Before I get into this I want to start off by saying that I'm becoming a fan of Adrian Broner because I've always been more of a fan of defensive fighters than all out action fighters who take thousands of punches in order to land the great big knockout punch. That being said its hard for me to say one way or another if Adrian Broner is the real deal or the latest attempt at finding the person to feel the inevitable void when Floyd Mayweather finally decides to call it a day and retire. There hasn't been anyone quite like Money I think ever, even Ali though he was at times arrogant, dismissive of his opponents, and in some cases completely unreasonable in his tendency to go out of his way to rile the guy across the ring from him, just ask the late Joe Frazier only several months ago about his feelings on being called an Uncle Tom by a man of the same race. Ali was for all its good and bad for the sport a figure undeniably more important than the sport in which he functioned. But unlike Floyd Mayweather who goes off the deep end himself, Ali stood for things and believed in things that were relevant to the time in which he lived. The 1960s were a hotbed of social and political transformation, and naturally you have moments that define a generation, and for Ali he was one of many central figures that help shape America in the 1960s and 70s.
So on a pure boxing and non social and political but instead a cultural scaled judging relevance, Floyd stands alone the way Sugar Ray Leonard stood alone int he 80s as the heir apparent to Ali following his decline. It's a cycle really, one superstar fades another rises, its all apart of boxing. So given his talent, his gift of gab, and his pre-fight antics with the hair brushing and what not, is Adrian Broner the natural choice as the next big American star who will not only rewrite the rules in the ring, but will rewrite the terms outside. What made Floyd Mayweather "Money Mayweather" was his keen sense of self promotion and knowing a lot of guys in the game self promote but how could he do it like no one else? What made Floyd a bigger star than Roy Jones? We all know Roy in his prime was the best self promoter and best trash talker around, but he was never really the box office sure thing that Floyd would turn out to be. Why were people willing to pay 45 bucks each and every time to watch Floyd but with Roy Jones you never had quite the same level of star power even though Roy was a huge star.
Skill wise I think Adrian Broner should change his nickname from "The Problem" to the "Work in Progress with loads of upside" because lets face it this style, though dynamic and it requires a level of timing and speed that most fighters simply do not have, and its a tricky style, its a played style. Let me be frank, most black fighters use this style and its been done before. What takes more skill, to fight like Floyd Mayweather or the fight like Roy Jones? Roy fought with his hands down and he relied on his speed and reflexes to catch you looking silly. Floyd keeps his hands up and his counters you, but I think to be confident enough to fight with your hands down like Sergio Martinez for example takes a lot more skill than just being a defensive fighter who counter punchers. Don't get me wrong I'm not dismissing the style, like I said I'm a fan of defensive fighters but eventually someone is going to devise a game plan on how to beat a style such as the one used by Floyd Mayweather.
With all that being said look Broner is a star on the rise but the question is what kind of star is he and how big can his profile expand should he move on to bigger and better fights beyond this year. I did see a rather misguided proclamation by the newly crowned WBO champ and his prospects against Yuriorkis Gamboa. According to Broner he would make easy work of the Cuban star. Now, you and I know that's about as sane as a dog driving a pickup truck and as likely as pigs flying but eh, Broner will talk regardless so why not let him say things that might get him a few eyebrow raises here and there from folks like myself who know of Gamboa going back a stretch. Gamboa is as fast if not a hair faster than Broner, judging by the fight with Rogers Mtagwa where Mtagwa looked dumbfounded and completely outmatched by Gamboa's hand speed to where you would swear if that fight had not been live there was a tape delay or something because Rogers would respond minutes after the first few punches because Gamboa was so blindly fast and was all over the place.
One fight to compare the two obviously is both their outings against Daniel Ponce De Leon. In this case I'd have to give it to Gamboa because even though that fight wasn't very exciting what action did take place it was all Yuriorkis. Against Broner Ponce De Leon was far more game.
So right now my verdict on Adrian Broner is a simple "Time will tell." I mean you can't call him the next Floyd Mayweather just because he acts like Mayweather and has the same fighting style, a lot of fighters use the same style but what sets the great ones apart is their ability to redefine and master that style. There's only one James Toney, there's only one Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones, and there's only one Floyd Mayweather, but how many Adrian Broners are there in boxing or coming up in the ranks? How many guys are truly destined for Pacquiao and Mayweather like global super stardom and how many of these guys are just over hyped really good fighters and not great fighters? I'm not going to go as far as some and say Broner will fit comfortably in that spot on either side, as I believe he will do big things as a junior lightweight and lightweight, and for Ricky Burns he better get ready to come up with a new excuse as to why he won't fight this guy because Broner will be around and be around and good for a long while. And speaking of Burns and I want to make this clear, Burns is rangy but he's nothing special and he tries to get away with this end around stuff where he ducked Broner, fought Katsidis and then says that he wasn't ducking Broner because he's facing better competition at lightweight. Now, I think we can all agree that if Adrian Broner were a lightweight, a pure 135 pounder and he fought Michael Katsidis I'm willing to bet my apartment that Broner would make better and more impressive work of Katsidis than Burns did. Ricky Burns has no power and has no real skill that scares anyone in the top 10 in his weight division. He now says he wants the winner of Murray v Rios or he wants a dream fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in Scotland. He's crazy if he thinks Marquez will go all the way to Scotland to fight an accidental former WBO champion and a guy carrying zero in terms of name value. On top of that Marquez would dismantle him in 8 rounds and I don't care how tall for a lightweight Burns is, I don't believe in him as a legit long term champion on any level. The minute he steps into the ring against an opponent who has the skill, the experience, and the pedigree to outfox him Ricky is going to be exposed for what he is and that's a rangy boxer who did some nice things and exceeded a bar set very low in both title fights against Roman Martinez and Michael Katsidis.