By Daxx Kahn
When you are a movie buff like I am, amazingly enough you can associate every situation, read in the news to one movie or another. As an example, every time an unconfirmed rumor starts circulating, I think of is the 1984 comedy “Johnny Dangerously” starring Michael Keaton. It’s a spoof, on old classic James Cagney type gangster films, where Keaton plays the lead role of gangster Johnny Dangerously. In one scene, a message is delivered to the prisons cafeteria and as its being passed down from prisoner to prisoner to Dangerously, by time the message is delivered its not even close to the original message. It starts out stating the following.
“Get this to Johnny on the grapevine. Vermin is going to kill Johnny’s brother at the savoy theater tomorrow night. Got it?” The nexzt prisoner says “Vermin is going to kill Johnny’s mother at the Savoy theater tonight. Pass it on”. Then by time it gets to Johnny the message is delivered as “Johnny and the Mothers are playing “Stompin’ at the Savoy” in Vermont tonight.” Johnny in turn repeats “Vermin’s going to kill my brother at the Savoy theater tonight.” I didn’t say that, the prisoner who delivered the message replies then Johnny replies back “No, but I know this grapevine”.
Unfortunately not everything, can be related to something funny as Johnny Dangerously. Instead the are more reminiscent, of a 1940’s “B Quality plot”, mystery where you know half way through “The Butler did it” and there is no more reason to continue watching. Which is quickly becoming the case with, four division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner, who is once again in trouble and perhaps in danger of his story quickly coming to an end.
The career of Broner started out, as if he would be a front runner, to take over as boxing’s future “Pound for Pound” best once Floyd Mayweather Jr retired. He imitated Floyds style, winning world titles in three weight classes before his twenty fourth birthday. He had developed a “Love Hate” relationship with fans, using constant bragging that was always backed up inside the ring, we even began looking forward, to his customary post-fight hair brushing routine whenever he dominated as opponent. Then in 2013, Broner would face two division world champion Marcos Maidana in defense of his WBA welterweight title. In that fight, Broner was placed in a situation he had never experienced. He found his power, speed and mind games that worked in the past, having no effect against Maidana. He would be dropped twice in rounds two and eight. He was bullied, bloodied and mocked by Maidana who took his title by a wide unanimous decision. In the weeks and even months afterwards, Broner was subject of internet “Memes”, they showed him leaving the ring head down, with comments like “Floyd The6y Jumped Me”, in reference to how he always referred to Mayweather when asked what his future would hold next.
Afterwards, Broner would drop in weight, win himself a minor junior welterweight title, just as we started to see the “Old Adrien Broner”, he would be dominated by Shawn Porter in June of 2015. In the bout Broner had a single moment of success, a flash knockdown of Porter in round twelve. The Porter loss seemed to change Broner mentally. He started making absurd social media comment’s, getting into fights at public outings, He was arrested in 2016 for robbery charges, an Instagram stunt where Broner claimed he would commit suicide, showing himself holding a handgun. He did manage to win a version of the 140 titles, then lose that belt on the scales prior to his win over Ashley Theophane. He most recent victory this past February, a very close split decision against Adrian Granados was a bout he had been highly favored to win, yet appeared uninterested in performing at his best.
Here he is now, April 20th 2017 sitting in jail, after police pulled him over in his SUV crossing the Kentucky boarder. A call had come from the G’Moni’s Bar,on Queen City Avenue in Cincinnati just a short while earlier that gunshots were fired towards a white SUV, police matched the plate to the call pulled the SUV over and inside was Adrien Broner. He claimed he had no idea who fired the bullets but was picked up on an old 2014 warrant for alcohol intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct. His SUV held for investigation.
What is next for Adrien Broner? I am starting to believe the ending is clear, not a Quintin Tarantino movie type ending, where it returns’ to where it all started. Even though that would be ideal for Broner, picking up where he ;left off in 2008 after his pro debut. An opportunity to start over and live up to his hopes and expectations, undo what mistakes he has made. Except Broner has promised to start a new chapter, recently as last month where he claimed his foolishness was all behind him.
When I look at the career of Broner and path he is taking, I think of what the character “Sonny” played by Chazz Palminteri in the 1993 movie “A Bronx Tale”, told his young protégé Calogero. In what became, one of the most memorable lines in movie history “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.”. It’s obvious Adrien Broner is wasting his talents, what’s sadder is, Broner at only 27yrs old is a very young man with a lot left in him. He can be talked to if the right people reach out. I am sure they have but maybe the right person has not. We have no idea who that might be, his big brother figure Floyd Mayweather has tried, Broner fails to listen.
His SUV being shot up, means someone was intending to do him serious harm, we have seen no less than a half dozen fighters either seriously injured or murdered in the last 3yrs due to street violence. One was prospect, Ed Brown, friend of former Broner opponent Adrien Granados, who was murdered when Granados was training for his fight against Broner.
If he does not change soon, Broner will end up a cliché, he will always be known as the “If Only” fighter”, instead of becoming an image of Floyd Mayweather, he will be talked about in the same sentences as Hector Camacho, Vernon Forrest, Trevor Berbick, Agapito Sanchez, Ike Ibeabuchi, Michael Nunn, James Butler, Sonny Liston and Mike Tyson. Those conversations will have nothing to do with what was accomplished in the ring.