By Keith Idec
If “The Problem” has any difficulty making weight Friday in Atlantic City, Gary Shaw has assured everyone involved that Adrien Broner and his handlers will have a problem even larger than the rising star’s enormous ego.
Shaw, whose company promotes WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, issued this warning to DeMarco’s challenger:
“If Broner is even one ounce over the 135-pound [lightweight] limit for this fight,” Shaw said, “they’re going to have pay DeMarco double what he’s making for him to fight. We won’t let Broner do what he did the last time he fought, I can promise you that.”
Shaw was referring to Broner’s blatant disregard to making weight for a 130-pound fight against Vicente Escobedo on July 21 in Broner’s native Cincinnati. Broner tweeted pictures in the weeks leading up that fight of him eating candy and visiting McDonald’s, among other tips that he wasn’t terribly interested in making weight, and then weighed in at 133˝ pounds for a 130-pound WBO title fight.
The 31-year-old Escobedo (26-4, 15 KOs), of Woodland, Calif., boxed anyway because the 2004 American Olympian didn’t want to blow a substantial payday and wanted an opportunity to fight for the WBO super featherweight championship. The WBO stripped the title from Broner for his weigh-in shenanigans, but the then-vacant title was at stake for Escobedo.
Broner, who is advised by Al Haymon and promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s company, eventually paid Escobedo an Ohio commission-mandated $30,000, plus an additional undisclosed sum out of Broner’s $300,000 purse, to remain in the fight. The unbeaten Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) stopped Escobedo in the fifth round of a one-sided fight that was broadcast by HBO.
The DeMarco-Broner bout also will be televised by HBO as the main event of a “World Championship Boxing” broadcast Saturday night from the Adrian Phillips Ballroom inside Boardwalk Hall. Heavyweights Seth Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., and Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs), of Detroit, will square off in the 10-round, co-featured fight.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.