by David P. Greisman
In one breath, Adrien Broner countered those who say he handpicked Ashley Theophane as an opponent for the first defense of his junior-welterweight title because he knows Theophane isn’t on his level.
“A lot of people, they probably think I’m just picking these fighters or picking on fighters. I know Ashley Theophane is going to come to fight because he got something to prove. He gonna try to come take my world title. I know he going to come to fight,” Broner said at a Feb. 29 press conference ahead of their April 1 fight at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C., airing live on Spike TV.
But it doesn’t take too long for Broner to say he’ll do to Theophane exactly what those who criticized the match-up expect to happen.
“There’s a difference between getting on the podium and saying you gonna do this, you gonna do that. But this training camp, I really been perfecting my craft. I’m telling you this is going to be the best performance of my career. We talking about, like, highlight-reel performance,” Broner said. “I ain’t coming just to get a win, as my last fight I was getting into a groove. I finally stopped a motherfucker again. Coming up in my career, that’s what I used to do all the time. Just to get that feeling again. I want to keep feeling that feeling.”
Broner’s 12th-round stoppage of Khabib Allakhverdiev last October was his first win within the distance since a February 2013 technical knockout of Gavin Rees. Broner-Rees ended in the fifth. Broner says the bout with Theophane won’t even last that long.
“This fight ain’t going four rounds. That’s probably too much,” he said. “Nine minutes too much. Jut like a virgin’s first time, this going to be quick. It don’t matter what Floyd can’t teach him or tell him, because at the end of the day Ashley gotta fight me. Everything go out the window. The trainers can’t help. The entourage can’t help. At the end of the day, they can’t help this man. I’m going to torture this guy. For real. I’m putting hands on this boy.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]