By Jake Donovan
The forthcoming super lightweight title fight between Adrien Broner and Ashley Theophane was formally announced by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) brass on Wednesday.
The 12-round bout will take place April 1 at D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C., headlining the first installment of PBC on Spike TV in 2016. The announcement confirms separate news stories previously published on BoxingScene.com.
Broner will make the first defense of the super lightweight he claimed in a 12th round knockout of Khabib Allakhverdiev last October. His fourth title win in as many weight divisions came in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
His upcoming showdown with Theophane will mark his first in the nation’s capital, where he is currently training out of Barry Hunter’s HeadBangers Gym.
“Ashley Theophane is a world class fighter and this is going to be a tough fight for me," said Broner (31-2, 23KOs). "I'm very excited to fight in Washington, D.C. My following is huge in D.C., it's my second home.
“I think we're going to give the fans what they're looking for. I want to fight the best in the 140-pound weight division and Ashley Theophane is one of the best.”
Theophane enters his first career title fight. The hard-luck contender from England – who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and trains out of Mayweather Boxing Gym in Las Vegas – remains best-known for giving Danny Garcia a stiff challenge in their Feb. ’10 matchup when both were considered rising prospects at the time.
Garcia won a split decision in their ESPN2 Friday Night Fights headliner, going on to capture titles at super lightweight and welterweight.
It hasn’t been quite as glorious for Theophane, although he comes in riding a six-fight win streak following a disputed points loss to Pablo Cesar Cano in Sept. ’13.
His most recent win came last April, scoring a 10-round decision over Steven Uphser Chambers two nights before his promoter, then reigning welterweight and pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather outpointed Manny Pacquiao in the most lucrative boxing event ever.
Mayweather and Broner have enjoyed an odd bromance through the years, though one that dissolved into a public feud last fall. The bickering between the two served as the evolution for this very fight, with Mayweather “daring” Broner to next face his kid had he won his fight with Allakhverdiev, which of course became the case.
“I'm excited to face Adrien Broner (39-6-1, 11KOs) for a super lightweight world championship,” said Theophane. “It's been a long, hard road to get here. Thanks to Floyd Mayweather and everyone at Mayweather Promotions for their support over the last two and a half years. I get to have my career defining fight against a four-division world champion. It gets no bigger than that. I will be leaving the ring on April 1 as the new world champion.”
The upcoming show marks the first of seven currently scheduled boxing dates for Spike TV, which was hailed as BoxingScene.com’s 2015 Network of the Year.
Its incredible rookie season produced more Fight of the Year contenders than any other network. Chief among them was the August 14 edition of PBC on Spike TV that saw Krzysztof Glowacki recover from a 6th round knockdown to rally and stop long-reigning cruiserweight champ Marco Huck in the 11th round of their non-stop thriller in Newark, New Jersey. The win netted Glowacki the cruiserweight title, leaving Huck tied for the most defenses in divisional history.
“After an incredible 2015, Spike is thrilled to welcome the PBC back with a bout headlined by Adrien Broner - one of boxing's biggest personalities out of the ring and one of the best fighters in the ring,” said Jon Slusser, Senior Vice President, Sports & Specials, Spike TV.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by About Billions Promotions and Mayweather Promotions in association with HeadBangers Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $50 and $25, and are on sale Friday, February 26 at 9 a.m. ET. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster locations or call (800) 745-3000.
The event will mark the second major show to take place at the venue in a span of four weeks.
“The DC Armory is synonymous with championship boxing in Washington, D.C.,” stated Erik A. Moses, Events DC senior vice president and managing director for sports and entertainment. “Events DC is proud to work with HeadBangers Promotions, About Billions Promotions and Mayweather Promotions to showcase PBC in the nation's capital.”
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox