The next Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Maybe. His own man? Definitely. Adrien Broner is a name in boxing that you should know about if you don’t. The former WBO Super Featherweight has the standard boxing qualities: toughness, fast hands, even faster wit, and more confidence than a Navy SEAL. Broner, aka “The Problem,” is getting his weight up, literally. Broner is stepping up in weight class to fight Antonio DeMarco for the WBC Lightweight title this weekend. VIBE had a chance to catch up with Broner to talk boxing, celebrations, and his upcoming fight.
VIBE: Right now you’re undefeated at 24 – 0. Is there pressure to keep that undefeated status?
Adrien Broner: There’s no pressure. It comes with territory, and this is what I was born to do. I just know how to entertain people and give them what they pay for.
You’re fighting Antonio DeMarco this weekend and you’re going up in weight class. Is that an advantage or disadvantage for you?
It’s an advantage for me. I have a God-given talent, and I’ve put in the work to go with it. After that, everything else is just up to me to go out and have fun.
DeMarco’s strengths are that he has good knockout power and is a crafty southpaw. What weaknesses does he have and how are you going expose them?
I really don’t want to say right now. You’re just going to have to watch the fight.
For the people that don’t know, how did you get into boxing?
It’s something that grew on me the first day I got in the gym at six-years old. I played basketball and football growing up too, but boxing is what I love to do. It’s more of an individual sport. I’m a huge competitor and so the sport is more fun because it’s an individual sport.
Who were some fighters that you looked up to or may have influenced you?
Rau’shee Warren. He’s always been there by my side since day one. He is my big brother to this day. He had his first pro fight recently, so shoutout to him. There are a few others. I liked Floyd Mayweather Jr. when I first started watching him when I was 12 years old too.
The current state of boxing is down. What is it going to take the sport back to where it once was?
(Laughs) It’s only going to take the people watching me fight to bring it back.
Talk about the first thing that went through your head when they stripped you of your title when you didn’t make weight for Vicente Escobedo.
I was going up in weight anyway, so it really didn’t bother me.
What do you say to your critics that say you’re a good fighter that hasn’t been tested yet?
I don’t listen to critics. They’re always around. You’re always going to have people that support and don’t support you. At the end of day, I just do me. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, so I just don’t worry about it.
Where did your nickname “The Problem” come from?
It stuck with me as a kid. My twin brother and me used to cause havoc and a ruckus in the neighborhood, so they just started calling me Da Problem.
How did the marriage proposal/hair brush idea at your last fight with Escobedo come about?
I just felt like doing it at the time. Nobody even knew I was going to do it, not even me. I didn’t plan it at all.
Are there any celebrations you’ve ever seen that made you say ‘damn, I wish I would have thought of that’?
No, I haven’t seen one.
For the kids and boxing hopefuls, what advice do you have for them? What’s the extra thing you did that no one else was doing to get you to this level?
I always believed in myself and my trainers. I always give thanks to God no matter what. I’d just tell the kids to stay focused and listen. As a kid, you may win a couple of tournaments and get a big head. No matter how much success you have, you have to still put in the work, stay dedicated and keep your head in the game.
Enter for your chance to win a boxing glove signed by Adrien Broner here and be sure to catch him fight Antonio DeMarco this Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10pm ET live on HBO.
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