Adrien Broner Prepared to Get Back in the Ring Against Blair Cobbs

March 22, 2024
2 months

Adrien Broner’s best days are likely behind him. It has been that way for quite some time for the Cincinnati, Ohio, native. But when boxers still find that desire to compete and need to make money, they can still find people willing to put up money to make it happen.

Since Broner lost by unanimous decision to Manny Pacquiao in a challenge for the WBA (Regular) welterweight title in January 2019, Broner has only fought twice. The loss to Pacquiao was at the end of a three-fight losing streak. But online boxing shows things have changed.

While not against world-class competition, Broner has collected back-to-back wins over Jovanie Santiago and Bill Hutchinson. Broner signed a deal to fight welterweight Blair Cobbs on May 31. Cobbs has produced solid results in his career, winning and defending the WBC-NABF welterweight title a few times. But Cobbs also hasn’t fought in nearly two years and may need to shake off some ring rust.

This fight will be an interesting competition for both men. Cobbs, who recently switched promoters, would like a victory over a big name on his resume, while Broner attempts to hang on to what is left of his career.

Broner Appeared to be a Huge Star in Making

There was a time when Broner’s name was floated in boxing circles as a potential big-time star. Broner backed that hype up in the ring. He won the first 27 fights of his career. Along the way, Broner collected the WBO super featherweight title, the WBC lightweight title, and the WBA welterweight title.

Trouble started for Broner in the ring when he lost to Marcos Maidana via unanimous decision in December 2013. Broner, now 34, lost a unanimous decision that left him angered by the judges, who he felt didn’t give him the respect a champion should get.

Broner won another title when he beat Khabib Allakhverdiev for the WBA super lightweight championship in October 2015. However, Broner never defended the belt, as he missed weight for his scheduled title defense against Ashley Theophane.

While the past few years of Broner’s career have been ugly, there were plenty of exciting moments on his climb to the top of the sport. Broner has a 35-4 record and has 24 knockout wins on his record.

Fight with Pacquiao Showed There Were Issues

There is nothing wrong with having a loss to Pacquiao on your record. Pacquiao is an eight-division champion who packed a lot of power into his small frame. Broner was dominated by Pacquiao, who was 11 years older than him, when the two met in January 2019.

Pacquiao won on the scorecards 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. There were a few small flurries that saw Pacquiao assert his dominance over Broner. In the seventh round, Pacquiao trapped Broner against the ropes and hit him with an extended combination.

Broner needed to cover up to survive. In the ninth round, Pacquiao hit Broner with a big left hand that sent him backward. Pacquiao ended up connecting on 42 percent of his power punches in the fight.

There was still a lot of interest in the fight. It earned $30 million in revenue and had 400,000 pay-per-view buys.

Out of the Ring Issues

Broner has found himself on the wrong side of the law more than once during his career. His most recent issues have served as a distraction during the last stretch of his career. Broner was jailed in October 2021 for a parole violation.

Earlier in Broner’s career, he had been involved in several alleged incidents of assault and battery. In one 2017 case, Broner was allegedly caught on camera punching out a man in Las Vegas. When the court summoned Broner to appear on the matter, he didn’t show up to answer the charges. Broner said that he never received the request and would have been there had someone informed him of the meeting.

It is part of a pattern of behavior for Broner. Boxing news latest headlines show that his erratic behavior and struggles with alcohol have made it difficult for him to continue with his career. There have been plenty of moments where Broner has embarrassed people who supported him.

Cobbs Seeks Out a Change

Don King, whether you love him or hate him, has had a major impact on the boxing industry as a promoter. When Cobbs was seeking to leave Golden Boy Promotions, he was happy to sing with the long-time industry standard bearer.

Cobbs would like to be more active and look to add more titles to his record. He is 16-1-1 as a professional fighter and has defended his WBC-NABF welterweight title. Throughout his career, Cobbs has shown he wants to fight.

In some cases, that eagerness may have hurt him. Cobbs’ only career loss came during a bout with Alexis Rocha in March 2022. Cobbs lost the fight that he took on one week’s notice.

Does Broner Still Want to Fight?

While Broner signed up for this fight with Cobbs, he has made a habit of pulling out of fights in recent years. His inactivity makes him vulnerable to losing to a younger, healthier fighter. Boxing news sites will see that since the end of 2017, Broner has only fought four times.

During two years, in 2020 and 2022, Broner didn’t fight at all. That type of activity doesn’t bode well for someone who doesn’t appear to be as interested in the sport as he was in the past. Fighting Cobbs will be an interesting story for Broner.

Depending on how, or if, Broner wins, there may be some demand to see him back in the ring. If Broner ekes out a controversial decision or if he doesn’t look good on the scale, the criticism of the former champion will start again.

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By Dean McHugh.