UNCASVILLE, Connecticut – Adrien Broner expects to fight a more known opponent than Jovanie Santiago next.
Regis Prograis is the potential opponent that has been mentioned most, but Broner doesn’t think he’ll face the former WBA super lightweight champion when he returns to the ring later this year.
“Um, maybe not next,” Broner said during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “I don’t see that next. But if it do come next, it don’t matter. It don’t matter. I’m gonna win. I’m gonna f--k buddy up.”
Prograis has been very vocal about wanting to box Broner as soon as possible. The strong southpaw from New Orleans wants to remain in the 140-pound division, but Broner defeated Puerto Rico’s Santiago by unanimous decision at the welterweight limit Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) returned from a two-year layoff against Santiago (14-1-1, 10 KOs). Before Saturday night, he hadn’t boxed since he lost a unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao in their 12-round fight for the WBA world welterweight title in January 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Broner claimed following his victory over Santiago that he still can get down to 140 pounds. The Cincinnati native could oppose Prograis at a catch weight between 140 and 147 pounds, though, because it wouldn’t be a title fight.
The 31-year-old Broner thinks their fight eventually will happen, even if it’s not next.
“Prograis, like I always tell everybody, and I always tell everybody this – he keep yelling my name, and he’s doing what he’s supposed to do,” Broner said. “You know, when I was coming up, you know, I was calling everybody out. He’s only doing what he’s supposed to do, but like I always tell him, just keep doing your thing. I wish him nothing but the best. Every time he fight, I hope he win. But like I said, man, if he get in the ring with me, I’m gonna f--k him up.”
Prograis (25-1, 20 KOs) stopped previously unbeaten Juan Heraldez (16-1-1, 10 KOs) in the third round of his last fight, October 31 at Alamodome in San Antonio. He wasted no time calling out Broner in the post-fight press conference, yet Prograis acknowledged during a recent interview with BoxingScene.com that Broner probably views him as too much of risk at this point.
“I don’t think AB is scared of me, I won’t say that,” Prograis said. “He fought Pacquiao, he fought [Shawn] Porter, he fought [Marcos] Maidana. As a man, I don’t think he’s scared to fight me. As a businessman, I think he’s scared to mess up whatever he has planned. Like, he’s not scared of me as a person, but I do think he’s scared to get in the ring with me at this point in his career.
“He doesn’t want to fight me now because it’s too much risk for him. But with Al Haymon involved with both of us now, maybe after [the Santiago] fight, we get to a point where it’s still a risk for him, but a lot of reward. He’ll get in the ring if he gets whatever he’s asking for – $10 million, $5 million, $3 million. I do think it’s still a big fight, one of the biggest at 140. So, I get why Broner’s doing what he’s doing, but I do believe a fight between me and him will definitely happen.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.