Bunce on Boxing: Lewd, rude and foul-mouthed – Adrien Broner's the new face of boxing

 

When Paulie Malignaggi first won a world title Adrien Broner was serving 14 months in prison and looking at a life in crime.

This Saturday at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, which is Malignaggi's hometown, Broner fights the Italian-American for the WBA welterweight title and starts as both a prohibitive favourite and a hated young man.

Broner is 23, unbeaten in 26 fights and is jumping from lightweight, where he is a reigning world champion, to welterweight which is a jump in weight from 9st 10lb to 10st 7lb. It is the type of bold move that fighters made 50 years ago when there were far fewer weight divisions and far fewer options. It is also the type of jump that exceptional fighters make and Broner is an exceptional fighter.

"The weight is not an issue," insisted Broner. "He's bringing pillows, I've got bricks. It will be a knockout and that is why I'm the main attraction – his [Malignaggi's] career is in commentating. This is the end of his boxing career."

The pair launched their fight during a lewd, rude and foul-mouthed conference in Las Vegas where they exchanged insults and shared a phone sex tape of a woman who knew the pair intimately. The tone was set and their phone exchanges since have often gone too far. There are now so many layers of personal insults that it is difficult to point the finger of blame at either boxer specifically.

However, it is Broner's history and his ability to let his life on the streets return too often in incident after incident, many ugly and stupid, that has really started to make people take notice of Saturday's fight.

Broner served 14 months between 2007 and 2008 but has also been arrested since for a variety of offences including traffic violations, menacing, robbery, possessing a concealed weapon, assault and domestic violence. The charges were dismissed or the cases ended in acquittal every time, excluding the mysterious conviction that led to incarceration. "I don't want to talk about that," Broner insisted when asked.

In 2010, he was charged with but not convicted of snatching a purse; it is a story that somehow became a dubious fact online and was salaciously retold with the victim being 66 and the crime leading to his sentencing. She was not, it did not and at the same time it just added to the Broner list of woes.

He is, it has to be said, a fairly unpleasant young man and he seldom tries to hide his obnoxious behaviour with a transparent act of charity; in March, when he was 22, he was detained by the Miami police, who said in their report that he was drunk, after a security guard at a plush local hotel was bitten during a scuffle at 3.30am. It was during the same weekend that he filmed himself flushing $20 bills down the toilet, which is a felony offence in the US; on the same night a friend filmed him performing a sex act on a tattooed stripper at a Miami club. Mike Tyson would have approved, that is for sure.

This Saturday Broner is expected to win and, assuming he does, he will secure his place as one of the best boxers on the scene at the moment. Many of Broner's world title wins at super-featherweight and lightweight have been against good fighters that he reduced to bloodied losers. "I make good fighters look ordinary and I like that," Broner said.

In the ring on Saturday night Malignaggi will be as much as 20lb heavier and he will need the bulk to survive because in Broner he is fighting a man who could become the uncomfortable face of boxing for the next decade. I hope with the fame, money and recognition that Broner changes but history suggests that will not be the case.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory