“The Problem” Vs. AB



“The Problem” Vs. AB


And as you could imagine, that fight ends in a Majority Draw. Don't blame Jessie Vargas or the judges, just start with Adrien Broner.

“A few years ago, AB mops the floor with Vargas,” said an all wet colleague, who said he'd make a sidepiece out of Paulie Malignaggi.

I knew better– because I know Broner.

“Why is every fight with AB a life and death struggle?”wondered another media scribe. All I could do is shake my head and mutter aloud, “He can't win…”

Adrien Broner is the only 4-division world champion Rodney Dangerfield could walk by and laugh at. He doesn't get any respect at all, and it has everything to do with either “AB” or “The Problem.” If the former spent more time being “About Boxing”, I don't know about billions– but he would've drawn more of a comparison to “Money.” As for the latter, “The Problem”, he had more in common with “Super Zab” than “Pretty Boy Floyd”.


In the end, Broner may be remembered as a lesser hybrid of boast, who toasted to the good life in the ring's bad death. But he was never counterfeit with us, nor did he succumb to any Kryptonite that allowed him to get stopped when he's lost. “Money” needed a rematch with Marcos Maidana, but there's a good chance AB wouldn't have needed another fight with Pretty Boy Floyd's Jose Luis Castillo. I think “The Problem” goes the distance with Kostya Tszyu.

His acceptance speech may piss off a few pastors, but Adrien Broner is going to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and among the guests in the crowd to honor him will be the ghosts of Pretty Boy Floyd and Super Zab. They were the real reasons he didn't get any respect at all.

He just didn't know how to be himself.


☆☆☆   ☆☆☆   ☆☆☆


“Fuck all that, I beat cho ass!” fired Broner, after listening to a sliced tomato-headed Jessie Vargas wax philosophical with Jim Gray. “Your face is so fucked up… is you a Blood?”

 They were definitely in the building among nearly 14,000 fans, piercing the nostrils with weed skunk and a big pot of beef spunk to stir shit up. Any number of assaults took place in the crowd, as gorgeous Corona Ringcard Girls gone bad went crazy over a Rick Ross sighting in between rounds. They worked harder grinding to Ross, Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane's “IDGAF” than they did at half-ass flashing the round cards.

Since we're on the subject, nobody in security gave a fuck about 13 Ross henchmen just sauntering on in to the show. Nobody gave a shit about Jermell Charlo going after Broner as his brother Jermall (who totally wasted a hapless Hugo Centeno Jr in the push for Gennady Golovkin) weigh-in on Friday. What kind of security exists when SHOWTIME VP of Sports Stephen Espinoza, in a “FREE MEEK MILL” hoodie, has to leave the podium and beg things to calm down?

The Wednesday media workout was cancelled, due to what seems to have been a bullshit beef between AB and Tekashi69. Then, Thursday's presser was (as Broner put it: “This a weak-ass press conference. This shit is garbage.”) “controlled” by SHOWTIME and PBC, only for Broner to deliberately destroy it because the executives weren't willing to let the media be real about Broner V Charlo– or anything else we want to ask about. The press is never supposed to be restricted and controlled or altogether ignored to suit a corporate agenda in America, because it removes any idea of compromise through cooperation. The press is there to balance things with questions and we weren't allowed to.  (Editor Note: Broner did take part in a scrum, with media asking him questions, whatever they wanted, after the formal on the dais stuff ended.)

That the fighters were offered to the media after they fought was also problematic; the caveat being it forced the press to sift through a crowd that also had access to these fighters. That format only worked to perfection with Main Events for the Sergey Kovalev / Dmitry Bivol doubleheader at MSG in March because of how The Theater was set up. Within an enclosed vicinity of HBO, the promoters, the press and the fighters it worked. Barclays Center is uniquely set-up for press room functions only. I couldn't hear the telecast (which I'm sure was fine with the great Al Bernstein, legend Steve Farhood and soon to be both Paulie), but this was an extremely unprofessional week for the promoters, PBC, the event coordinators and PR affiliates. They can do better and they need to do so immediately. It’s starting to feel like anarchy on the horizon.


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On this night, Gervonta “Tank” Davis was the model citizen in and out of the ring that set an example. He was simply sensational, turning Jesus Cuellar into a big bottle of Jose Cuervo and spilling him all over the canvas. All week, the new WBA super featherweight champion was poised and soft spoken in front of the Mic before turning into straight up poison in the ring.

Davis looked like a superstar coming out of the basement. He showed tremendous technique, polish and variety in a veritable medley of skills. There was sublime, Mayweatheresque footwork. A sharp, piercing jab. Pull counters perfectly timed. Trap season uppercuts. Slip rolls. Feint magic and over-the-top right hand potion. There was a sniper inside of Tank with “Hi-Tech” visions. The tell for how good Tank’s training camp must have been, was Mayweather’s reveal that Top Rank has indeed been contacted about Vasyl Lomachenko V Gervonta Davis. If you gauge Adonis Stevenson V Badou Jack coming from Floyd in January 2017 (May 19, Bell Centre in Montreal), this puts that fight over a year away—and what a fight it should be. Based on what I saw last night from Tank, maybe a bout with Miguel Berchelt and a showdown with Gary Russell Jr (he would almost certainly have to have a common opponent with Loma) is in the making. Lomachenko now has every reason in the pound-for-pound world to beat the living daylights out of Jorge Linares on May 12 at MSG.

But back to AB, he did enough to look like a winner in those ultra-slick royal purple and white trunks, but he probably didn’t do enough to win. I initially had AB winning 7-5 (115-113) via stylish maiming. But upon re-watch, I saw it as I’d called it in “Yuk N Yak” on Friday, with Vargas doing more by the rules of boxing to earn a win by the same score. After Adrian Granados, Mikey Garcia and now Jessie Vargas, what’s next? Victor Ortiz?

Love him or hate him, AB V The Problem is what makes Adrien Broner.

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.