by David P. Greisman
From the moment Adrien Broner called out Ashley Theophane last year, he played on the friendship he has with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the fact that Mayweather promotes Theophane.
“They say my big bro, the one, the only Floyd Mayweather, he say he got a fighter that he feels like he can beat me,” Broner said last October after capturing a vacant junior-welterweight world title against Khabib Allakhverdiev. “I think his name is Ashley, but if that is true, this is what you do, big bro, because bosses talk to bosses. You put Ashley on one of your private jets, bring him to come see me and I’ll bet I’ll bring the girl out of that boy like Bruce Jenner.”
So while Broner spoke of Theophane and Mayweather in respectful terms at the beginning of a press conference on Monday, he then acknowledged that any friendships are out the window until this fight is done.
“I know Ashley Theophane is going to come to fight because he got something to prove. He gonna try to come take my world title. I know he going to come to fight,” Broner said on Feb. 29 in Washington, D.C., in advance of the April 1 bout at the D.C. Armory.
“I admire [Mayweather] and his work and what he did for the sport. I was going to come up here and keep it at that because I respect Floyd so much, but then that wouldn’t be me. For real, like, I respect Floyd. I respect Nate [Jones, who trains Theophane and has helped out with Broner in the past]. I respect Ashley. But at the end of the day, they’re not on my motherf***ing side. They’re not up here coming up saying, ‘AB Promotions,’ so I gotta say f*** them guys.
"Cause right now they coming to dethrone me. For me to go in a fight like they my friend, nah, they my enemy right now. That’s what it is. Point blank, period. Hell yeah, I’m going to beat the sh*t out of Ashley. I got respect for Nate. If Nate need anything, he can call me and get it. But at the end of the day, he training the motherf***er to beat me, so f*** Nate, too, right now. And that just what it is.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]