UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Adrien Broner made a passionate plea to Stephen Espinoza as soon as he finished his post-fight interview with Showtime’s Brian Custer early Sunday morning.
More than anything, Broner wants to get back in the ring as soon as possible. Espinoza, Showtime’s president of sports and event programming, and adviser Al Haymon are the two men Broner knows can make that happen.
The Cincinnati native wasn’t particularly sharp during his 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Jovanie Santiago on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. That was Broner’s first fight in more than two years, though, and he intends to be much more active in 2021.
Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) would like to box three times this year, something he hasn’t done since 2015. The four-division champion admitted that training camp helps keep him out of trouble, thus the more time he spends preparing for fights, the less problems he’ll encounter outside of the ring.
“Two mo’ [fights this year], three if I can,” Broner said during a post-fight press conference. “Because if I don’t, you gotta think, bro. You gotta think. Listen, bro, if they don’t get me in the ring, I f--- around and be fightin’ some mo’ cases, bro. I don’t know. Trouble just find me somehow. The only way I stay out of trouble is if I’m training, if I’m training, man.
“I don’t know why God got my life set up like this. I don’t know. I just try to make the best of it, man. I do. And right now, I’m in a mind state to stay focused on boxing. And as long as I can do that, I’ll stay out of trouble. So, they just need to keep me fighting. I don’t give a f--- if I fight next week. I just wanna fight.”
Broner listed “gambling, sex, women,” and later “liquor” as the vices he needs to avoid by remaining committed to training.
The polarizing Broner also acknowledged his financial difficulties after defeating Santiago. He joked with Custer that he had only $13 in his bank account before boxing Santiago.
He made a career-high purse for his previous fight – a 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Manny Pacquiao in January 2019. Broner still owes approximately $830,000 to an unidentified woman who won a civil judgment against him stemming from an incident in which she claimed Broner sexually assaulted her at a Cleveland nightclub in June 2018.
Broner, 31, faces more jail time if he doesn’t pay that overdue $830,000 soon. Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court judge Nancy Russo sent Broner to jail for two days early in November for failing to satisfy that judgment.
Broner was released on the condition that he’ll pay that $830,000 from his purse for the Santiago fight.
He’ll have to fight a more known, imposing opponent than Puerto Rico’s Santiago (14-1-1, 10 KOs) to make the type of money Broner thinks he deserves. Broner has faced a high level of opposition during his career, however, and just wants to get back in the ring as soon as possible.
Whoever Broner boxes next, he is confident he’ll be better than he was against Santiago simply because of his activity. He got off to a very slow start Saturday night, but he beat Santiago on all three scorecards – 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 – after picking up the pace and boxing better during the second half of their fight.
“To Steve and Al, yes, I do wanna get right back in the gym and, you know, I wanna get back active,” Broner said. “And once I get back in the gym, a lot of things is gonna start waking back up and you’ll see a lot better performances. And even this performance, after being two years off, I still felt like I performed good and I did what I had to do to get my victory. But until I go home and really sit down and watch the fight, I’ll be able to give you my full analysis.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.