No matter how much it is liked or disliked, when it comes to an Adrien Broner fight, it will always be the AB show.
To compare Broner to marmite, would be to suggest that pretty much no one likes marmite. Broner has been a law to himself, his once childish behaviour has now become more worrying, with regular snaps in handcuffs and even subliminal threats to take his own life.
What makes Broner 33-3(24KO’s) such a disliked character also lies upon the talent he has, once upon a time, worked so very hard to possess. The skillset that Broner has is not just placed for any man to take, but AB has settled into his fame, and having realised the cruel realities that come with losing in the sport of boxing, he has expended more and more energy into creating a buzz, and not dedicating himself to his craft.
But that hasn’t kept Broner out of the gym, he still works hard, and thus far has always come to the ring in great physical nick. AB is living the life of a rock star, he is living fast, let’s just hope that the second segment to that phrase is not applicable here.
But, while we can ramble on about the psychological issues that AB is dealing with, the man has a fight coming up this Saturday, and like all of Broner’s fights, it is on paper a darn good one.
Since his humbling at the hands of Maidana, he has been beaten on points by both Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia. And now one feels that his 144lbs catch weight meeting with Jessie Vargas is set to fall in that same column for AB.
Like Broner, Vargas too has stumbled at the highest level, losing on the cards to both Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. But a TKO victory over Sadam Ali – to make him a 2-weight world champion – has become more significant since Ali’s stunning win over Miguel Cotto.
Vargas 28-2(10KO’s) has never be perfect technically, and in that contest he used his experience and hardened spirit to beat down Ali inside 9. Now he must do the same to take the fight from Broner early, and maybe even force Broner into a first career stoppage loss.
But for all Broner’s errors in and out of the ring, he does not lack heart. If anything, his unwilling spirit should at least endear him in some part to the boxing public.
If Broner is sharp, he can make this a tough night for Vargas, one in which the West Coast man has to dig deep to keep his own title credentials alive. But many thought that heading into his clashes with Porter and Garcia, yet he failed to deliver. There’s not much to suggest this night will be any different.
Broner will look his old self in the first two or three sessions, but once Vargas begins to outwork him, the tone will be set for the remainder of the fight. Vargas will be aware of the odd punch Broner could explode with, taking away the chance of him forcing someone’s hand in the later rounds.
Broner will yet again earn plaudits for sticking it out, but Vargas will win definitively on the scorecards. While we all hope that AB can be steered from trouble before his next inevitable payday comes along.
Another protégé to the Mayweather School of boxing is the talented Super Featherweight Gervonta Davis. The Baltimore man has a heart-wrenching back story, while his brash demeanour does not fall in line with his soft-spoken nature.
Davis 19-0(18KO’s) was spectacular in winning and defending the IBF Super Featherweight strap, but his next stoppage was marred with bad taste as he missed weight – losing his title – before unimpressively taking out his opponent in the 8th.
It wasn’t his finest hour, but to suggest that the wheels are already falling off for Davis and that he is already living the life too much is absurd. Let’s just give the 23-year old the benefit of the doubt. He felt it was an easy defence, maybe cut a few corners in training, and then tried too hard to impress on the Pay-Per-View stage, putting too much emphasis on the knockout to make up for the day before.
Now he has the chance to win the WBA belt, with former Featherweight ruler Jesus Cuellar in the opposite corner.
The Argentinian is no light touch, with his reign at Featherweight looking like the beginning of a brilliant career. But a year out of the ring was ended when he lost a narrow one to Abner Mares in December 2016, and he has not fought since.
Cuellar 28-2(21KO’s) was destructive against the right opponent, but Mares was not right for him, and the speed of Davis certainly won’t be either.
If Davis settles down and doesn’t look for the stoppage early, then it could well come naturally, in a similar way to when he halted Jose Pedraza to capture his first silverware.
Cuellar will be busted up by the end of the fight, but given his toughness he may just see it out till the final bell, losing a near shut-out on the cards.
The Charlo twins are not one’s to shy away from speaking their minds, and Jermall did just that when his fight with Hugo Centeno Jr was delayed and placed on this show featuring Broner and Davis.
There’s no threat of the online beef turning into a clash in the ring, but it certainly adds some intrigue to what will be said between the three on fight week.
The former Super Welterweight champion is looking to make his name in the Middleweight division, and he can start out in impressive fashion if he replicates Maciej Sulecki’s stoppage win over Centeno Jr.
Centeno Jr 26-1(14KO’s) is an exciting banger from California, and highlighted his dangerous power when sparking Immanuwel Aleem last August.
‘Lions Only’ is the moniker for the Charlo’s and there are certainly two lions squaring off in the fight of the night.
The pick is for Charlo 26-0(20KO’s) to be the smarter on the night, taking lessons from his points triumph over Austin Trout to use the ring to frustrate Centeno Jr. The fight is guaranteed to open up at times, but by this stage, Charlo will have a healthy advantage, and his counters will cause the most damage.
Charlo can make his statement in the final third, dropping and stopping Centeno Jr in the 9th.