By Jeff Aronow: Eddie Hearn states that he will begin negotiations with former four-division world champion Adrien Broner tonight to set up a fight with his rising welterweight star Conor Benn for April in the UK.
Hearn says this is a “last chance” opportunity for the 32-year-old Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) that he’ll be offering him to take on the young 24-year-old 147-pound contender Benn (20-0, 14 KOs).
According to Hearn, if Broner loses the fight, his career will be “done.”
It’s unclear what makes Hearn believe that Broner’s thirteen-year pro career isn’t already “done,” as he’s not been relevant for many years and has been used as the B-side opponent for fights against Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia or to attract fans for fights on Showtime.
It could prove problematic for Hearn to get Broner to accept an offer to fight Benn. Unfortunately, Broner still seems to be operating on the false belief that he’s still a world-champion level fighter rather than a fighter living off his past accomplishments from eight to ten years ago.
The zenith of Broner’s career was between 2010 to early 2013. Since Broner’s defeat at the hands of Marcos Maidana in December 2013, he’s been fading.
Hearn to begin negotiations with Broner
The method that Hearn is taking to try and turn Conor Benn into a star is disappointing and more than a little bit troubling.
Instead of Hearn matching Benn against fighters that can improve him and create a fan base sustainably, he’s chosen to match him against faded fighters Samuel Vargas, Adrien Granados, Chris Algieri, Sebastian Formella, and now Broner.
Even Benn has got into the act, making excuses for why he shouldn’t have to fight quality guys like David Avanesyan by saying that he wasn’t fighting high-level opposition when he was 25.
In Avanesyan’s case, he wasn’t popular enough to get the talented opposition when he was Benn’s age. If Avanesyan had that kind of popularity, he indeed would have been fighting the big names early in his career.
“I got a call with Broner tonight. Broner wants to have a good final run in the game, and he would like to have a fight in Cincinnati or wherever,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV about his hopes to set up a fight between Conor Benn and Adrien for next April.
“He talks about 135 and 140, but he never actually makes that weight,” continued Hearn about Broner. “I think in his head, he’d rather fight at 140.
“I would like to bring him over to the UK in April to fight Conor Benn. It’s an O2 sellout, it’s MASSIVE, but we’ll see how the talks to tonight. It’s something we’ll definitely be pursuing.
“Yes, of course, always,” said Hearn when asked if the talks with Broner will come down to money. “You’re never going to make Adrien Broner an offer that he thinks is fair.
“I think with Adrien, without speaking to him in-depth, which I’ll do tonight, it’s about a plan,” Hearn said.
It would be better if Hearn at least picked welterweights out there than a pumped-up 130-pounder like Broner.
Adrien was at his best when he campaigned at super featherweight a decade ago, and he’s never been effective at 140 or 147. If Hearn wants Benn to keep improving, he must focus on matching him against welterweights.
Even if he wants to continue the go-slow approach to his career, he should be matching Benn against these fringe contenders:
- Abel Ramos
- Josesitio Lopez
- Rashidi Ellis
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Danny Garcia
- David Avanesyan
Eddie says this is Broner’s “LAST chance”
“It’s about sitting down with this guy and saying, ‘Listen, you have one chance here in the last chance of your career. This is how this plan is going to go, and if you keep winning, then we’re going to have a lot of fun. If you get beat, you’re done,‘” said Hearn on what he plans on saying to Broner during his discussion tonight.
“But there has to be an understanding of the value of the fight and the purse for Adrien Broner,” Hearn said about his plans on making a Benn-Broner battle for April in the UK.
“We will pay him as much money as possible, and we will be as fair as possible. It’s just down to whether he feels we’re being as fair as possible, which is probably unlikely. But I would love to work with him,” Hearn said.
It’s unlikely that this will be the end of Broner’s career if he loses to Conor Benn because he’s too well known to the casual boxing fans, who don’t keep up with the sport to know that AB’s career has been in a freefall to the bottom since 2013.
If Broner had discipline, he would get back down to super featherweight and immediately be one of the top fighters in that division.
After kicking around the 140 and 147-lb divisions for the last eight years, it’s evident that Broner doesn’t belong in those weight divisions because he looks nothing like the fighter he’d been when he was campaigning at 130.
We would see the same thing with Conor Benn if he suddenly decided to move up two weight classes to campaign at middleweight.
Conor would be too small, weak, and slow to compete with the lions, and his career would immediately fizzle in the same way Broner’s has after moving up from 130 to 147.
Hearn says Adrien is “still a big star”
“I’ve been wanting to work with Adrien Broner for a long time,” Hearn said. “He’s still a big star; he’s still a big draw. Yeah, he does some silly things, many people do, but people will tune in and watch Adrien Broner,” said Hearn in stating what the bottom line is for why he’s chosen the shopworn, over-the-hill Broner as the next possible opponent for Conor Benn rather than a relevant top tier contender at 147.
“I made him an offer, and he published it on Instagram, which was mad, really,” Hearn said about Broner getting upset at him after the last time he made him an offer for a fight against one of his Matchroom Boxing stable fighters.
“Adrien is never going to do what he’s told, is he? It’s like Dereck [Chisora]. If I said to Dereck, ‘Mate, don’t put a bit of tape on your mouth. Can you just talk?’ He’ll be like, ‘No.’ He’s not going to be told what to do, but they’re the characters.
“They’re not the ones that sit there and go, ‘Yes, I’m looking forward to Saturday.’ People tune in to watch Dereck Chisora because he’s a lunatic.
“People tune in to watch Adrien Broner because they hate him or they think he’s obnoxious, but people have to have an opinion on you to tune in good or bad,” said Hearn.
Broner is NOT a big star at this point in his career or anything close to it. Instead, Broner is a fighter loving off his accomplishments from 3000+ yesterdays ago.
The only reason Broner is still in demand by promoters is that he was something special years ago before he wrecked his career by moving up to a weight class that his small physique was ill-suited for at 147.
It’s too bad Broner didn’t control his weight and stay at 130 because he likely would have stayed a champion for many years and ultimately made more money than he has.