Adrien Broner Grows Up

By Robert Ecksel on February 17, 2017
Adrien Broner Grows Up
“Like I said, everybody got their own outlook on him but I seen him as a cool ass dude.”

“Adrien against Adrian,” said Broner. “Adrien with an E and Adrian with an A in the end and the best Adrien shall win…”

On Saturday, February 18, at the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, in a fight televised on Showtime Championship Boxing, former four-division champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (32-2, 24 KOs), the Fighting Pride of Cincinnati, gets it on with Adrian “Tigre” Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs), from Cicero, Illinois.

There have been more than a few ups and downs in Broner’s rollercoaster ride of a career. He has put more noses out of joint with antics than punches, reaffirming that while talented in many ways, he is short on charm. But until his athleticism abandons him (he is only 27), writing him off is premature.

Broner is the 3:1 favorite coming in. He’s a known quantity. He usually delivers. He’s got the power. He was in tough fights against Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter that could have been avoided, yet for all his gifts and in accord with his liabilities, he falls short of being an A-list fighter.

In anticipation of the Saturday’s bout, Broner and Granados have been talking up a storm. There’s no animosity, but they don’t pull their punches.

Broner praised Granados on a recent conference call. He was dismissive of challengers in the past, dismissive of their skills, dismissive of their nationality. But the man on the phone had mellowed.

Happily married with a brood of loving children, Broner acknowledges his youthful indiscretions. He confesses, with a lopsided grin and shrug of the shoulders, to having made a few mistakes.

“I was young,” admitted Broner. “I’m pretty sure a lot of people who’ve been as successful as me or even more successful than I am today, have been through a lot of the same things and I know one person to have and that’s Floyd Mayweather and he tells me all the time ‘You’re going to be okay.’ He says, ‘I’ve done some of the things you’ve done before but it’s all about learning from your situations,’ and that’s what I’m doing, I’m learning from my situations and now it’s just time to grow up.”

Broner has taken Floyd’s words to heart. He seems almost at peace. Now he’s philosophical.

“This is boxing,” Broner said. “You have good days, you have bad days but at the end of the day if you’re having more good days than bad days, everything’s okay. You’re going to have a day where something happens or you’re just not that focused that you should be and a fighter get off but at the end of the day, as long as you do what you got to do, you’ll be okay.”

Broner and Granados have history. They have sparred in the gym. There were rumors that they were friends.

“Aw, man, of course,” said Broner. “Of course. I love him. I love him to death.”

Asked to elaborate, Broner said, “He’s a stud, I mean, he’s a stand-up guy. Anytime he needed me, I was there for him and it’s still the same way today.

“What happens in the gym I try to keep it in the gym, but I can say that every time that we sparred, he earned it, every time and like I always said, he’s a hell of a fighter.”

This is Granados’ coming out party. He is done biding his time.

“It reaffirmed to myself that I belonged at that level, they were very competitive sparring sessions. They were very exciting,” said Granados. “I helped prepare Juan Manuel Marquez for his fight again Juan Diaz when he beat him by knockout and like I said it was a reminder that I belong at that level because as I was competitive with Juan Manuel Marquez, I was just as competitive with Adrien Broner and just what I got from the sparring was like if we ever fought, it’s going to be a very entertaining, very competitive, very high action fight.”

But does Granados have a sparring partner mentality?

“I’m definitely old school,” he said, “and I think that goes out the window when we’re under the bright lights, smaller gloves, no headgear, it’s going to be a free for all and may the best man win and the best man will win that night. Sparring is completely different from a fight, the show and the lights and just the atmosphere so I’m not banking on the sparring sessions we had. They were electrifying sparring sessions, we were putting on a show for the camp and yes, that was bloody, some days we were both bloody. There were just two dogs trying to get at each other and I was quiet at first but I mean, I’m from the neighborhood, from the streets too, you can’t get too tough for me.

“I’m raised in Chicago, we’re the murder capital of the world right now so I have some stuff to say back and that was entertaining, I actually got a lot more respect like, okay he’s not going to take that and he can talk some of his own too so it was cool afterwards.”

Cool in what way?

“We would just shake hands and go work and we would just chop it up, we got to kick it outside of the ring too and then he was a real cool dude. Like I said, everybody got their own outlook on him but I seen him as a cool ass dude.

“He was down to earth, funny and he was a good cat, and it was electrifying sparring and it’s going to make for an electrifying fight and sparring is going to be completely different from the fight because you got less leather and no headgear and it’s just going to be me and him and we’ll see what happens.

“With our two styles it’s going to be a firefight. It can’t be anything but exciting.”

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