He won a super-featherweight title at 21 before capturing multiple belts in bigger-boy divisions. He’s quick with his fists and his words. He brings the bling. He speaks in the third person.
One could be talking about Floyd Mayweather or Adrien Broner, the man who wants to be the next king of the ring. As the newly-bearded Broner reasons, “After Floyd Mayweather, someone has to take over.” Who better to be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr. than Floyd Mayweather Jr. Jr.?
In less than two weeks, Broner fights in the co-feature of the Mayweather-Maidana pay-per view. He takes on 17-1-1 Carlos Molina, who, to hear Broner tell it, has importance merely because of his May 3 opponent. “He’s coming to be the second person to beat Adrien Broner,” the same Adrien Broner explained as he sat a foot away backstage at the Hopkins-Shumenov fight in Washington, DC. “That’s always gonna go into history, because I will be going into history when I’m done with boxing.”
Broner, despite his world titles at three weight classes, is far from done with boxing. The first man to beat him, Marcos Maidana, never strayed too far from the 24-year-old’s thoughts Saturday night. “I’m gonna get him. I’m gonna fight him. He says he’s having a baby. He can have ten babies. He’s still gonna have to fight me.” Broner’s words neither confirmed nor denied that he accepted step-aside money to waive his rematch clause so that heavy-handed Maidana could fight the quick-fisted Mayweather. His body language, however, screamed: “Yes, I did.”
“I will fight him at any weight,” he says of Manny Pacquiao. “If I can make 115 to fight Pacquiao, I’ll do it.” After stealing one of Paulie Malignaggi’s girlfriends, Broner offered that he’d be glad to steal another decision from him, too. “I hope he wins tonight,” Broner said of past foe, in the ring and in their social lives, who ultimately lost in a frantic four rounds. “Shawn Porter’s from Ohio. But I understand business. Who don’t want to see a Paulie and Adrien II?”
Broner excitedly talked about fighting nearly every contender within two divisions from his current crash pad at lightweight. The lone, glaring exception is the man who calls Broner “little brother,” Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Blood is blood, man,” Broner told Breitbart Sports. “Blood is thicker than water. He’s going to stay at the top of his game and I’m going to stay at the top of mine.” Translation? I’m not meeting my mentor in the ring.
If becoming the next Mayweather by ducking even talk of a fight with Mayweather strikes some as a very Mayweather approach, Broner surely realizes that for Money truly to become Money–to go from 325K pay-per-view orders to 2.4 million–he had to fight Oscar de la Hoya, the biggest name in the post-Tyson boxing industry. And while it’s evident that for reasons of sentiment, and perhaps skill as well, Broner doesn’t want to fight Money, it’s also Chrystal–as in the champagne–clear that Broner likes money even more than he likes Money.
“Some people might not ever see this much money in a lifetime,” he told me of the gaudy hardware around his neck, pinned to his ears, and even on his teeth. “But I work hard for it, and all my taxes is paid.” When I asked Broner to put a price on the jewelry, he declined: “We can’t really talk about no numbers. I got baby mamas.”
He’s also got a 2013 nightclub-fight arrest, a menage-a-trois sex tape, YouTube video of him flushing money down the toilet, five kids and no wife, and strippers to rain paper upon. One can maintain that lifestyle fighting on Floyd Mayweather undercards for only so long.