Adrien Broner Has Problems; Winning Not One of Them

By: Gordie Tamayo
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The boxing world got a another dose of drama this weekend and this time the problem was more than just weight. Unbeaten rising star Adrien Broner tipped the scales 3.5 lbs over the 130 lb limit at Friday’s weigh-in for his bout against former Olympian Vicente Escobedo and the commotion didn’t stop there. Saturday morning rolled around and it was announced that Broner once more missed the same day weigh-in by coming in at 143 lbs and the fight in jeopardy of being scratched.

The two camps went to the negotiating table in an attempt to iron out an agreement and continue the fight as scheduled as the boxing world went into a frenzy. The obvious concerns were that Broner would be at an unfair advantage in weight and that he showed a clear disregard for the rules, his fans and opponent by missing his professional duties more than once.

Broner would go on to forfeit his 130 lb title on the scales, which he was planning on vacating after this bout either way, along with an undisclosed portion of his purse and 60k in fines to keep Escobedo from catching a plane ticket back home.

This was arguably Broner’s biggest test to date in front of a hometown crowd in Cincinnati and more than his reputation was at stake. As the old adage goes “money talks”; and once the numbers reached a rumored 400k for Escobedo, the fight was back in motion.

For both sides this was business as usual and even though the confident Broner ended up giving Escobedo more than he would have wanted, the long-term benefit of keeping his name relevant with the networks would pay more dividends. And who can knock Escobedo for taking the offer. Months away from family, a new baby and at minimum double the pay, any other fighter would have done the same.

For the most part Broner delivered as promised. He was cautious in the opening rounds but managed to get into his groove after the third round and increase the output. He landed body shots with authority and followed upstairs with intentions to hurt. Escobedo took the onslaught assault like a champion and managed to deliver a few body shots of his own, although it was not enough.

More of a boxer than a slugger, Escobedo was most effective when keeping at arms length with his superb jab but found himself getting into an exchange where the stronger and quicker Broner would get the best of. Escobedo was overpowered into the ropes by heavy hooks to the body and once Broner went in for the kill, Escobedo’s corner saw that he had received enough and waived the surrender flag.

Escobedo joins the next name off Broner’s hit-list but not without a few question marks and negative attention to follow Broner. Escobedo did everything a champion and professional fighter is suppose to do in preparation for a world title with no excuses while Broner played it off as if he was the exception when it comes to fulfilling contractual obligations. Broner is moving up in weight class to avoid the problem of making weight but the problem of maturity is still clearly present by both pre and post fight behavior. 

Regardless though, boxing is a business and Broner is more than just a showman with a flashy tongue and an excuse for every question. There is something special about this young fighter and his handlers know it. He has some development to go as Saturday’s bout showed holes in his defense but he appears to be in it for the long haul. And as long as he keeps performing, Broner’s out of ring and inside ring antics will be most likely written off as somebody elses problem.

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