big town for boxing," said Pryor.
"I know that being from Cincinnati, I didn't always feel that I got the chances to prove myself. So I think that when a young guy goes out there, you know he just wants to be a good champion, knowing that we don't have too many championship fights in Cincinnati."
Below is what Pryor had to say about Broner in the entire Q&A.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on the talent and the skills of Adrien Broner as a fighter?
RingTV.com: What do you think of his next fight with DeMarco?
AP: Listen clearly to what I'm saying, and I don't mean to be cocky or anything. But every fight for Adrien at this particular time is the type of fight that you predict to the public what you're going to do.
I think that Adrien Broner is going to look real good in this next fight. I think that the harder the guy (he)fights, the better Adrien Broner gets.
I think that during his last two fights, I've seen him have some endurance in the last few rounds. So, hopefully, it's that way in this next fight.
I think that if you compare this fight to the ones that I had with Alexis Arguello, that's what Alexis Arguello brought out of me.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org