Seriously, do it. You’re free. You don’t have to live like this. Unburden yourself from the psychological debt accrued by watching potential squandered in real-time. I absolve you. Go outside. Eat an egg. Learn to do a backflip. Your time on earth is finite and valuable.
In the first “A Nightmare on Elm Street” movie, the children of the titular Elm Street have their dreams haunted by Freddy Krueger, a mostly melted sleep demon with finger knives. I realize that description sounds like Kellyanne Conway describing herself to a blind person but stay with me here. The teenage heroine, Nancy Thompson, ultimately defeats Freddy by simply turning her back on him, thus taking away his power.
The moral here seems to be A) that almost any problem in life can be dealt with by ignoring it completely and B) that entities powered by human attention are easily vanquished by cutting off that supply.
As we transition from early 80s horror movies to boxing – which, intellectually, is a lateral move at best – this same theory applies. Boxing, unlike other sports, is not a meritocracy. At least not financially. Being good doesn’t guarantee a payday. Star power is what pays the bills and the fans have a direct impact on which fighters become stars, insofar as a professional boxer can become a “star” in the year of our lord 2017. And here’s where you come in.
You get to decide which fighters are worth your money and more importantly, your time. Despite what the PBC seems to think, networks and promoters can’t manufacture stars if the fans aren’t invested in them. (Hi, Danny Garcia!) That investment in this sport is paid back by getting to see the fights and the fighters you care about. And if you care about boxing that’s one less thing you have in common with Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KO).
Oh don’t get me wrong, he’ll tell you he does. Every Broner fight comes with an updated round of promises about his newly rekindled love for the sport. About how he’s changed. About how this time it’s going to be different. Like an abusive husband except he doesn’t buy you a puppy and treat you to some wildly unfocused make up sex.
As Broner recently told Keith Idec from Boxingscene.com: “I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more wise, more mature. This next half of [my] career, I’m just focusing on doing everything the correct way. The first half I tried to do things my way, and it worked, but I could’ve done better, so I wanna try doing everything correct.”
When he says stuff like this, he’s lying. He knows it. We know it. He knows we know it. It’s a feedback loop of feigned credulity and disingenuousness.
Broner’s public relations history could generously be described as a cavalcade of fuck ups. Instead of writing this piece I could just do a David Letterman style top 100 list of his most shitheaded social interactions. (Seriously, I could. And have. Check my Twitter feed @ratcatchermpls.) But I assume you have the internet too so I won’t recount all the previous “maturing” he’s done before fights, mainly because I don’t want to crash your hard drive. I won’t recount all the times he’s missed weight or all the times he’s jeopardized his future earning power, not to mention his freedom, by acting like he’s auditioning for a role in some non-existent Quentin Tarantino movie.
What I will mention though is Dec. 14, 2013. For boxing fans this night was like winning the lottery on your birthday, which also falls on Christmas and all your presents are blowjobs, jet skis, and a framed picture of the guy who drives Gravedigger. Yeah, that good. It was the night that Marcos Maidana (aka “god”) forced Broner to show his true colors.
There was the two times he put Broner on his ass. There was the reciprocated buttfuck that spawned a billion gifs. There was the Maidana head-butt that briefly opened a window of submission for Broner that he predictably deep sixed with an acting job that would’ve been laughed off the set of a Mexican soap opera. There was Maidana winning a unanimous decision after the final bell, which may as well have been the funeral bell on Broner’s career. There was Maidana mockingly brushing Broner’s hair after the cards were read.
Any and all of these should’ve effectively ended Adrien Broner’s time in the spotlight. All his cards were laid on the table that night and it was a hand so shitty even he couldn’t bluff his way out of it.
There’s a lot of money to be made playing the villain. No one knows this better than Broner’s sometime mentor, sometime nemesis but always superior, Floyd Mayweather. “Money” earned his nickname by monetizing hate. The more people wanted to see him lose, the more money they forked over for the pleasure of doing so. It never happened.
Broner seems to be trying to copy this template except guess what? We’ve already seen it. TWICE! (Thank you, Shawn Porter.) There’s no more intrigue. It’s like someone threatening to spoil the end of a movie you’ve already seen. TWICE!
