By Jake Donovan
As only he can do, Adrien Broner managed in the same breath to heap praise upon his figurative big brother Floyd Mayweather Jr. and then take a dump on his promotional enterprise.
The latest occasion took place during a press conference held Monday afternoon at the historic W Washington (D.C.) Hotel to promote his April 1 clash with Ashley Theophane, The fight will headline at D.C. Armory, airing live on Spike TV with Mayweather Promotions - who promotes Theophane – taking the lead on the event in association with Broner’s About Billion Promotions and Headbangers Promotions.
Mayweather – who was never shy about speaking his mind during his incredible 17-year Hall of Fame-bound career – remained true to recent form in playing the role of promoter. The former five-division champ and the richest boxer of all time spoke highly of all involved in the event, his first as a promoter in the D.C. area.
It appeared for a brief moment that Broner would also play along during his time at the podium. He said all of the right things – which was to say he felt out of character. Soon thereafter came the revelation that he needed to speak his mind. It was at that moment when the other side of the four-division titlist from Cincinnati took over.
Going into fight mode, Broner’s praise of “The Money Team” (TMT, an unofficial label associated with Mayweather Promotions) dissolved into “F*** TMT”, “f*** Ashley” and “f*** Nate [Jones, a 1996 U.S. Olympian and Theophane’s trainer, having also previously worked with Broner].”
The hard line stance he’s assumed was accompanied by the insistence that he would “whoop Theophane’s mother***in’ ass” during their on-stage staredown that turned into a Broner shadowboxing session. He even offered to make a side bet with Mayweather, who for the moment took the high road and didn’t engage the brash boxer.
Instead, Mayweather took the calculated approach, responding at a time when he commanded the room’s attention. As Broner stormed out of the session – insisting any media who wanted to interview him needed to head to HeadBangers Boxing Gym in a separate part of D.C. where he is currently training – Mayweather willingly held court.
As he offered answers to a wide variety of topics, the recently retired boxer maintained his signature wide-eyed grin. He was genuinely happy to be there to represent Theophane, who enters his first major title fight. However, the grin was also in part due to anticipation of eventually being asked why he didn’t respond to Broner’s comments.
He eventually would.
“Let me ask you this,” Mayweather rhetorically pondered to BoxingScene.com during an in impromptu photo shoot at POV, the hotel’s rooftop restaurant overlooking the capital city, including the National Monument. “Adrien Broner wants to say “f*** Floyd Mayweather,” “f*** TMT” yet he’s still sporting TMT gear. But you know what, it’s nothing but love for Adrien Broner, always.
"When Adrien lost to Marcos Maidana (the first defeat of Broner’s career, having went unbeaten and collected titles in three weight classes prior to that point), everyone wrote him off. But TMT was always there. We provided that shoulder for him to cry on. Ashley Theophane, he's working with a top trainer and he's going to shock the world on April 1. That's where my support is, with my fighter getting ready to win the championship, and me busting my ass to promote this event and push it to the next level.”
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox