Yesterday, current WBA super lightweight champion Adrien Broner was sentenced to 30 days in jail, for contempt of court, after arriving three hours late to face assault charges stemming from a January incident outside of a bowling alley. According to the court transcripts, Hamilton County, Ohio Judge Robert Ruehlman told Broner “You don’t look well. You look like you have a hangover.”
Broner responded that he had been sick all morning and called his lawyer as soon as he felt well enough. Telling him that he wasn’t “ducking this one” Judge Ruehlman sentenced Broner to be detained for 30 days, awaiting trial.
This event transpires two days after Broner tweeted that “Today will be the DAY I change everything about my lifestyle at this point of my life.” Following his sentencing, Broner tweeted again, imploring his fans to “write and send love” and thanking everybody who has “always believed in me.”
This is the point where a boxing writer is supposed to wring his hands and decry the wasted talent. But that really not my response to this at all. Broner is a talented boxer, to be sure. But talent is cheap in boxing and nearly any other endeavor. What truly leads to greatness is serious intent, hard work and endless persistence.
Adrien Broner has consistently shown a lack of these qualities. And without them, his talent has no value.
To be sure, Broner has accomplished a tremendous amount on paper. He’s a four-time belt holder. But aside from the WBC lightweight title he won for knocking out Antonio DeMarco, none of those belts were legitimate. His titles at 130 and 140 pounds were vacant belts, won again non-contenders. His welterweight belt came by controversial split decision over Paulie Malignaggi, the weakest welterweight belt holder of the past three years.
Broner’s resume has consistently benefitted from strong promotional support. He’s been given fights other boxers could never receive, all because of his “marketability.” In his two true tests with reality, he has come up very short. Marcos Maidana pounded the crap out of him and sent him from the ring in tears. Against the always-ready Shawn Porter, Broner was simply lazy, and was badly out worked.
I do not like to traffic in generational stereotypes, but I’ll do it anyway, when it comes to Adrien Broner. He’s the ultimate millennial. He wants to be lavished with rewards based on mere potential, instead of putting in years of hard work. He spent the early years of his career playing himself up as the heir to Floyd Mayweather. In his early 20s, he was already declaring himself on Mayweather’s level of achievement, without seeming to have any concept of the nearly two decades that Mayweather, a Gen Xer, had invested in his career.