By Francisco Salazar
Adrien Broner went through three phases during the week leading up to his fight against Manny Pacquiao.
He went from ‘About Billions’ to ‘A New Beginning,’ so he claimed in a recorded interview prior to stepping inside the ring before a crowd of 13,025 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately for him, after 12 rounds with Manny Pacquiao, AB could stand for ‘Another Beatdown.’
Broner came into the Pacquiao fight talking a good fight, and selling a fight to those who were maybe hesitant on shelling out $75 for a pay-per-view telecast. It was Manny Pacquiao as a huge favorite against a fighter who was winless in his previous two fights (a decision loss to Mikey Garcia in July of 2017 and a draw against Jessie Vargas on Apr. 21).
Broner was a long shot in beating Pacquiao, and that is being generous to him. As esteemed boxing writer Andreas Hale pointed out in a column leading up to the fight, Broner was his own worst enemy, not Pacquiao.
The 29-year-old Broner has become known more for his antics outside the ring instead of inside. No one is immune to Broner, even soft-spoken and diplomatic Al Bernstein, as was the case for his cascade of profanities at Wednesday’s press conference.
It all used to not be that way. Broner had a promising beginning to his career, but now is on a path of self-destruction with each scathing report on TMZ of an accusation of assault on women or being pulled over by authorities.
Broner’s antics outside the ring are old and childish, but that is the norm with him. People should not be surprised for the outlandish, vulgar, and ignorant things statements that come out of his mouth.
Those statements and mistreatment of people are wrong. Longtime publicist Rachel Charles tweeted on Wednesday if she was working the Pacquiao-Broner promotion or was the publicist in charge of him, she would have pulled him off the stage and admonished him.
Knowing Rachel Charles, she would act upon her statement. But how many people who have worked or associated with Broner throughout his career or when he began acting the he does now could have pulled him aside to mentor or tell him what he was saying was not correct?
His father? Al Haymon? Sam Watson? Trainer Mike Stafford? Friends? All have enabled Broner to act out and say whatever he wants.
And it has shown with the outbursts at Bernstein and, at the same press conference, telling media/ supporters of Pacquiao that they will eat cats and dogs.
Broner has entered the phase where he is no longer an elite fighter, some may say he never was, even though he has won four world title belts throughout his career. Some will credit Haymon for helping him out there.
Broner can continue wanting the big fights where he can receive a significant six or seven-figure purse. The reality is that may not happen.
The thing is people will still want to tune in if and when Broner returns to the ring. He is must-see TV because people will wonder what antics he will do before and after a fight.
If people are turned off by Broner, the way he fights or what he says or does, then do not tune in to any future FOX or Showtime telecasts. Maybe that will send a message to him or PBC.
Broner is a good salesman though, not just to the fight fan, but to those around him. Not may fighters who are 0-1-1 in their last two fights would receive a spot on a pay-per-view telecast, especially in the main event, but Broner was able to do it.
Actually, Broner should be fortunate he has gotten as much time on Showtime, and now on a pay-per-view telecast. There are many unbeaten fighters or contenders that would sure love that push Broner continues to get.
Broner may still think he should fight on the big stages in Las Vegas or on a pay-per-view telecast. That is up to Haymon and the network executives at Showtime and FOX to make that decision. And that will be up to fight fans if and when they choose to watch any more fights of his.
There could be an epiphany for Broner to realize he does not need to be abrasive to people to sell a fight, but that is unlikely to happen. Broner is going to continue to be ‘AB’ or ‘About Billions’ and that is fine for him and his fans.
Those who are not can simply not watch or care. Like Jim Gray in his post-fight interview with Broner.
Gray: You are 3-3-1 in your last seven fights. What are you going to do next?
Broner: I may be 3-3-1 in my last seven fights, but I’ll be 7-0 against you.
Gray: Well, that wouldn’t mean much. This interview is over. Good luck to you.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing