By Keith Idec
Adrien Broner doesn’t understand the contention that this is a “must-win” fight for him.
Broner acknowledges that upsetting Manny Pacquiao can completely change his career and take it to places he “never dreamed of.” But Broner approaches every fight as if he absolutely has to win it, thus he doesn’t consider his Showtime Pay-Per-View showdown with Pacquiao any different in that respect.
“I don’t be getting when people say ‘must-win fights,’ ” Broner said during a conference call Thursday. “Because at the end of the day, if you’re a boxer every fight is a must-win fight. You don’t ever wanna go to a fight trying to lose. So, you know, as a competitor, as an athlete, you know, I go in any event that I’ve been to and that I prepare for, I go in to win. So, you know, of course I’m trying to win, and it’s always a must-win situation.”
That said, Broner is one of boxing’s anomalies in that the results of his bouts haven’t prevented the four-division champion from securing bigger fights.
When he edged Adrian Granados in a back-and-forth fight in February 2017, his split-decision defeat of the gritty Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC) led to Broner boxing Mikey Garcia in his following fight. Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who also has become a champion in four weight classes, beat Broner convincingly in their 12-round, 140-pound bout.
After losing to Garcia, Broner battled Jessie Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) to a 12-round draw. Pacquiao dropped Vargas in a November 2016 bout Pacquiao won by big margins on all three scorecards.
That didn’t stop Al Haymon from matching the 40-year-old Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) against Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) in the Filipino superstar’s Premier Boxing Champions debut. Coming off a draw, Broner also will make his pay-per-view debut against Pacquiao.
If Broner upsets Pacquiao, an even bigger fight against Broner’s mentor and “big brother,” Floyd Mayweather Jr., apparently is a possibility.
Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs), who’ll turn 42 next month, supposedly is interested in a rematch with Pacquiao. The retired five-division champion hasn’t publicly expressed a desire to box Broner, who wouldn’t address the possibility of fighting Mayweather when asked on Thursday’s conference call.
“I don’t look at that,” Broner said. “Boxing is a sport where you’ve gotta go a fight at a time, so I’m focused on Manny Pacquiao. And after that, we’ll look at other things and other avenues.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.