“I’ve been watching this kid, man, and this kid, man, he’s a talent. That kid has it. He’s one of those rare fighters that has the entire package. He’s defensive, he’s offensive, he’s powerful, he’s quick. He has everything. I just look forward to watching him grow,” Sugar Ray Leonard on Adrien Broner.
WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner said that he first met former world champion Sugar Ray Leonard 13 years ago, this, while the Hall of Famer watched a 10-year-old Broner compete in a national amateur tournament in Kansas.
“[Leonard] probably doesn’t remember, but he took me up to his room, he signed a picture for me and everything,” said Broner, a 23-year-old from Cincinnati with a record of 25-0 that includes 21 knockouts.
“He’s a real down to earth guy. I remember meeting him. He probably doesn’t remember, but I’ve got a helluva memory.”
Leonard recently praised Broner as “one of those rare fighters that has the entire package,” adding, “he’s defensive, he’s offensive, he’s powerful, he’s quick. He has everything.”
“That means a lot. But honestly, he told me that when I was 10 years old at a Silver Gloves tournament. But just by him saying that, it brings a smile to my face,” said Broner.
“You know, because I work hard, and now I’m getting to show the world who Adrien Broner really is. Honestly, I still haven’t shown everything that I have. So just tune in, and you will see a lot more.”
A former WBO junior lightweight titletholder, Broner will pursue his sixth straight knockout against on Feb. 16 against former beltholder Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs), of Wales, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on HBO.
Broner is coming off November’s eighth-round knockout that dethroned Antonio DeMarco in Atlantic City on HBO, and will face Rees in the main event of a double-header to include a rematch between heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell.
Reese (37-1-1, 18 KOs) is 10-0-1, with five knockouts since, himself, having been dethroned as junior welterweight titleholder via 12th-round stoppage by Andreas Kotelnik in March of 2008.
Rees, 32, earned consecutive victories over previously unbeaten fighters John Watson and Andy Murray by 11th-round knockout and unanimous decision in November of 2010 and June of last year, respectively.
After battling to a draw with Derry Mathews in October of last year, Rees scored two straight knockouts, the last in the ninth round over Mathews in July.
BRONER TO BE ON FLOYD MAYWEATHER’S MAY 4 UNDERCARD?
A 22-year-old Mexican WBC junior middleweight titleholder, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KOs) and Golden Boy Promotional stablemate Floyd Mayweather Jr., holder of the WBC and WBA welterweight and 154-pound belts, respectively, have each targeted May 4 for his return at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In addition, Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) and Alvarez have said that they want to fight on Sept. 14, potentially, against one another.
The dates fall on the two traditional Mexican holiday weekends — Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day, and with their big names, Alvarez and Mayweather stand a chance to bring unprecedented attention to themselves.
In a video where they are seen in Las Vegas together, Mayweather expresses the desire to have Broner fight on the May 4 undercard.
“May 4 is my date,” said Mayweather, then pointing to Broner. “And he’s going on that undercard.”
During a national conference call on Thursday, Broner addressed the notion that he could appear on Mayweather’s event.
“Listen, with Adrien Broner, man, anything is possible, because, for one, I don’t get hit that much. I don’t. I’m just being honest. I don’t get hit that much, and my fights don’t last that long. Not saying that I’m coming in looking for a knockout, but I’m just blessed with the best of both worlds,” said Broner.
“I’ve got the speed, and I’ve got power in both hands. So it only takes one mistake. That’s for both fighters. For me and for him. One mistake, and a fight can be over. So with that being said, if I do come out of this fight untouched, there is a great possibility that I will be on the May 4 card.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org