In case you didn’t know, three-time world champion Adrian “The Problem” Broner fights this weekend. The Cincinatti, Ohio, native will be fighting in his hometown against Khabib Allakhverdiev for the vacant WBA light welterweight title. The twelve-round bout will be broadcast live on Showtime. Maybe the reason that the fight has not gotten so much exposure in the boxing media is because Broner promised he wouldn’t speak to the press until after his fight.
He kept his word.
The moratorium against the press began at the kick-off press conference some weeks ago where Broner had his assistant read a statement. Like many things by Broner, it was more of a joke than anything else. Throughout his camp Broner didn’t have much to say and not a lot of press was dedicated towards the fight. It didn’t help that Allakhverdiev is not from these parts but from the eastern part of Europe. Due to his command of the English language, not many sound bites are coming from his camp.
It was expected for Broner to be Broner. To say everything they needed him to promote the fight and more. The promotion needed it since to blow over the fact that both men are coming off losses but fighting for a vacant title.
Broner kept his word even at the final press conference. Well, sort off. He did take the podium but to only say that nothing has changed, he only wanted to invite everybody to watch the fight and thanked everybody for assisting the gathering. Broner must not care that his fight is competing at the same time against the biggest platform in the sport, HBO, where Lucas Matthysse faces Viktor Postol for the vacant WBC super lightweight title.
Broner is not necessarily known as the silent type. More of the opposite. He likes the lights, the mics and the attention but he tends to use it for evil more than good that has lead for many boxing fans to hate him instead of love him. After he lost his last fight via unanimous decision to Shawn Porter, Broner might have been the butt of a worse back lash than in his first loss against Marcos Maidana some years ago. Thus the media blockade.
The fact that Broner is not talking to the media doesn’t mean that he was on his best behavior. He still was late to the press conference, joked around with those around him and pretty much was “The Problem” except not in front of the microphone.
This might be Broner’s last chance in front of the limelight so the fact that he is not taking advantage of it is pretty interesting. Since his first loss at the fists of Maidana, he hasn’t really faced a who’s who of the division he has been competing in until he faced former champion Shawn Porter. Then he lost so another loss to his record, and more importantly his ego, will put him in a precarious position. Many believe that Allakhverdiev beat Vargas in his last fight and will be stiff test for Broner this Saturday night. The fact that Broner is fighting in his hometown is not a coincidence.