Adrien Broner wasn’t certain as of Tuesday morning who he’ll fight February 13.
Several boxers have been considered to replace Pedro Campa as Broner’s opponent next month, now that Campa has tested positive for COVID-19. Whomever Broner boxes, he is not expected to encounter a top 140-pound opponent in what will be his first fight in more than two years.
“At this point, it don’t matter who they get,” Broner told Showtime’s Brian Custer for an episode of Custer’s podcast that debuted Monday night on YouTube. “I’m in shape. I’ve been training my ass off, and I’m ready to come back and show the world what they’ve been missing.”
The 31-year-old Broner believes Campa would’ve been an appropriate opponent for his first appearance since he lost a lopsided, 12-round decision to Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao in January 2019 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Broner battled Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, seven pounds higher than the maximum at which his next fight will be contested.
“Sh-t, his record speak for itself,” Broner said of Campa. “He was 31-1. You know, he was a great opponent. I didn’t wanna come in and just get somebody I could just go in and knock out. I wanna come in and get a tough test and, you know, get the ball back rolling.”
Mexico’s Campa, 29, settled for a 10-round split draw two fights ago with Abner Lopez, who entered their fight in April 2019 with a 27-9 record. Campa (31-1-1, 21 KOs) is 4-0-1 since suffering a seventh-round, technical-knockout loss to Carlos Jimenez (then 11-8-1) in October 2017.
Boxing Broner would’ve represented a steep step up in class for Campa, despite the former four-division champion’s long layoff. Now that Campa cannot train, the Cincinnati native is likely to face a comparable opponent in the main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“Man, like I told you before, man, this sh-t, it’s like a box of chocolates,” Broner said. “You never know who you’re gonna get at this point. So, you know, I’m just in a box, picking, and hoping I’ll get the cherry.”
Regardless, the polarizing Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) is in desperate need of a win. He is 0-2-1 in his past three fights and hasn’t recorded a decisive victory in nearly five years, not since he stopped England’s Ashley Theophane (then 39-6-1) in the ninth round of their April 2016 bout at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.
“I don’t think it’s about the opponent for Adrien Broner,” Broner said. “For Adrien Broner, the fans, even the ones that dislike me, they just want Adrien Broner to go in there and be Adrien Broner. You know, be in shape and get back to the old AB. And I think that’s what I’m coming back around to, and February 13th, everybody will see.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.