Former Adrien Broner conqueror Shawn Porter believes that his onetime adversary’s career is not broken beyond repair.
Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) came off a two-year hiatus to score an underwhelming unanimous decision win over Javanie Santiago (14-1-1, 10 KOs) in a fight that some argued could’ve been edged the other way.
Showtime Boxing analyst Steve Farhood unofficially scored the bout 114-113 for Santiago, causing profanity-laced ire and consternation from Broner during his post-fight interview.
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) offered more complimentary words of encouragement toward Broner leading up to the fight.
“If you look at AB, all that energy that he was putting into being who he was ‘The Problem’ and when he was making humongous statements in the sport of boxing,” Porter said on his podcast, The Porter Way. “Then you take a look at all the energy is not the same getting back into the ring. Yo, you need that energy in order for you to be who you were in the past. There’s still a lot for him to come back from.
“I think the biggest question is, is it too late? Honestly, I don’t think it is. He’s someone that if he’s able to be rebuilt and refurbished for the sake of words, he could be something great again or at the least very good.”
Porter bested Broner on June 20, 2015 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas by a unanimous decision. He suffered a knockdown in the final round, but still secured a comfortable decision win, handing Broner his second career loss at the time.
Broner’s first career loss came to Marcos Maidana in 2013.
Porter pointed to that setback as a starting point for Broner’s circuitous revival.
“That may have been the missing step with Adrien Broner. When you suffer the type of loss like he suffered against [Marcos Maidana], it’s like a rebuilding stage,” said Porter. “It’s not just rebuilding your career but you’re rebuilding everything that makes you who you are in your career. His confidence was his, and physically he was hit. I think he had a whole lot to come back from.
“Hindsight is 20-20, but I’m sure that the people that make the business decisions for him at that point in time, they didn’t realize how big of a hit he took in that fight [with Maidana]. You fast forward eight years later, and you could see that it was a tremendous shot that he took.”
Although more was desired from Broner’s performance against Santiago, and less of his antics, he seemingly still has a platform for his TV-MA behavior on premium cable provider Showtime — even if he fails to land a single punch in a round, as was the case in the first frame against Santiago.
As is seemingly always the case, more activity and output will be desired of Broner in his next bout. Santiago outlanded the Cincinnati native 207 to 98. per CompuBox.
“This is the one thing I know about AB, and it’s always been this way with him. When he first turned pro, he was called ‘The Problem,’ and that was short for ‘The Problem Child’ because that’s kind of how he lived his life,” said Porter. “He was always getting into trouble, and there was always someone after him in terms of coaches or a judge at a fight or whatever.
“But the one thing I know about him, there was always someone trying to help him because they could see the potential that he had, and they could see that he genuinely is a good person.
“[Showtime Sports president] Stephen Espinoza, even if they didn’t have a good relationship, they may not have a good relationship, but he simply wants to help AB,” said Porter. “So a shout out to Stephen Espinoza. He’s always giving AB, Adrien Broner, a platform that he needs to do his work.”
“He just from time to time makes bad mistakes, and they’ve gotten bigger as he’s gotten older and he knows how the world turns.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com