By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Adrien Broner obviously doesn’t think a lopsided loss to Manny Pacquiao will damage his ability to draw ratings.
One of the primary reasons Broner landed the Pacquiao fight Saturday night is because he’s one of the sport’s most polarizing people. Win, lose or draw, he regularly draws strong ratings for Showtime, which distributed Pacquiao-Broner as the main event of a four-fight, pay-per-view telecast.
The Cincinnati native’s 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Pacquiao dropped his record to 0-2-1 in his past three fights.
Before Pacquiao hurt him in the seventh and ninth rounds and out-pointed him, Broner settled for a 12-round majority draw with Jessie Vargas (28-2-2, 10 KOs) in his previous fight. A peak audience of 891,000 watched Showtime’s telecast of Broner-Vargas on April 21 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
In the bout before his draw with Vargas, four-division champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) was busier and better than Broner, who lost their 12-round, 140-pound bout by unanimous decision. The peak viewership for Garcia-Broner on Showtime was 937,000 in July 2017, also from Barclays Center.
His ratings success aside, the 29-year-old Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t won a fight in nearly two years. That victory came against Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs, 1 NC), who dropped a closely contested, 10-round split decision to Broner in February 2017 in Cincinnati, Broner’s hometown.
Broner might not have halted his winless streak, but he is proud of the way performed against Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs).
“They thought I was gonna come in here and be in the mud, and they was just gonna move around me and f*ck me up,” Broner said. “And I came and I gave them what they wasn’t looking for. Um, if you ask me, I feel like I won the fight. I’m not about to sit here, with a sad face. You know? I’m all right. I’m all right.
“And I will be back. And I will be champion again. And all you motherf***ers will still tune in. At the end of the day, I’m still AB. I’m the same person. Y’all never seen me fight like this. Y’all never seen me in shape like this. I dedicated myself, I put the work in, and I came and I worked my ass off.”
Preliminary pay-per-view numbers from the Pacquiao-Broner event figure to become available later this week.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.