Two years can seem like an eternity. Saying 2 years, 1 month, and 1 day, sounds like a jail sentence. But 2 years, 1 month, and 1 day for Adrian Broner represents something different. That is the last time he was seen participating in his profession, when he lost to the legendary, Manny Pacquiao on January 19th of 2019.
A lot has changed since he was last in the ring. He has had his fair share of legal issues as well as been partying and enjoying his life. He said he stepped away from the sport of boxing because he needed a break. Fighting from the age of 6 to 29 took its toll and he wanted to step away. Anyone can get bogged down with their job and they will either take time off, find work elsewhere or seek a different profession. It can be hard to get back to what you were used to after being away from it for so long.
As Broner prepares to make his return to boxing this Saturday, February 20th against the unbeaten, Jovanie Santiago, he finds himself giving his critics ammunition to use against him. The contracted weight for the bout originally was 140 pounds. However, on Thursday the 18th, the weight was changed from 140 to 147. At the weigh-in, Broner came in at 146 and Santiago was 145.2. This isn’t the first time there have been issues with him making weight. He has either had to vacate or lose belts on the scales on 3 different occasions.
Broner, 31 had been back in the gym training since November and remarked that he had to lose 35 pounds saying, “I was so out of shape…. Being out that long, I was overweight. I had to wake up and run miles and work my body back. It was tough.” Surely being out of the ring for over 2 years took its toll on his body and conditioning.
What is different now as opposed to when he missed weight before? The main thing is that he has been away from the sport for 2 years. Shedding off that extra 35 pounds or more in 3-4 months to get into shape. That in and of itself is incredible and shows a desire to get back into the ring. Secondly, the COVID-19 factor has come into play. Two years ago, the world was not dealing with a global pandemic and did not have protocols and restrictions.
Some boxers are used to getting down to their fighting weight within the week of the fight. Maybe, just maybe, some restrictions were not foreseen to get the last few pounds off at the fight location (Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut). COVID had recently affected a few fighters in making weight like Jojo Diaz and David Benavidez (and like Broner before, they were stripped of their titles).
Perhaps shooting for 140 after a 2 year hiatus and many pounds over fighting weight was too ambitious? Maybe it was too much too soon? Maybe his body cannot make the weight anymore? But whatever the case may be, AB sounds more focused and reinvigorated than before. “My children are what fuel me now,” he said. “I’m going to dedicate these last three to five years to straight boxing. I’m going to get as much as I can out of boxing and then retire and watch my kids grow up. I’ve matured a lot.”
Live on Showtime @ 9pm ET/ 6pm PT from the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut,
Adrian ‘The Problem’ Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs) vs Jovanie Santiago (14-0-1, 10 KOs)
Prediction: Broner by TKO9
Dominic ‘Trouble’ Breazeale (20-2, 18 KOs) vs Otto Wallin (21-1, 14 KOs)
Prediction: Breazeale by KO8
Robert Easter Jr. (22-1-1, 14 KOs) vs Ryan ‘Blue Chip’ Martin (24-1, 14 KOs)
Prediction: Easter UD12
Live on ESPN and ESPN+ @ 10pm ET/ 7pm PT from The Bubble, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada,
WBC Super Featherweight Championship:
(C) Miguel ‘El Alacran’ Berchelt (37-1, 33 KOs) vs Oscar Valdez (28-0, 22 KOs)
Prediction: A War!! Berchelt TKO10
Gabriel Flores Jr. (19-0, 6 KOs) vs Jayson Velez (29-7-1, 21 KOs)
Prediction: Flores UD12