Despite being just 27-years-old and having won four world titles in four different weight divisions, Adrien Broner has already had more second chances than Joey Barton. The boxer known as ‘The Problem’ has certainly lived up to that nickname throughout his life, with both legal and in-ring issues threatening to derail a career which once showed remarkable potential.
Outside of boxing Broner has made a range of poor personal life choices in recent years, spending more time in courtrooms than in the ring over the past 12 months. After a breathtaking start to his professional career which included 27 consecutive victories, Broner was dismantled and outclassed by Marcos Maidana in December 2013 and has never looked the same since.
A second defeat to Shawn Porter in June 2015 exacerbated Broner’s flaws, but it must be remembered just how devastating he can be inside a boxing ring. An on-form Broner is a powerful and physical boxer who is blessed with speed of both hand and foot.
Nine years into professional life, the question remains just how much he has left in the tank, and will we find out more tonight when he faces Adrian Granados in Cincinnati, Ohio live on BoxNation. The fame and brightness of Las Vegas and New York has been replaced with Broner’s hometown, and many are wondering if he can he rediscover his roots in front of the fans who first applauded him, or will the atmosphere remind him too much of what he used to be?
Granados is an interesting opponent for Broner, and not just because it’s an Adrian vs Adrien Battle. The 27-year-old Mexican-American sports a fairly ordinary 18-4-2 record, but if you dig a little under the surface it’s far more impressive than it first seems. His last three defeats have come against undefeated opponents, and each time the result has been a narrow split or majority decision loss.
Brad Solomon, Felix Diaz and Frankie Gomez were all forced to work for every second of their bouts with Granados, while he has won his last five fights including a special TKO victory over the previously unbeaten Amir Imam. Granados will not be concerned by Broner’s reputation nor the occasion, which makes him a very dangerous opponent in what is effectively scheduled as a confidence-boosting fight for Broner.
Despite the reputation of Granados being a hype-upsetter, the bookmakers still heavily favour Broner to win. He’s a 2/7 favourite to claim a third win in a row, while Granados is a 3/1 underdog. Broner by decision may be the best valued bet available tonight, with the slightly generous 7/4 odds not indicating that thus far his opponent has never been stopped.
An intriguing undercard also takes place in Ohio, topped by a WBA welterweight title bout between David Avanesyan and Lamont Peterson. Avanesyan was fighting low down the bill in Blackpool three fights ago, but two interim WBA welterweight championship victories over Charlie Navarro and Shane Mosely have established him as the man at welterweight for the WBA.
Peterson is best known to UK fight fans for defeating Amir Khan by the slimmest of margins in December 2011, but has only fought five times since due to a combination of injury, inactivity and drug-test failures. On his day Peterson is one of the best in the world at his weight class, but has not competed since October 2015, and may be rusty against the basic but effective Avanesyan.
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