By Keith Idec
NEW YORK — Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been impressed thus far by what he has seen from Adrien Broner, the flamboyant fighter who is being groomed by his handlers as the sport’s next Mayweather.
There wasn’t much to dislike about Broner’s fourth-round knockout of Eloy Perez on Saturday night in St. Louis. Mayweather recognizes, though, that the 22-year-old junior lightweight title-holder has some growing to do inside the ring before he can climb toward the top of pound-for-pound lists.
“Some day I want to hand the torch to another young fighter,” Mayweather said. “It could be Yuri Gamboa. It could be Broner. We just don’t know, but I’d love to hand that throne to one of those fighters. I’ve seen Broner fight a few times. As of right now, he’s in a learning stage. Even though he’s a champion, it’s still a learning stage. Because fighters don’t understand that when it’s at this level, it’s different.”
Cincinnati’s Broner improved to 23-0 and recorded his 19th knockout against Perez (23-1-2, 7 KOs, 1 NC), of Salinas, Calif., in the opener of an HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader from Scottrade Center. That marked Broner’s third straight knockout win since his uninspiring performance in a unanimous decision win against Mexico’s Daniel Ponce De Leon (42-4, 35 KOs) nearly a year ago in Anaheim, Calif.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.