Adrien "The Problem" Broner:THE NATURAL
Story and Interview by Matthew Shack
((( Audio Inverview Snippet Below )))
In 1984, Robert Redford starred in the motion picture, "The Natural" as Roy Hobbs, a man with great "natural" baseball ability, and the years stretching over Roy's triumphs and adversity.
It was nominated for four Academy Awards and still stands as one of the most treasured sports films of all time.
Hobbs' only hope and dream was that one day people would say "There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was" inspired by a quote from Legendary left fielder from the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams.
Five years later, Adrien "The Problem" Broner was born a “natural”.
After a successful amateur career of over 300 fights, turning professional in 2008 while billed as "the second coming of Floyd Mayweather", Broner is a juggernaut of a fighter with a record of 24-0 with 20 KOs.
After an absolute blistering of Super Featherweight contender Vicente Escobedo on July 21, 2012, many boxing savants are now saying that the brash 22-year-old is only winning fights on sheer talent alone, and perhaps an unfair size advantage.
At the initial weigh-in, Broner came in at 133 1/2 pounds, well over the 130-pound limit for the Super Featherweight class, given a $60,000 fine and was automatically stripped of his WBO title.
On fight day, Broner weighed in again, coming in at 143½, which Escobedo's team said was over the newly negotiated 140-pound limit. Ultimately, the fight went on as scheduled and Escobedo hit the canvas in the 5th.
"I've been in shape since 1989. When I was born and the doctor smacked me, I smacked him back," Broner stated previously.
Like Roy Hobbs before him, Broner's only hope and dream is that one day people will say "There goes Adrien Broner, the best there ever was"; a title held by ‘The Greatest’ himself, Muhammad Ali.
As boxing's only current rising superstar, Adrien Broner is not only "The Problem"... he is “The Natural”.
TFO: You have two the greatest boxers of all time from your hometown of Cincinnati; Ezzard Charles and Aaron Pryor. How do you feel about fitting into that strong legacy of boxing?
AB: Aaron Pryor came from Cincinnati, so did Ezzard Charles. We have a lot of talent coming out of Cincinnati and I’m just happy to be on that level of all of those guys. It just makes me feel like I have to work harder to make it and to make it further in my career.
TFO: With a 24-0 record with 20 KO’s, you seem to be taking the world by storm. I had the opportunity to interview the great Roy Jones when he was on top of his game. There are a lot of comparisons that are being made between him, yourself and Floyd Mayweather. How do you feel at this point in your career to be compared to that caliber of athlete?
AB: It’s good to know that people are looking at me as the next biggest star of boxing. It just makes me smile because this is what I wanted from the beginning.
TFO: I’ll tell you one thing that Roy told me. He said, "People are always going to deny something that’s great. They hate to see greatness." Do you agree with him on that in regard to Adrien Broner?
AB: You have some people that are great but when I look at Adrien Broner, I’m more than just great; I’m spectacular. I’m amazing, I’m spontaneous, I’m everything… I’m everything in one.
TFO: There’s been a lot of controversy about the weight situation. Many pundits are trying to say that you deliberately came into the fight overweight. What do you say in regard to those accusations?
AB: The main thing is that I just grew out of the weight class. I’m moving up to lightweight and I’m just getting into lightweight form.
TFO: Do you feel that you’ll be out of that class and into the welterweight class within the next few years? Is that as goal for you to enter that weight class?
AB: Definitely! I’m 22 and I’m growing. You never know how my body will fill out. I might be out of 135lbs within the next year or so. You never know.
TFO: I watched the fight and I’m going to be totally honest with you. It seemed that your hand speed was so superior to his even though you were carrying more weight. Do you think that you’re going to able to maintain that hand speed or are you going to have to accumulate additional skills when you move up?
AB: The speed will always be there. The power will always be there. A lot of people look at it differently but this is how I look at it; either you’re born with it or you’re not. You’ve got some fighters who are born with power and some fighters that are born with speed. I have both. I have both traits. I know what I have and I put in the work and the time along with the God given talent. That’s the difference between me and the other guys.
TFO: Speaking for the brothers that are in the barbershop that talk about the fight game, they really appreciate the fact that your represented Floyd Mayweather with the t-shirts. I just wanted to get a brief idea about how you feel about Floyd as a fighter.
AB: That’s the guy I looked up to in the boxing game. I’m mean, “Free Floyd”. Who wants to see their idol in jail? I mean, I experienced it [and] I know how it feel to be in there. And I wouldn’t want nobody else to be in there, you know? So, “Free Floyd”!
TFO: I’ve posed this same question to people like Roy Jones in the past. How much does street credibility mean to Adrien Broner in regard to your marketing?
AB:At the end of the day, ‘street cred’ gets you nothing or nowhere but in the street. I know that I have a lot of street credibility and all of that but I’m a professional now and I try to keep it as professional as I can. But I can tell you from the things I did do in the street and what I’ve experienced in my life? That’s what makes me so much of a good boxer because I know what it really feels like to be out there. So for me to get this type of exposure to better my life and others around me… I’m not going to mess this up.
TFO: Let’s talk about the hip-hop aspect of what you’re doing. You came into the ring with Waka Flocka that really put you on the map with what you’re doing on the mike. What do you have planned in regard to a career in in hip-hop and are you going to take that seriously?
AB:That wasn’t the first time I came out with an artist. That’s the first time I did it on HBO. But, that’s what I do. I love music and I want to bring the music back into boxing. I want to bring the fun back into boxing. So with me doing that, that’s just me doing me.
TFO: Hi-Tek is also from ‘The Nati’. Have you ever been in the studio with him doing any tracks or any mixtapes or anything of that nature? Any plans of working with him?
AB: I was just talking to Hi-Tek not too long ago. He has the nicest studio in Cincinnati. I go there often and he’s a nice friend of mine.
TFO: Is there anything thing that you feel that the public may have a misconception about you that you may want to clear up?
AB: Definitely. I just want to thank all of my fans for supporting me. I want to say I’m sorry to all of the people that I let down with the weight issue. But… we’re back. And the same love you give to me is the same love I’m going to give back to you.
TFO: So when are we going to get to see you fight on HBO, once again?
AB: Soon! Very soon, so keep your eyes open. Don’t sleep! And for all the fans out there, you can follow me on Twitter at @AdrienBroner or Instagram at @AdrienBroner and on Facebook you can hit me on my fan page too.
((( Adrien Broner on Floyd Mayweather Audio Below )))