Boxing is unique in that each fan has an impact, however circuitous the path, on a fighter’s success. Your pay-per-view dollars matter. Your premium cable subscriptions matter. Your live gate tickets matter. Without them it’s just two guys beating each other up in an empty arena in front of unplugged cameras. If you don’t want to watch dipshits like Adrien Broner who disrespect the sport, its consumers and the journalists who cover it, don’t.
There’s some strange obsession in boxing circles with fostering Broner’s untapped talent but we’re almost a decade into the guy’s career and his biggest wins are over Antonio DeMarco and Paulie Malignaggi. What are we waiting for? The curtain has been pulled back and it’s just a ratty ass little dog who kinda sorta sucks at professional boxing. There’s nothing more useless than unwarranted hubris and Broner’s day-old diaper is overflowing with it. It might be time to face the fact that he’s maybe just not very good.
(I’ll leave it to a better writer to preview Broner’s upcoming July 29 bout with Mikey Garcia but let’s just say there’s a reason he’s 5-1 underdog.)
Doug Stanhope once said that instead of citing religious or political rhetoric, opponents of gay marriage would better serve their argument by just saying they found it gross. At least that’s an honest, visceral response unfettered by the constraints of logic. Maybe that’s the approach I should be taking here. Real quick, let’s strip away the decorum of making this about his disrespect of a sport I (for some reason) care about and have spent countless hours and dollars supporting and see what’s inside my gut. Here goes:
I hate the hair brushing thing. I hate his morbidly obese dad who encourages it. I hate his contribution to the overpopulation of this planet with his near monk-like aversion to pulling out. I hate his douche chill inducing canned interviews. The next time he says something funny into a microphone it will be the first time. I hate the derivative “About Billions” moniker he gave himself despite us all knowing he’s worth about .003% of that. You know when you give money to a homeless person and a your shitty friend goes, “They’re just gonna spend it on drugs or booze. You might as well flush it down the toilet.” Broner literally did that. And filmed it. I hate his stupid Cap’n Crunch outfits. And I probably don’t even need to mention this but he supported Donald Trump.
Adrien Broner is like Jesus. The more people who continue to believe in him the dumber it makes the rest of us look. So in the coming weeks you’re going to hear all the same predictable, uninspired, hackneyed diatribes about a regained affinity for the sport of boxing and blah blah blah. Then Mikey Garcia will beat it out of him and that’ll be the last time. Until the next time.
There’s a lot of fighters worth your money. Fighters that make weight. Fighters that fight for an entire 12 rounds. Fighters that don’t resort to simulating prison sex on their opponent when they’re getting their head caved in. Fighters with interesting, non-contrived personalities. Fighters who don’t flop around on the canvas like outtakes from the Zapruder film, trying to score a DQ victory from a headbutt.
If you’re a fan of Adrien Broner please, by all means, continue being a fan. Don’t let me talk you out of it. If you like being lied to, neglected and taken for granted that’s your business. However, if that’s your thing you could just save yourself a lot of time and date me.
- The September 9th SUPERFLY card on HBO is stacked from top to bottom and I’m shocked HBO didn’t find a way to make it a pay per view. Good on them.
- There is absolutely nothing intriguing about the Floyd Mayweather/Conor MacGregor grab ass fest scheduled for Aug. 26. Nothing. It’s the boxing equivalent of a guy who blasts homeruns in the batting cages attempting to win a slam dunk contest. Repeat this next sentence to yourself while staring into a mirror with a dunce cap on: BOXING AND MMA ARE TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SPORTS.
- If you say you’ve heard of Jeff Horn before his fight with Manny Pacquiao was announced you’re either a liar or Jeff Horn.
- The Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to overturn the decision in the Guillermo Rigondeaux/Moises Flores fight from a KO for Rigo to a No Contest, which was a no brainer. I baked a quiche and learned karate in the time between the bell ringing and Rigo’s punch landing. On the night of the fight, referee Vic Drakulich was given access to a video replay of the punch to see if it landed but, hilariously, there was no sound provided. Once again proving that there is absolutely nothing that boxing can’t fuck up.
- The new Mutoid Man record “War Moans” is phenomenal. Stephen Brodsky is a gift to our species. Go pick it up and treat yourself. You deserve nice things.
(CINCINNATI – Adrien Broner poses before entering the ring to fight Adrian Granados on Feb. 18; Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)