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Adrien Broner: "The excitement that I bring is phenomenal"

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This weekend marks the highly anticipated return of Adrien Broner; the sublimely talented 23-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio resident squares off against his toughest opponent to date in Antonio DeMarco, live on HBO from Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City. In doing so, Broner puts his perfect 24-0 (20) record on the line when he attempts to become a two-division world champion (formerly holding WBO junior lightweight title), challenging DeMarco for his WBC lightweight title. It will be Broner’s first official fight at 135 and he intends to make every bit the statement, picking out the universally-recognised top guy at lightweight. While “The Problem” will have all the technical gifts going in, it should be remembered just how tough DeMarco is having taken all the late Edwin Valero could throw at him before being mercifully retired at the end of nine. And let’s not forget the terrific late drive he made late to halt a blood-soaked Jorge Linares to claim the WBC laurels last year. Once again, DeMarco is in with a more gifted individual in the precocious Broner but he’ll bring the sort of pressure and toughness that will show us just what Broner is made of and if he can live up to the Floyd Mayweather comparisons. “Mini-Mayweather,” “Mayweather Lite,” “Mayweather 2.0,” those are lofty heights Broner needs to scale. Fight by fight, he’s earning the respect of boxing fans and media alike and one day, those similarities may hold true.


Anson Wainwright - On 17th November in Atlantic City, NJ., you challenge Antonio DeMarco for his WBC lightweight world title. What are your thoughts on that fight?
 
Adrien Broner – Um, it’s going to be a nice fight. DeMarco, he’s not champion for nothing but I’m going to be ready.
 
AW - What do you think of DeMarco as a fighter?
 
AB - You know, I’ll just keep that between me and my coach and, come fight night, I’ll be ready for whatever.
 
AW - In your last fight over the summer, you met Vicente Escobedo. You missed weight and then the check weight. It didn’t appear that you showed any remorse. Looking back, do you wish you’d maybe been more humble?
 
AB - I don’t worry about the weight situation; I grew out of the weight and that’s why I’m a lightweight now.
 
AW - Could you tell us about your early years growing up in Cincinnati?
 
AB - It was a rough life coming from the hard parts of Cincinnati. I stuck with boxing and God guided me through and I’m a professional world champion and I’m going for my second world title.
 
AW - How did you first become interested in boxing?
 
AB - My dad put the gloves on me and my twin brother, Andre. We’d box everybody in the neighborhood and beat everybody up. One day, he took us to the gym and I’ve been there ever since, since I was six years old.
 
AW - What happened to your brother as far as boxing was concerned?
 
AB - Sometimes you grow out of things; you lose the rage for something and he just lost the feeling for boxing. He’s an artist of the label I’m a CEO of, Band Camp.
 
AW - You had something like 300 amateur bouts. Could you tell us about your amateur career? How come things never worked out for you with regard to the Olympics?
 
AB - I would have made the Olympic team but you know, growing up in Cincinnati, sometimes you get caught up in things.  I won Silver Gloves, bronze medalist in the Junior Olympics. I never got to the open class but I did win some national tournaments as a junior.
 
AW - From the very beginning of your career, you’ve fought at home in Cincinnati, regularly helping build your brand at home. Was this something you did on purpose?
 
AB - I love fighting at home. The crowd loves me; the people at home love me. It’s always great to have a fan base at home. If you don’t have a fan base at home, how are you going to have a fan base anywhere else? It starts at home. I have a big huge following at home.
 
AW - I think I’m correct in saying Floyd Mayweather Jr. is your boxing hero. Could you talk to us about your relationship with Floyd?
 
AB - He’s definitely a role model of my life, somebody I look up to. He’s accomplished goals I want to accomplish in my life. I’ll probably do more. I look up to him.
 
AW – You say “probably do more.” How do you mean? You want to do more than Floyd has in boxing?
 
AB – Exactly. If I could, I want to do more than he’s already done in boxing.
 
AW – What would those achievements be?
 
AB - Whatever it is, I really want to do what’s never been done in this boxing game. Whatever it is, you know you have a lot of champions out there. You have a lot of people who have achieved titles at different weights but that excitement that I bring is phenomenal. Nobody brings that to the table.
 
AW – Recently in an interview with The Ring magazine, you made a statement and people have jumped on it when you said you believe at 23, you’d beat Floyd when he was 23. Could you go more into that?
 
AB – Floyd, like I said, I look up to him. No disrespect to him; we will never fight, different eras. He’s a star in his era; I’m a star in my era. You know it is what it is; when I’m fighting, he watches me and when he’s fighting, I’m watching him. We inspire each other.
 
AW - You have won a world title at 130. You’re attempting to win your second at a second weight class but what are your goals in boxing? Do you want to win X amount of titles in X amount of divisions or don’t you plan things like that?
 
AB – Exactly. However the cookie crumbles, that’s how we’re going to play it. But I definitely want to be the best person to ever lace up a pair of boxing gloves.
 
AW - What do you think of the lightweight division and the current champions like the WBO’s Ricky Burns and the IBF’s Miguel Vazquez?
 
AB – You know, I really don’t worry about none of these guys. I have DeMarco to worry about right now and in this game, you have you have to take one at a time. He’s the only one I’m worrying about.
 
AW - Over the past year or so, the boxing world has gotten to know you and a little about your personality, could you comment on “The Can Man: Anybody can, AmeriCAN, MexiCAN, Puerto RiCAN, etc.? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk9Nl7ueax8&feature=related)
 
AB – I was basically saying I’ll fight anybody. Anybody who’s willing to grab the rope to hang them self, I’m ready.
 
AW – And the hair brush? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kpBdK5IFkc)
 
AB – I just felt like I needed my hair brushed. (laughs)
 
AW – How about the fake proposal after the Escobedo fight? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkSsQ11Y4Ng)
 
AB – That was on the spot. I just thought I should do it and it would be funny. It’s my sense of humor.
 
AW – Did it get you in trouble afterwards?
 
AB – No way.
 
AW – Can you tell us about the beef you got into with Robert Guerrero? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PKsC2q8Db4)
 
AB – Well, I think Robert Guerrero, he has to get past Andre Berto first and I have to definitely get past DeMarco but it’s definitely a future mega-fight if we both can win.
 
AW – How do you see the Guerrero-Berto fight going?
 
AB – Um, you know it’s a good fight. May the best man win but I’m pulling for Berto.
 
AW - What do you enjoy doing away from boxing?
 
AB – I play basketball. I have fun with my kids; I rap. You know, I do tons of things; I just try to have fun. I actually have five kids. I have a newborn baby who’s six weeks now. I have a one-year-old. I have a three-year-old, a four-year-old and a five-year-old.
 
AW – If one of your kids wanted to be a boxer, would you be happy with that and bring them into the sport, I suppose much like Floyd Mayweather with his father and family?
 
AB – I’m going to let them do what they want to do but most likely they’ll box too.
 
AW – Finally, do you have a message for Antonio DeMarco?
 
AB – You better be in shape.
 
Questions and or comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright. Anson is also a member of The Ring magazine’s ratings panel.
 
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