A lot has happened over the past week in the lead up to Broner vs Theophane, hasn’t it? Adrien Broner became a wanted man in Cincinnati following an alleged assault and robbery incident outside a bowling alley (dating back to January), and has also been verbally bashing Floyd Mayweather. He’s also, among other things, been throwing unwanted change on the floor in Walmart. You know, Adrien Broner-type behavior.
Meanwhile, Ashley Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KO) has been squeaky clean and deeply focused. Or being professional, I think the word is. And considering this is a career-changing fight for Theophane, that isn’t a bad thing at all. Theophane, who fights under Mayweather’s promotional outfit, struck gold when he landed this matchup; one which likely materialized due to Broner’s chummy relationship with his figurative big bro’.
When first announced, the boxing fandom were less than thrilled by the thought of a Broner vs Theophane meeting. But over the past week, this bout has started to feel more and more unpredictable. Well, to a certain extent, anyway. Granted, Broner knows how to sell a fight and get chins wagging – it’s probably no accident he and Mayweather have been slamming each other – but being a wanted man and missing weight seem organic enough events to raise a few question marks.
Why Broner (31-2, 23 KO) is able to actually fight on Saturday night while being a wanted man is a little mind-boggling, to say the least. He isn’t wanted for an unpaid parking ticket, exactly. Assault and robbery is a serious crime, no? Next, Broner hit the headlines again earlier today when he not only missed weight (likely unintentional) but then refused to go and sweat off the extra 0.4 pounds (definitely intentional).
To clarify what this means, Broner’s weigh-in actions have cost him his WBA Junior Welterweight title on the scales, plus a penalty fine payable to Theophane. The figure hasn’t been disclosed, but I’m sure it was larger than the loose change Broner threw away in Walmart. Welcome to the world of AB. And in case you’re wondering, Theophane weighed in smack on 140.
Wait a second – isn’t this supposed to be a preview and prediction for Broner vs Theophane? Bare with me, I’m getting there. I’ll soon be mentioning possible distractions Broner might have going into this fight, so I thought it best to lay out the details. You might already be thinking: ‘this fight is still a dud, and Broner is going to wipe the floor with Theophane’. Hey, I hear you. And you’re probably right.
But having witnessed Broner’s poor work ethic and complacency against Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter (both fights he was tipped to win), I think there’s some unpredictability going into this fight. It’s no secret that Broner can get a little preoccupied with beefs, gambling and other ‘stuff’ outside of the ring, and that’s something which may still be interfering with his desire to fulfill his unreached potential. Unreached, if you ask me, anyway.
If Broner brings his A-game, or anywhere close to it, ‘The Problem’ shouldn’t have many problems trumping Theophane, thanks to a more versatile skill set and greater natural ability. Let’s remember that Broner, on his best night, is still a great talent. So, the smart bet probably backs Broner here. After all, it’s hard to believe Broner wouldn’t have realized his fight preparations need to shape up since losing a wide decision to Shawn Porter last June.
But if Broner has been complacent in the gym, then who knows what will happen come fight night? Theophane doesn’t look like an obvious threat, but he’s a decent enough fighter to cause an upset, how unlikely it may seem right now. Theophane has been training at the Mayweather Boxing Club with some top fighters including Errol Spence Jr, and some might say ‘Money’s’ inspirational presence has improved Theophane’s drive and abilities somewhat.
While that may be true, I’m not sure we’re going to see a ‘transformed’ Theophane. The 35-year-old has always been solid and capable, but seems to have already hit his ceiling some time ago. Theophane has had his ups and downs during his 14-year career, but has enjoyed a few good wins, with the most recent being that over Steve Upsher Chambers via Unanimous Decision. Theophane also lost a Split Decision to Danny Garcia back in 2010, which is commendable. There’s no escaping the fact that Theophane’s record clearly pales against Broner’s, however.
So let’s get to it. Who wins Broner vs Theophane? I’ve a feeling that, despite all the recent AB headlines, and even a warrant for his arrest, Broner will still have his hand raised when all is said and done. If Broner is on top form, I see him being the first man to stop Theophane. Short of that, a clear-cut Unanimous Decision, probably involving a knockdown or two will take place.
Considering Broner, the much younger man at 26, has looked more powerful at 140 pounds during his career, I think there will be a late round knockout for ‘The Problem’. And that’s my prediction. Greater speed, smarts, and a heavier artillery will simply make Broner all wrong for Theophane. As always, I’m hoping we’re all in for a great night of action.
Broner vs Theophane Prediction:
Adrien Broner via 11th Round KO/TKO
Chime in with your own predictions in the comments, readers. Who are you picking in Broner vs Theophane, and what’s the story of this matchup?