Adrien “The Problem” Broner was battered around the ring for most of his fight against Marcos Maidana, being sent to the canvas twice and dropping a clear decision for the first defeat of his career.
The biggest problem for Broner though isn’t that he now holds a blemished record, 27-1, 22 KOs, that he got knocked down, or even that the always absurd comparisons between him and Floyd Mayweather were finally, emphatically, proven incorrect. No, the biggest problem, the real problem, is that Adrien Broner is classless. He represents the absolute worst of the sport, an entitled fighter with an inflated record who for some reason seems to believe that we all owe him something.
This isn’t piling on, kicking somebody while he’s down, or joining a bandwagon once it has become fashionable. I’ve long been consistent in my take on Broner, and his behavior against Maidana was only the latest and most egregious example.
What kind of fighter, what kind of man, in the middle of a professional boxing match, with a world title at stake and millions of viewers watching across the globe, literally humps his opponent in an attempt to upstage or embarrass him?
That’s what my dog does when we take away a treat he was enjoying, and, ultimately, that’s what happened to Broner against Maidana. Somebody was taking away his “treat” — his ticket to superstardom, the millions it comes with, and the unending hyperbole of him being the next Mayweather.
Broner then further played the role of spoiled child by hastily leaving the ring after the bout, refusing to answer any questions or conduct any interviews.
It’s one thing to be polarizing. However, it’s another thing to display absolutely no respect for the sport, and to showcase a complete lack of professionalism.
Boxing has always been the home of good vs. bad, villains and heroes, characters with catchy nicknames and sensational abilities fighting to either earn our approval or scorn, as long as we tuned in. It’s not a new approach.
Certainly many fans who watched the Broner vs. Maidana fight were tuning in for a chance to see him get his comeuppance, and then reveled in that once it occurred.
But Broner isn’t polarizing. He’s classless.
I don’t want to tune in to see him fight and lose. I don’t want to see him fight at all. I don’t want to contribute to him earning millions of dollars for behaving like a fool.
It’s not as if a star athlete in another sport could get away with his boorish behavior, either. Do you think NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, or an owner of an NFL team, would sit idly by? Doubtful.
Of course, there are no teams or owners in boxing. No commissioner — or commission. We’re left with the sanctioning bodies, the networks, and the promoters. All eager to receive a cut of the gate, a slice of the television ratings, a portion of the pay-per-view proceeds. None willing to put somebody in his place.
That power ultimately rests in the fans’ hands, although it’s rarely acted upon. Are you sick of Adrien Broner and the way he behaves? A far worse punishment than turning on the TV and hoping to see him knocked out is not turning on the TV at all.
A fighter can lose, be knocked out, and come back. A human being can make mistakes, become more mature, and move on as a better person. I’m all for it. And if that’s what Adrien Broner does, then I’d say good for him. Until, and unless it does, I simply no longer have any interest in watching the train wreck and contributing to the Problem.
This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo Sports, December 16, 2013