Adrien Broner is running late. 

In that sense, it’s business as usual for “The Problem,” who returns to the ring for the first time in a year to face Blair Cobbs this Friday in Hollywood, Florida. There has been the usual talk that it’s “new year, new me” for Broner, but even that’s more muted this time around, a nod to the reality that every previous attempt to reinvent the four-division world titleholder’s image as mature, focused and a new man has largely gone on deaf ears.

He is who he is. That was never more evident than during Tuesday’s pre-fight press conference, where he made several off-color remarks to Cobbs in the interest of hyping up a bout that really doesn’t need such antics because of the importance of it for Broner’s future title hopes. At 34, he needs the win, Cobbs is a legitimate opponent, and if social media is any indication, fans will be watching.

As the Cincinnati native was being hustled to the presser, I asked him why people still care about Adrien Broner.

“I'm a special man,” Broner laughed. “There’s only one of me that come every 30 years in boxing.”

That’s pushing it a bit, but Broner has been a special talent who polarized the global fanbase not only because of his performances in the ring, but his actions outside the ropes, some amusing, some not, some resulting in tangles with the law. Yet he always remained in the news, which is why he’s still relevant in a pro game he’s been competing in since 2008. 

His run has seen him win titles at 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds, beating the likes of Antonio DeMarco, Gavin Rees, Paulie Malignaggi, John Molina Jr. and Khabib Allakhverdiev. The losses to Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana have been high-profile and damaging to his bottom line, but he’s never been stopped, and after two two-year absences from 2019 to 2021 and 2021 to 2023, he’s still here, hoping to make another run at a belt, admittedly, his last.

“My children motivate me, but this last run is for me,” Broner said. “I did everything for everybody else, so this last run is for me.”

If he does manage to get back to the top of the welterweight division, it might just be 92-year-old Don King’s last great promotional achievement, and quite a feat for Broner in a division where Terence Crawford, Jaron Ennis, Mario Barrios and Eimantas Stanionis are the big guns. Broner does hold a Top 15 ranking in the WBC and WBA, which is amazing, considering that his lone win since 2021 is a victory over Bill Hutchinson (who was fighting his first 10-rounder) last June, but he would likely be a prohibitive underdog against the aforementioned quartet. 

You won’t hear any doubt coming from Broner’s mouth, though. That just wouldn’t be his style. And as Cus D’Amato famously said, “Those born round don’t die square.”

Adrien Broner is who he is. Some love him for it, some hate him, but wherever you stand, you’re most likely talking about him this week. Dare I say some of you missed him? That’s okay, he missed you right back.

“Come on, man, of course I miss it,” Broner said. “Just make sure y'all don't miss it June 7th.”