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The Big Question: Can Adrien Broner become a real contender again in 2021?

AB is supposedly going to be back in action next month, but can he be a legit contender anymore?

Manny Pacquiao v Adrien Broner - Weigh-in Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Last week’s Big Question dealt with what you would want to see next for Ryan Garcia, with the three big options as possible answers: Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, and Gervonta Davis.

47.2 percent went with Haney, who holds the WBC belt Garcia is now mandatory challneger for, while 42.4 percent went with Davis, who seems to be Garcia’s preferred target and may even be next if podcast trash talking can make a fight happen for real. Just 10.3 percent wanted to see Garcia take the big swing at Teofimo.

This week, things are slow in the boxing world — slow enough to discuss Keith Thurman’s receding hairline — but we do have some news that Adrien Broner will be back in the ring on Feb. 13, headlining a Showtime card that would be going head-to-head with efforts from both DAZN (a world title tripleheader) and ESPN (Smith-Vlasov).

Broner (33-4-1, 24 KO) may not keep that date, as planned opponent Pedro Campa is not available, and we’re talking four weeks here. But it’s clear that the 31-year-old Broner is aiming to get back in the ring soon enough.

It’s been two years since we’ve seen AB in action, and the last time we saw him, it wasn’t impressive. Losing to Manny Pacquiao isn’t shameful by any means, but Broner’s performance was truly lousy, and we’re talking about a fighter who hasn’t actually won a fight since a debatable split decision over Adrian Granados in 2017, going 0-2-1 in his last three. Broner is just 6-4-1 in his last 11 fights, in fact, starting with his 2013 loss to Marcos Maidana, an upset that shattered a lot of the mystique and hype around Broner at the time.

So here’s the question: let’s say Broner gets back soon, be it Feb. 13 or a bit later, March or April or whatever. Can “The Problem” be a real problem again at 140 or 147? Can he be a real contender, a threat to the top fighters at those weights?

A focused Broner, it could be argued, has the ability to be a tough night for the better fighters at those weights. But will he actually be “a focused Broner,” or is that just more talk? It’s not like it’s not the sort of thing we’ve heard before.

Your call: will Broner be a real contender again, or have we seen those days come and go for good?


Will Adrien Broner be a serious contender again?

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1068 votes total Vote Now

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