No matter how unaffectedly optimistic Adrien Broner fans tend to be, his lackluster, characteristically inactive performance in his ninth round T.K.O. victory over a fringe contender (at best) Ashley Theophane, did very little to improve the struggling credibility of “The Problem”.
Broner, who punctuated on his many problems outside the ring by failing to make the contracted 140 lb. weight limit (140.4 lb.), again was able to shine in spurts offensively, but significantly underachieve defensively.
Theophane, who in the build up to the fight was as much as a 20 to 1 underdog, was truly taylor-made for Broner. A weak and slow puncher, who was known for being in shape but not having a high output, “Treasure” came in with little chance to come out victorious. And yet, he had some success.
In the first five rounds, Broner seemed ok with simply standing in front of Theophane and allowing him to dictate the first half of the round. Theophane who is not known for his athleticism or speed, seemed to easily be able to reach Broner’s body with left and right hooks, occasionally finding his head in between. Almost on cue in every one of those rounds, at about the 1:30 mark, Broner would turn it on, and land damaging shots to the body.
As the rounds continued, it was clear that Theophane’s uncoordinated work rate was not going to win him the fight against a clearly more talented and more importantly powerful Broner.
By the end of the eighth round, a round which this writer surprisingly had Theophane winning, it was clear by simply looking at Theophane that he was feeling the damaging effects of Broner’s vicious body shots. Although he was still able to land shots with ease, they seemed off balance, weak slapping shots.
To start the ninth, Theophane came out aggressively towards Broner, throwing wildly. With about 2:32 left in the ninth, Theophane seemed to want to throw a jab but decided to attempt to close the distance without throwing anything and was countered by a beautifully timed right uppercut that badly wobbled Theophane for the second time in the fight.
Broner then followed Theophane to the other side of the ring, looking for the kill. He missed a few shots and landed what appeared to be a low blow. As Theophane scrambled desperately across the ring, he pointed to referee Luis Pabon attempting to signal the low blow. Pabon seemed to take it as a sign of surrender and called a halt to the fight, awarding Broner the T.K.O. victory.
Though many feel it was a controversial stoppage, there is no denying that Theophane had taken a worrisome amount of punishment and was only going to receive more in the rounds to come. Whether it was to the body or head, Theophane was hurt in almost every round.
After thanking god, his fans, and giving himself a humble pat on the back, Broner went on one of his most entertaining rants to date. Broner, who recently had a falling out with his one time mentor Floyd Mayweather Jr., had this to say about his now ex-big bro. “Someone that I look up to, someone that I admire. Took the chance to do an interview and talk all bad about me. Now I don’t know how y’all look at it, but I don’t like it.” He continued, “I wasn’t gon’ do this, but I’m a man that learns shit from physical activity. So, me and Floyd, he gotta see me. He gotta see me. Point, blank, period. ”
So there it was. After winning a fight against Ashley Theophane, Broner did what many people expected and tried to cash in on a feud between him and his old master.
Mayweather may eventually want to come back for a fiftieth fight, but a fight against Broner seems unrealistic and unwarranted. Broner won this fight, because he was supposed to win this fight. The boxing world knows he can beat this level of opposition. His offensive prevalence was never in question. Broner now claims to have grown out of the Light Welterweight division. Will he simply be able to walk through countless body shots against an opponent who could break his ribs when he lands. Will he be able to have this inactivity in fights against a Thurman? Errol Spence Jr.? Kell Brook? Danny Garcia? Those are the true questions he needs to answer if he wants to become boxing next superstar.
– Hector Gomez @hector_gomez810