Adrien Broner lasted less than two minutes Tuesday on the initial virtual press conference for his August 20 fight against Omar Figueroa Jr.
Showtime’s Brian Custer, the moderator of the press conference, asked Broner how training camp has gone for what will be his first fight in exactly 18 months. Broner, apparently offended that he was asked to participate in a virtual press conference, cursed out longtime adviser Al Haymon and Showtime Sports’ Stephen Espinoza before telling Custer that he was going back to bed at his training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I’m gonna be a hundred-percent honest with you, Brian,” Broner said. “I ain’t wit none of this sh!t they got goin’ on. I feel like Al Haymon and Stephen Espinoza is bullsh!ttin’ because why is we doin’ a press conference on the computer? When you got guys like – they don’t do Floyd’s sh!t on no f---in’ computer, when he fight a YouTuber. They don’t do nobody else sh!t on the computer, but they wanna do my sh!t on a computer. So, that’s tellin’ me they don’t give a f--- about me. So, when you say it’s f--- me, it’s f--- y’all. And at the end of the day, that’s what I really just came here to let y’all know.
“I see – anybody can see it. At this point, y’all bullsh!ttin’. At this point, y’all bullsh!ttin’. Y’all been supposed to make this fight. Y’all givin’ us dates, y’all keep pushin’ our dates back. Y’all, c’mon man, who the f--- do a six-month camp? Y’all trippin’, so what I’m gonna do, you know, Brian, I’m gonna talk to you at a 11 on Thursday [for Custer’s podcast]. So, what I’m gonna do is tell Omar keep trainin’ yo ass off. I’m trainin’ my ass off, too. Let’s go in there and put on a great performance. But I’m gonna get the f--- up on up outta here and go back to sleep, y’all. Hey Brian, I’ll see you on Thursday, aight?”
Once Broner’s rant ended, Custer explained that press conferences conducted via Zoom became customary when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 and that there will be an in-person press conference in four weeks at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, where Broner and Figueroa will headline a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader.
Broner nevertheless left the Zoom call. The four-division champion’s longtime trainer, Mike Stafford, answered questions on Broner’s behalf for more than 50 minutes.
Cincinnati’s Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since he topped Puerto Rico’s Jovanie Santiago by unanimous decision in February 2021 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The 32-year-old Broner’s 12-round win against Santiago (14-2-1, 10 KOs) ended a two-year hiatus for Broner, who has boxed only five times in the past six years.
Figueroa (28-2-1, 19 KOs) will end a 15-month layoff when he battles Broner. Abel Ramos stopped Figueroa following six one-sided rounds in Figueroa’s last fight, which took place in May 2021 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 32-year-old Figueroa has lost back-to-back bouts to Ramos (27-5-2, 21 KOs) and former WBA welterweight champ Yordenis Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs). Ugas defeated Figueroa by unanimous decision in their 12-round bout in July 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.