There may be a lot of questions concerning boxing’s newest entrant, but money shouldn’t be one of them, according to Adrien Broner.
The multiple division champion from Cincinnati, Ohio, recently announced a partnership with BLK Prime, a hitherto unknown subscription streaming service that made a splash in boxing last month after it revealed it would be promoting Terence Crawford’s 147-pound title fight with David Avanesyan. The news surprised boxing fans as it appeared that Crawford, the WBO titlist, was headed toward a showdown with WBC, WBA, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed welterweight championship. A few days later, BLK Prime announced a separate multi-fight deal with Broner.
Few, at least in boxing, could profess to know who BLK Prime was when it made their initial announcements, and questions have abounded as to how the outfit expects to cover the purses of Crawford and Broner, to say nothing of production and marketing costs that goes into streaming their events. Crawford is reportedly receiving $10 million to fight Avanesyan. In an interview with Brian Custer on the Last Stand Podcast, Crawford indicated that he had already received half of his purse from BLK Prime well in advance of the fight, and that the balance would be sent to him during the week of the fight. (The company’s head appears to be a man named Desmond Gumbs, but he was not quoted in BLK Prime’s press release announcing Crawford-Avanesyan nor has he appeared to have given any formal interviews with boxing news outlets).
Broner, who has elsewhere said his deal was in the “eight-figure” range, brushed aside any qualms concerning BLK Prime’s finances in an interview held after a press conference on Saturday to announce his fight with Ivan Redkach on Feb. 18 in Atlanta, Georgia.
“The money is real, fellas,” Broner told FightHub TV. “The money is real. We ain’t living off promises.”
Broner’s announcement with BLK Prime was also surprising since Broner had a years-long relationship with Premier Boxing Champions’ founder Al Haymon and Showtime Sports’ head Stephen Espinoza. Broner headlined many Showtime cards over the years. In fact, he was supposed to fight Omar Figueroa in August, on another Showtime main event, but Broner pulled out of the fight a week out, citing mental health.
Broner said he still maintains health relations with Haymon and Espinoza.
“It’s still good,” Broner said. “Sh!t, at the end of the day, once you take away Showtime, once you take away PBC, once you take away TV, these are regular motherf-----s, man. You know, they wake up in the morning and put their pants on one leg at a time. Of course, our relationship hasn’t changed. I can still pick up the phone and call.”
“I’m 100% BLK Prime, and Al and Stephen Espinoza, they my n----s,” Broner added. “They cool. We’re good.”