With 2012 coming to an end it is safe to say that this has been one of the most exciting years in recent memory in the sport of boxing. The beginning of the year we witnessed what could possibly be the last hurrah for Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins when he faced the young and hungry “Bad” Chad Dawson. It was a losing effort on the part of Bernard, mainly in part to his age. Later on we witnessed another young and hungry lion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez dismantle “Sugar” Shane Mosley over twelve rounds, forcing Shane into retirement shortly after. Then we’ve witnessed some of the stars from the past make failed attempts at a comeback to the ring in Ronald “Winky” Wright and Ricky Hatton. Most recently Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao both fell victim to this streak of former stars suffering defeats. Although the future hall of famers have all fallen this year, the new breed is definitely making their statement in the sport. Guys like Leo Santa Cruz, Danny Garcia, Brandon Rios, Andre Ward, Austin Trout and the list goes on and on, however nobody stands out more than Cincinatti’s own, Adrien Broner.
Adrien “The Problem” Broner (25-0, 21 KOs) is a 23 year old undefeated W.B.C Lightweight Champion out of Cincinatti, Ohio and has alreadY made a huge presence in the sport and is about to start branching out into becoming a household name. When Adrien had his first big test on HBO in March of 2011 against Daniel Ponce De Leon (44-1, 35 KOs) a lot of people felt he failed to live up to the hype and was given the edge in a controversial 10 round decision. Since that fight Adrien has been on a steady uphill climb walking through tough opponents like Eloy Perez, Vicente Escobedo and most recently, Antonio DeMarco. The DeMarco fight was the icing on the cake for the Broner express. The fight was scheduled for twelve rounds and after a tough, close fight with Ponce De Leon a year and a half earlier, many felt that DeMarco was going to be too much for Adrien. DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KOs) entered the fight with a huge following and even though he was a 4-1 underdog going into the fight, many people still picked him for the upset win. What happened that night was nothing short of spectacular, a classic performance that had boxing fans and critics raving. The strategy that many thought Adrien would employ would be a pot shot here and there, quick combination, then move. This was not the case. From the sound of the first bell Adrien stood right in front of DeMarco and dominated every second of every round. There were no flaws defensively or offensively from Broner as he continued to chop away at DeMarco until he finally wilted in the 8th round, winning the W.B.C Lightweight championship in the proccess. Below is a full-fight video of the Broner-DeMarco bout, witness the brilliance yourself.
What sets Adrien apart from all of the other prospects is not only his in ring skillset, but his out of the ring persona. Quotes like “I was gonna do exactly what I did. Shake him up. Shake him and bake him. Cook him and eat him. No homo” in his post fight interview on HBO with Max Kellerman has gotten people to take notice and either love him or hate him. Appearances at ringside in big marquee fights with his swag turned up to 100 helps draw him attention. The outrageous Twitter and Instagram posts from the champion are keeping him relevant in between fights with the fans as well. The aura around Adrien is that of a star and many feel he is the heir apparent to boxing’s biggest star right in the United States, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Many of the comparisons come from the style of Broner, a lot of people even feel he tries to be a carbon copy of Floyd, however after watching the DeMarco destruction we all have no choice but to accept the fact that Broner is falling into his own category. The “shoulder roll” defense technique is employed by many fighters, is very effective and can be the only thing that people have left to compare the two with.
Love him or hate him, we have a guy with the personality and skill set of a star. The thing about Adrien that goes un noticed his is work ethic. Very few fighters have the same work ethic as Adrien does. His dedication to the sport is second to none, the understanding and respect for the time and youth he has is what is helping make him a star. Not long after the DeMarco bout, Adrien was back in the gym, he is constantly training and I’m willing to bet if we called him up for a 12 round fight this weekend, he will be ready. The fact that he stays in shape and doesn’t train to get in shape gives him an upperhand on his opponents and his fellow fighters throughout the sport. His passion for fighting is under-rated and as I write this, talks of him fighting in February against Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) or Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) in February are being discussed. He is one of the most active up and coming stars outside of Leo Santa Cruz. I can sense great things for the future of Broner, and 2013 will quite possibly be the year that he breaks through as a mega star. Talks of super fights with undefeated fighters like Brandon Rios, Danny Garcia and the man who dethrowned Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, have the boxing world buzzing. He has shown that he is willing to take on anyone in or above his division, and I believe he truely can live up to his nicname “The Problem” taking on anyone from the Lightweight and Super Lightweight divisions. The true die hard boxing fans are ready. It is time for the casual fans to prepare themselves for another future hall of famer.
Follow Adrien on Twitter and Instagram at @AdrienBroner
Felix is a writer for Inside The Ropes, follow Felix on Twitter and Instagram @KingFelixG