By Chris Robinson
On Friday afternoon, I again made some rounds inside of the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas.
Prior to leaving, I caught up with former junior lightweight contender and current day trainer Jeff Mayweather, as we looked ahead to WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner’s match with Newbridge, Wales native Gavin Rees.
At just 23 years of age, Broner has a rare combination of talent, confidence, and exuberance that you simply don’t come across too often. And in Mayweather’s eyes, there isn’t much not to like.
“I think Broner is the next major star in boxing,” Mayweather would state. “The second Floyd [Mayweather] exits, Broner will be the one to fill those shoes. The kid is very talented; has charisma, has flare.
“Sometimes he’s a little over the top but he’s still young,” Mayweather continued. “With age comes maturity, so I think eventually, at some point in time, he’ll tone it down somewhat.”
Mayweather then shed some insight as to why Broner may be so brazen and brash with his personality.
“The one things is this,” said Mayweather. “The good guys that can fight become stars. The bad guys that can fight, talk trash, and back it up become stars. The guys that are just good fighters with no flare, no charisma, nothing that the fans care about; they’re never going to become stars of the sport.”
Inside of the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Broner would fend off a spirited attack from Rees, dropping him twice before his trainer Gary Lockett threw in the towel towards the end of the 5th round.
Along the way, Broner found himself in a physical match on the inside but he was sharp with his punches and landed some telling power shots.
“Another solid performance,” Mayweather expressed as we spoke after the bout, as Broner improved his record to 26-0 with 22 knockouts.
As for his opinion of Rees, Mayweather couldn’t help but to admire his courage despite his uphill battle in trying to tackle one of the sport’s true rising stars.
“Never saw him before; didn’t know what to expect,” said Mayweather. “Gave a good account of himself and came to win.”
Asked if he still considers Broner the best of what the future holds, Mayweather has little doubt.
“Definitely,” he said.