By Keith Idec
Adrien Broner’s future in and out of the ring seemed uncertain when he left his native Cincinnati to visit Floyd Mayweather Jr. in October.
Personal problems plagued Broner then, but Mayweather was optimistic Tuesday that the four-division champion he has mentored is poised to make an emphatic comeback from what was widely viewed as a suicide scare because Broner posted alarming messages on social media. Mayweather was in Cincinnati, where he helped promote Broner’s February 18 fight against Adrian Granados at Xavier University’s Cintas Center (Showtime).
“I’m proud of Adrien Broner,” Mayweather said. “He’s had a minor setback leading to major comeback. He’s going to come back better than ever. But he can’t overlook this opponent. You can look up and, all of a sudden, you’re down.”
Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs), of Cicero, Illinois, changed the course of his career when he upset previously unbeaten knockout artist Amir Imam in November 2015. Granados stopped Imam (19-1, 16 KOs), of Albany, New York, in the ninth round 13 months ago in Quebec City, Canada.
“No one can overlook Adrian Granados,” Mayweather said. “It’s a really good matchup. This guy definitely reminds me of Marcos Maidana. I don’t know if he can punch like him, but the style and aggressiveness is there. He’s always in action-packed fights.”
The retired Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) beat Argentina’s Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs), who’s also retired, in back-to-back bouts in 2014. The undefeated five-division champion expects Cincinnati’s Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) to get past Granados, but wants to see more from a fighter who has won world titles in four weight classes since 2012.
“Adrien has speed and power, but I’m looking to see Adrien throwing combinations,” Mayweather said. “That’s what some fighters lack nowadays. We think too much about ‘Money’ Mayweather, and forget about ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd. He had a 90-percent knockout rate. I think we need to see an aggressive Adrien that will throw combinations while staying smart.”
The 27-year-old Broner will fight for the first time since he scored a ninth-round technical knockout against England’s Ashley Theophane (40-7-1, 11 KOs) on April 1 in Washington, D.C.
Showtime will broadcast Broner-Granados as the main event of what is expected to be a tripleheader. The telecast also should include a 12-rounder between WBC world super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13 KOs), of Houston, and Dallas’ Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18 KOs), as well as a junior middleweight match that’ll send Staten Island’s Marcus Browne (18-0, 13 KOs) in against Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2, 14 KOs), of Fort Washington, Maryland.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.