Even after spending time away from the ring, Adrien Broner made headlines. While both a bad and a good thing, it made one thing clear: “The Problem” isn’t done with us yet.
In the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, Broner survived twelve rounds against Jovanie Santiago. His first fight since losing to Manny Pacquiao in 2019, Broner won his first bout since 2017. Despite being outlanded 207 to 98 according to CompuBox, Broner was able to move around and provide a somewhat entertaining bout. While not active enough, he had a late surge to impress the judges. They ended up giving him the 115-112, 116-111, and 117-110 edge.
“That was cool. I want to go home and really look at my fight,“ Broner stated in a classic post-fight interview. “I haven’t fought in two years. But I felt good, I felt like I won the fight. I felt like I beat him with the jab, honestly. But it felt good to get my hand raised though.”
“There is a lot of work out there at 140. Right now we’re going to the drawing board with Al Haymon and see what’s best for me. But I’m definitely going back to the gym and I’m looking forward to getting one of those titles this year—at 140.”
The last line is interesting given the circumstances. Before the fight, the weight for the bout was altered from 140 to 147. This was to help an inactive Broner, who many doubted would come in shape for the fight. The now-former rapper stated to the media after (via Boxing Scene) that he struggled to lose weight, but did what he could. He last fought at 140 in 2017 in a loss to Mikey Garcia.
Did we learn anything from Broner’s fight with Santiago, someone who last fought at 147 five years before this fight? In a sense, it is best to not look too deep into Broner’s performance. Broner was laboring at various points during this contest. He has had a history of struggling to make weight, and his in-ring work as of late, especially a one-sided loss against Pacquiao, didn’t show much.
If Broner can back up his comments outside of the ring inside of it, however, there may be something there. Broner must fight his way back up the cards. That may mean competing multiple times this year against unranked opponents.
We also learned that wherever he goes people will follow. The YouTube highlights of Broner vs. Santiago have reached over 915k viewers (and counting), the weigh-ins reached 69k views and the pre-fight press conference reached over 53k views.
When motivated, we know that the sky is the limit for Broner. The 31-year-old was being compared to Floyd Mayweather not long ago. This was during a time in which he held the WBO super-featherweight, WBC lightweight, WBA welterweight, and WBA light-welterweight titles. There is still time to show glimpses of that type of fighter. The one thing we have learned from Broner, however, is that we don’t know what we will get with him. If he can implement changes from his last fight into his game plan next time, some doubters may slowly join his side.
Ultimately, we learned that Broner can’t and should not be trying to compete with the big boys at welterweight, for now. Slow and steady wins the race. Once again, Broner will have eyes on him from all fronts. Is all of his talk of change another broken promise, or something else entirely?