By Alex Beard (@alex_beard17)
Last Saturday night, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, one man fought with poise, effort and most importantly of all commitment. The other man was Adrien Broner.
For boxing trainers, pundits and fans there is nothing more frustrating than a fighter who has all the God-given talent in the world but simply does not have the passion and effort to match. For people who don’t have a fraction of the athletic ability that Broner has it’s all the more infuriating to see him squander his precious gifts.
That’s why boxers who rely on their heart and determination to pull them through bouts where they are at a skill disadvantage, such as Micky Ward or latterly Darren Barker, are so much more revered by fans than those who skate through on pure ability alone.
Following Mikey Garcia’s unanimous decision win over Broner Saturday night, it’s become clear that his opponent is simply a waste of time. I can sincerely say that I have no interest in watching Broner fight again. He’s simply not worth watching. He has the ability, he showcased it somewhat toward the end of Saturday’s contest, but for the previous 10 or so rounds he produced absolutely nothing of note.
The Ohio native may boast that he is ‘About Billions’, but for the average ticket-buying fan it’s a struggle to save up the money to attend his fights. Their thanks: abject performances of limited effort. Without the punters who stump up their hard-earned cash to attend his bouts, Broner would be nothing.
Therefore it’s reasonable for those in attendance to jeer Broner, as they did last weekend. His performance deserved nothing less. Take nothing away from Garcia – he showed himself to be truly world class – but he was hamstrung in his efforts to manufacture a compelling contest by an unwilling opponent.
Too often Broner allowed himself to be backed up to the ropes by a man who was thought to be at a significant size disadvantage. Broner has competed at welterweight, but was pushed back by a man who’d never fought as heavy as he did on Saturday night.
Certainly Broner was taken aback by Garcia’s pure boxing ability and technique, but he showed in the last few rounds that he was willing to move forward and let his hands go to some extent. He even landed a clean left hook that got Garcia’s attention. Where was that for the vast majority of the bout?
Just like his last loss to Shawn Porter, Broner took almost the entirety of the fight off, doing nothing until he was way behind on the judge’s scorecards. His corner tried in vain to wake him up, but he refused to respond. Why should fans keep tuning in to this garbage? What does Broner bring to the table at this stage?
A career as a four division champion is on paper worthy of Hall of Fame status, but Broner has contrived to make it almost meaningless. His first ever loss to Marcos Maidana was excusable, where he hung in there in a fight in which he was bewitched by roughhouse tactics. But the losses to Porter and now Garcia were practically identical. He clearly learned nothing from the Porter defeat, where he showed he could compete with the bigger man with a final-round knockdown.
Every boxer deserves credit for the bravery it takes to step between the ropes, they are quite literally putting their lives on the line for our entertainment. Nonetheless, paying customers have the right to expect a certain level of commitment from the people whose wages they’re effectively paying. You wouldn’t sit through a two-man performance at the theatre where only one of the actors is participating – so why should fans endure any more of Broner’s nonsense?
He will surely return to fight another day, but at this point should anyone care? For Broner it’s been less ‘Billions’ and more bull****. I for one, am done with the career of ‘The Problem’.by