By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – In hindsight, Adrien Broner is thankful that he lost to Marcos Maidana.
Broner believes he was headed down a destructive path prior to that fight, one so dangerous it could’ve cost him his life had he defeated the rugged Argentinean. Maidana dropped the then-unbeaten Broner twice and won a 12-round unanimous decision over him in December 2013 at Alamodome in San Antonio.
The former four-division champion from Cincinnati has been involved in numerous legal entanglements since suffering his first professional loss to Maidana. Those troubles aside, the 29-year-old Broner contends he is less reckless than when he was younger.
“It helped me,” Broner told a group of reporters Tuesday at MGM Grand regarding his loss to Maidana. “It helped me. It slowed me down a little bit. If I win that Maidana fight, I’d probably be dead right now, man. I was moving so fast. You know, God work in mysterious ways, though. I think that was just to show me, like, ‘Yo, man, you gotta chill yo little ass out a little bit.’
“But you know, I’m back here. I’m right back here. And even after that, my name still kept growing and growing and growing and growing and growing. Then I win another world title after that, and my name just keeps growing and growing and growing. You know, it’s all about growth.”
By here, Broner meant the biggest fight of his career, his first pay-per-view main event. If the Cincinnati native can upset Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena, he’ll have reached the heights to which he was certain he would’ve climbed before Maidana defeated him.
Nevertheless, Broner believes the courage and toughness he displayed during that loss to Maidana impressed most fight fans more than any of the 33 victories he has recorded.
“See, I showed more in that fight in a loss than I showed in my best win,” Broner said. “And they know, to get me out there, man, I’ll die first.”
When Broner was informed Maidana has said he doesn’t remember the 12th round of their bout because Broner hit him so hard, Broner reciprocated respect.
“Sh*t, I don’t remember a couple rounds, either,” said Broner, who survived knockdowns during the second and eighth rounds against Maidana. “At least we being honest.”
Maidana seemed to be joking about ending his retirement in a video posted on social media last week. If the former welterweight and junior welterweight champion ever gets serious about boxing again, Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) would welcome a rematch with Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs).
Argentina’s Maidana, 35, hasn’t fought since losing a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their 12-round rematch in September 2014.
“I heard he coming back,” Broner said, before addressing Maidana’s significant weight gain in retirement. “I don’t know, man. Sh*t. He always get big and then lose all the weight. But, you know, I wish him the best. Maidana, that’s my homie.”
When asked if he remains in contact with Maidana, Broner said, “Nah. Maidana, we cool. It’s a business, man. It ain’t nothing personal. I hope he come back. I wanna fight his ass again.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.