SAN ANTONIO — WBA welterweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner waded through a sea of onlookers on Wednesday, many of whom had, moments earlier, craned their necks to see the undefeated fighter throwing punches at an imaginary opponent while dancing around a constructed ring at Market Square.
Broner, a 24-year-old boxer-puncher from Cincinnati, Ohio, alternately stopped to shake a hand or pose for a photo before entertaining the mob of reporters and television camera personnel with answers that ranged from funny to serious in nature.
Broner was, no doubt, comfortable in the chaos that has come with the success of being a talented, outspoken, and often controversial three-division titlewinner.
There is, however, another side of Broner (27-0, 22 knockouts), who will make the first defense of his 147-pound belt on Saturday night against hard-hitting Argentine Marcos “Chino” Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) on Showtime from The Alamodome.
Broner offered a glimpse of that other side this past Saturday on the revealing first of two episodes of Showtime’s All-Access: Broner vs Maidana, where he discussed engaging in backyard boxing bouts, many of which were against his twin brother Andre, his role as a father and brief stint in jail for armed robbery.
Broner said that he is generally happy with his portrayal on the All-Access, saying of Showtime, “They did what they had to do.
“I gave it to them real, straight up, and uncut,” said Broner. “Outsiders, they’re just looking at it from the outside in, and they probably judge me a different way. But if you really get to meet Adrien Broner, I’m a different guy.”
Broner, for example, flew more than 50 family members to his training facility in Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving.
“I’m ready, man, and I’m focused,” said Broner. “I just wanted to have a great time for Thanksgiving and to see my family and then get right back to work.”
“I’ve got to stay focused. I’m not going to lie, this is the biggest fight of my career,” said Broner. “He’s going to try to come and fight me, and he’s going to try to break my neck.”
Broner is coming off a split-decision victory over Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi, which earned him his current belt in his 147-pound debut.
Although Broner failed to earn his seventh straight stoppage win against Malignaggi, he did manage to end the then 32-year-old fighter’s five-bout winning streak after rising two weight classes from lightweight.
In addition, Broner’s win over Malignaggi made him a three-division titlewinner, having earned the WBO’s junior lightweight belt by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November of 2011, and the WBC’s lightweight title following an eighth-round stoppage of Antonio DeMarco in November of last year.
“I’m the same fighter, and styles make fights, but Paulie’s a helluva fighter. If you go in there and you’re not ready to fight Paulie, then he will beat you. That showed last Saturday,” said Broner.
“Still, to this day, they still don’t give me my credit, even though Paulie beat the s__t out of Zab Judah. Easy. After me and Paulie Malignaggi fought, they felt like I beat a nobody, but that’s okay. When you see what I do to Chino Maidana on Saturday night, then, I guess that he’ll be a nobody, too.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org