WBA light welterweight champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner has his first defence of his WBA title confirmed against British fighter Ashley Theophane on April 1, 2016.
Theophane is a former British champion who won the national super-lightweight title in February 2011 with a unanimous decision over Lenny Daws at Wembley Arena. Following two successful defences he lost the title to Darren Hamilton in 2012.
Despite suffering six defeats in his career, Theophane (39-6-1-KO11) has never been stopped and took the current world champion Danny Garcia to a split decision in February 2010 at the Don Haskins Convention Centre in El Paso, Texas
Now living in Las Vegas, fighting out of Mayweather’s Gym, he is undefeated since a split decision defeat two years ago to Pablo Cesar Cano. He has been in Mayweather’s camp for over two years, and now has his first shot at a world title, at the age of 35.
Outspoken Adrian Broner (31-2-KO23) won the vacant WBA title by stopping Khabib Allakhverdiev in round 12 on October 3 2015, following a point’s defeat to former world welterweight champion Shawn Porter at a 144lb catch weight.
Ahead of the clash with Porter, Mayweather Jr was never far from Broner’s side but the close relationship between the pair seems to have cooled off with Floyd stating ‘The Problem’ has “a lot of growing up to do.”
At the press conference held in the W Hotel in Washington, D.C. the fighters announced their world title showdown on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike at the D.C. Armory, as always Adrian Broner had a lot to say.
“This is really a big fight for me. I know that Ashley Theophane is going to come to fight, because he has something to prove. He’s going to try to take my world title.”
“A lot of people told me I wouldn’t be here. I come from nothing. Like cereal and water nothing. I’m very fortunate to have someone like Floyd to look up to. I don’t want to be like Floyd though; I don’t want to be like any man. I admire him and respect him, but I’m creating my legacy.”
“At the end of the day, Floyd and Ashley aren’t on my side. I’m against them. They’re coming to dethrone me. They’re my enemy right now and I’m going to beat Ashley down.”
“This training camp, I’ve really been perfecting my craft. This is going to be the best performance of my career. It’s going to be a highlight reel performance. I’m not coming to just get a win.”
Broner is so confident in his abilities he has predicted an easy night’s work with the fight not lasting more than four rounds, and appears unfazed by Floyd Mayweather’s presence in the opposing corner.
“This fight isn’t going four rounds. That’s too many. This is going to be quick. I’m not playing”.
“There’s nothing Floyd can teach [Theophane]. At the end of the day, it all goes out the window. The trainers and entourage can’t help. They can’t help Ashley Theophane.”
“I want everyone to come out. Big brother Floyd Mayweather is gone, everyone else is too boring, so I’m taking over the sport.”
Theophane will be using Broner’s insults and brash talk as fuel ahead of their upcoming fight believing American Broner is ‘the most hated man in boxing’ after ‘the problem’ dismissed the challenge as ‘easy money’.
Theophane told Sky Sports: “To me, he’s entertaining. He’s foul-mouthed and says stuff he shouldn’t say. He said the same things about Shawn [Porter] and Marcos [Maidana] so I don’t worry about words.”
“When we get in the ring, that’s when I’ll be put to the test. Depending on my performance, we’ll see if I’m ‘easy money’ or whether we’ll hear ‘and the new’. His words just motivate me to work harder in the ring and on the road.”
“He seems to be the most hated man in boxing. People who don’t even know me are saying they hope I win.”
Theophane has had lengthy career and believes his extensive experience could make all the difference when the first bell goes.
“I’ve had to earn everything I’ve gained. When I was world no 4 in 2010, British champion in 2011, getting signed by Floyd Mayweather in 2013 – all these things I worked hard to accomplish. It took me 10 years to get a promoter to back me”.
Love him or hate him Adrian Broner won’t be giving in lightly, with both fighters confident of taking home that WBA title.
– Emmily Simcock / @Emmily_Jane