By Edward Chaykovsky
British contender Ashley Theophane is hitting back at WBA junior welterweight champion Adrien 'The Problem' Broner.
Theophane (39-6-1, 11KOs) took offense after Broner (31-2, 23KOs) promised to 'beat the sh*t' out of him and branded him as an 'easy money' fight.
Broner loves playing the role of a villain, which is why Theophane says he's been receiving a lot of support from fans, and people in the industry, who want to see him unseat 'The Problem' from his championship throne.
Theophane is finding motivation fromBroner's belief that he's going to have a very easy defense. The fight is being targeted for a date in February or March says the British fighter. Theophane is promoted by Broner's close friend, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is putting the event together with his promotional company.
Theophane told Sky Sports: "To me, he's entertaining. He's foul-mouthed and says stuff he shouldn't say. He said the same things about Shawn [Porter] and Marcos [Maidana] so I don't worry about words. When we get in the ring, that's when I'll be put to the test. Depending on my performance, we'll see if I'm 'easy money' or whether we'll hear 'and the new'. His words just motivate me to work harder in the ring and on the road."
"He seems to be the most hated man in boxing. People who don't even know me are saying they hope I win. I'm just working hard, putting it in and then it's about putting on the performance of a lifetime to get the win. It's there are loads of people who hope that I win and I'm putting the work in in the gym to make that happen."
Theophane is promoted by Broner's close friend, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who is putting the event together with his promotional company.
After reviewing Broner's defeats, and some of his close calls, Theophane is going in there with the game plan of applying a lot of pressure with a heavy workrate to make Broner uncomfortable.
"He's obviously a very good fighter to be 26 and a four-weight world champion. I respect him as a fighter but I do believe I can beat him. He's shown his weakness against fighters like Shawn and Marcos, who are active. The blueprint is there," Theophane said.
"I'm not going to beat him by trying to outbox him. I have to be in there working and making him uncomfortable. He has flashy skills but he needs more than that. We've seen that. He's got a good chin but if fighters keep working against him, he doesn't like that."