Regardless of what you may think of Adrien Broner, you gotta hand it to him, he ain’t afraid. He doesn’t need layoffs or tune-ups. Right after getting tuned up by lightweight champ Mikey Garcia, AB signed to fight the relentless and extremely dangerous Omar Figueroa. When Figueroa had to drop out due to injury, Broner could have taken an easy replacement a bit of a soft touch, but he didn’t! He opted for Jessie Vargas. A hungry world-class welterweight and two-division former world champion who demolished current Jr Middleweight champ, Sadam Ali. Whatever you may think of AB, he ain’t afraid of a challenge. He doesn’t duck anyone that’s for sure. He will always challenge himself and fight the best. We saw Broner dig down deep this past Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After being outboxed outworked and eating a ton of leather, Broner dug down and reached for the next gear and turned the fight around. In a fight that he looked dead in the waters in during the early going, and with his career hanging in the balance. Broner dug down and evened the fight up dominating the middle rounds. He picked up his punch output stood toe to toe with Vargas rocking him and evened up the scorecards on two of the three cards and taking a narrowly taking it on Julie Lederman’s card who was overruled.
Adrien Broner is already perhaps the biggest draw in US boxing. He sold out the Barclays, something Wilder couldn’t do just last month in the biggest fight of his life. He has now re-established himself as an A level fighter and a crowd-pleasing action fighter. AB’s trainer Kevin Cunningham pleaded with his fighter to let his hands go and go for the knockout, Broner came out for the final stanza with his hands in his pocket and left them there. AB had more in the tank going into the 12th round than Vargas and had Broner picked up the pace he may have swept the round on all three cards and won the fight. Instead, he settled for the draw. However, Broner did reestablish himself and will remain top of mind and relevant at 140 and 147. He has earned himself at least one more big money fight and here are six interesting options for his next opponent.
1) Regis Prograis- The 29-year old New Orleans native is coming into his own, has a KO of the year performance over Julius Indongo, a performance in which prograis looked every bit as impressive as Crawford in destroying indongo. Prograis has also gotten better as his competition has gotten stiffer. He has a six-fight KO streak and has wins over Abel Ramos and Arron Herrera. Those two are welterweights and in the last 10 months stopped both the undefeated Joel Diaz Jr and Indongo. He sports an undefeated record with an awesome KO percentage. Like Broner, Prograis has the gift of gab and the build-up and faceoffs and press conferences would be television gold.
2) Josh Taylor- AB has not yet fought overseas. He also loves a challenge. Fighting the young undefeated Taylor would be just that. It would also be a huge payday for both fighters. ‘The Tartan Tornado’ is building quite a reputation in both his native Scotland and abroad for tremendous power and a ferocious body attack. The fundamentally sound 5’10 southpaw loves to mix it up and would have a height and reach advantage over AB which would force Broner to fight on the inside. Forcing these two hard-hitting Jr. Welters to stand toe to toe. This fight would look like the middle rounds of the Broner/Vargas fight. Non-stop toe to toe trading. We know Broner’s chin is sturdy, we would find out about Taylor’s.
3) Danny Garcia- We think that Broner should avoid most of the bigger 147 pounders. But these two have some history and this fight would be a massive fight for both. It would sell out the Barclays in no time. These names have been linked together and Broner has called Garcia out in the past. With Thurman on the shelf, and Spence tied up with mandatories, this is the next best thing and the only other mega fight that’s available to Swift that he would have a better than 50/50 chance of winning.
4) Manny Pacquiao- If Pacquiao is successful in taking Lucas Matthysse’s version of the WBA welterweight strap this would be a mega PPV fight. Love it or hate it, it would be a mega PPV attraction. its also t would be very interesting. Could Broner’s speed give Pacquiao fits? Could AB walk him down and hurt him like Horn did? With AB’s speed that could be disastrous for Pac. Or would Pac prey on the low punch output of AB? Would Pac just overwhelm Broner with punch output? This fight would sell to the casual fans and beyond for sure especially if Pacquiao is sporting a belt and with Broners ability to sell a fight and garner media attention.
5) Jose Carlos Ramirez – Adrian Broner needs a belt, Jose Carlos Ramirez has one of those. The WBC 140 pound strap. Broner is a big draw and an entertaining talker who can sell out venues bit to create as much revenue as possible he needs a belt and the WBC belt, the green belt is the most recognizable. Ramirez is a tremendous young fighter who has looked to be at the most elite levels and at 25 in his last two fights has proven to be the future of the division. He has put wins together over Mike Reed and Amir Imam and now he needs a mega name on his resume to catapult his stock, Adrien Broner represents just that. The fight would match the future and the present and with AB’s recent comments about Mexicans and their fans, it would have a level of hostility to it as well. It could be sold on either cost on in AB’s hometown of Cincinnati. This fight almost makes too much sense not to happen.
6) Jessie Vargas- The first fight was really close and really entertaining. It was two fighters at an A-/B+ level fighting to stay at the highest of levels! Both fighters laid it all on the line and fought as if their careers depended on it, as it probably did. It stands to reason that a rematch would look pretty much that same. If the rematch has similar action as the first fight there’s no reason not to run it again. The first fight did great numbers, the Barclays had to open up more seats for the event, something it didn’t have to do for Deontay Wilder last month. The rematch should do even better. Let’s see it again.