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ADRIEN’S NO “PROBLEM” FOR PORTER

June 21, 2015, Queens, NY  Last night, the fighter known as “The Problem” Adrien Broner, fought Shawn “Showtime” Porter and suffered his second defeat by unanimous decision. The fight, which was co-promoted by Floyd Mayweather along with Premier Boxing Champions and televised by NBC. was a highly anticipated welterweight fight between two former champions hailing from Ohio who came up through the ranks together. Porter raised his record to 26-1-1 16 KOs, and Broner lost for only the second time in his career, falling to 30-2, 22 KOs.  The judges scored the fight 118-108, 115-111, and 114-112.  PureSportsNY scored the fight 115-111, eight rounds to four, in favor of Porter.

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The fight was fought in Las Vegas, Nevada, the adopted hometown of Porter, at the MGM Grand. It was billed as “The Battle for Ohio,” and was deemed a rare commodity in a sport that is reluctant to put fighters under the same promotional wing against each other.  Especially when they are young and have plenty to lose.  On April 19, of last year, Porter looked impressive against Paulie Malignaggi, stopping him in the fourth round. In his next fight, Porter defended his title against England’s Kell Brook and lost his title by decision.  Back in March, Porter defeated Erick Bone by fifth round KO.

Broner, whose first defeat was to Marcos Maidana, won his last three fights via decision against Carlos Molina, Emmanuel Taylor, and John Molina, respectively.  A victory against the highly respected Porter would have put him in line for a title shot.  During the pre-fight build-up, Broner seemed to have toned down his outlandish behavior saving most of his vitriol for Shawn Porter’s father and trainer, Kenny Porter.  The back and forth between the senior Porter and Broner took front and center stage during one of the last press conferences. Broner charging Kenny Porter with controlling his son’s finances, and Kenny Porter telling Broner to pay his child support for his five children.

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FRONT OF THE LINE, BACK OF THE LINE

The fight was fought at the catch weight of 144, which appeared to favor Broner who is the smaller man.  Porter made the weight and then bulked up to 161 pounds.  Broner, who was 1/2 pound under the weight limit was 157 by fight time.  The two fighters had sparred each other a few times, both claiming to have gotten the better of the encounter.

When the bell sounded for the first round, Broner was the aggressor which was surprising being that Porter likes to come out hard charging and back his opponents up, while Broner is a slow starter who fights cautiously in the early rounds.  Porter won  the first round though, Broner won the second round, and Porter came back and won rounds three and four on my scorecard.  Broner got the edge in round five fighting with a sense of urgency, and Porter came back and won round six to take a 4-2 advantage by the halfway point.  Broner won four of the next five rounds, and probably won the eleventh round by a 10-8 margin after referee Tony Weeks deducted a point from Broner.

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DOWN GOES PORTER

To his credit, knowing he probably needed a knockout to win, Broner pressed the action in the twelfth round and put Porter down for the first time in his professional career, with a short left hook.  Porter got up quickly looking more shocked than anything else, but it was apparent that he was not fully recovered from the punch when Broner immediately pressed him.  At that point, even though Porter was comfortably ahead on the scorecards, another knockdown would probably have given Broner a 10-7 round, and in Vegas, you never know.  As it turned out, even if Broner were awarded a 10-7 round, Porter would have won the fight based on the judges’ scorecards.

Broner is a massive talent with an even more massive ego that is fed by his trainer, father, and even mentor, Floyd Mayweather, to some degree. PureSportsNY Senior Boxing Writer Greg Jacobs remarked that, “Broner clearly has talent but still has plenty to prove.  Let’s not anoint him the heir apparent to Mayweather just yet.”  The loss puts Broner, arguably, in the strong contender category and knocks him out of the conversation of championship-caliber fighter.  His floss first, train second mentality is derailing his trek towards recapturing a title.  An example of this was revealed during the final press conference when he arrive 20 minutes late.  His trainer, Michael Stafford, apologized for the lateness saying their flight was delayed.  Broner came on right after him saying that what Stafford just iterated was not true, and that the lateness was due to him (Broner) not having a shirt to wear.  So, it was necessary for him to purchase a Gucci shirt and that’s why he was late.  Stafford was trying to cover for Broner, and Broner threw him under the dump truck.  His trainer!  How might have the late, great Emmanuel Steward reacted?  Think about it.

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WEIGH IN OR WAY OUT?

Broner wants to follow the Mayweather model, but what he doesn’t get is that Mayweather trains as hard as any athlete in any sport.  Mayweather’s mantra of “Hard work, Dedication” is not just some empty slogan.  Very few fighters in the sport can match his conditioning.  On this day, Father’s Day, let’s hope that five-time father Adrien Broner takes a good look in the mirror and realizes that he will become an afterthought in this sport in a nano second.  Let’s hope his father, Thomas “Pops” Knight, can do more than just brush his son’s hair before and after fights by telling him, “Son, you’re at a crossroads.”

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ENABLING AND DISABLING

Somebody got to this pro football quarterback who won a Heisman Trophy and was the darling of Texas A&M.  You may have heard of him.  Johnny “Football.”  He vowed to no longer do his “money sign” gesturing and is hopefully on the straight and narrow.  He is apparently sober.  Sober regarding alcohol consumption and sober about his career.  Let’s hope Broner becomes “sober” about his career.  Otherwise he will continue to be “The Problem” to himself.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at cliffb@puresportsny.com.

 

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