As Adrien Broner prepares for his showdown against Adrian Granados this weekend on Showtime, he once again finds himself trying to re-establish his brand after dealing with calamity inside and outside the ring while trying to meet the lofty expectations many had of him just a few years ago.
It seems to me that Broner is the kind of guy who is in a perpetual state of rebuilding. He has never really picked up the same career momentum he had before he got battered by Marcos Maidana a few years ago and, if anything, showed that he may NEVER reach those standards when he was practically blanked out by Shawn Porter in the most meaningful fight since that lopsided loss back in 2015.
Since then, Broner has fought only twice and again finds himself at a point where he needs to once again make up for lost time. The Granados fight is his first in almost a year and coming off of yet another embarrassing run-in with the law that has accentuated his lack of discipline and self-control. In case anybody has forgotten, Broner found himself in plenty of trouble when he was accused of beating up a man outside of a bowling alley and got jail time for his recent episode.
At this point in Broner’s career, if he is unable to shape up and take his career seriously, he’s going to be more trouble than he’s worth. While he’s ratings dynamite for Premier Boxing Champions and can control a tremendous amount of press from casual fan to hardcore faithful alike, he’s getting to the point where his out of the ring shenanigans are overshadowing his in-ring work.
The shtick is all sounding the same too. Broner has gone on ahead of this fight saying he’s taking everything seriously now and not looking past Granados and ready to take things seriously, but never at any of the previous points of Broner’s career has he really been at the crossroads like he is right now.
The truth is that he’ll probably beat Granados and if Ricky Burns doesn’t get hurt again or find another way to avoid a fight with Broner, he’ll probably have a belt by the end of the year. Because 140-pound division isn’t full of killers and Bob Arum will not go out of his way to make a fight between Broner and Terence Crawford, Broner can stay relevant by fighting the same level of middling opposition he’s fought after the Maidana and Porter losses.
Of course, if he can’t get his act together or can no longer comfortably make the 140-pound limit and has to campaign as a Welterweight—his days are numbered. Broner may be able to win fights against the likes of Jessie Vargas or Andre Berto, but a Welterweight elite he will never be.
Should Broner take a loss against and continue to find trouble with the law or any ridiculous controversy that he is known for, it will be harder to take him seriously and nearly impossible to defend him. If there is any time for Broner to seriously invest his time in the sport and put the past behind him, it will have to come from recapturing the flash and skill he showed on the way up without any of the garbage he’s tossed around on the way down to this point.
Once again, the road for success has practically been paved for Broner to just simply follow, but whether or not he’ll stay between the lines is a story that is still unfolding.