Adrien Broner defines his fan base and banks on their allegiance.
At the weigh-in for Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner, Broner looked hungry. He dominated the lighter boxing weight classes in 2011-2015, showcasing an athletic brilliance that fight fans thought would last.
However, after a couple of losses at higher weights, many began to lose confidence in his abilities.
As a result, Broner honed in on his true base, the streets.
Broner’s company, About Billions Promotions, gears its fight marketing towards the downtrodden, those forgotten by society. Coming from Cincinnati, Broner has been incarcerated many times.
In fact, incarceration almost put his boxing career in jeopardy. Broner has been more well-known for police engagement than boxing exploits. His relationship with rap artist Rick Ross is a testament to his fealty towards the outlaw community, or those that think like outlaws in relation to their societal invisibility.
However, many have been critical of Broner’s language usage and apparent lack of class in promoting his biggest fight to date. Has Broner been politically correct? Absolutely not, however, there has never been a media training threshold to be a successful pugilist.
Being over-the-top is celebrated in the hurt business, and Broner has mastered that element.
Doing It For The H-O-O-D
Rick Ross made his millions championing Miami drug dealers like Richard “Convertible Burt” Simmons and Kenneth “Boobie” Williams. However real or unreal the personal life of William “Rick Ross” Roberts II is in criminality, he describes it as a cinematic bard over beats.
Broner’s alignment with the Maybach Music boss makes sense in the prism of his intentions. To step out of the shadow of his former mentor, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and differentiate himself, Broner, like Ross, re-invented himself.
Always confrontational, Broner kicked it up a notch while talking harshly to legendary commentator Al Bernstein for perceived social media faux pas’.
Interviewed by Showtime reporter, Jim Gray minutes after the weigh-in, Broner started by asking, “where my street n*ggas at?”
Broner will be judged for his pay-per-view sales. Being his first PPV appearance, the strength of the card lies on Manny Pacquiao’s global appeal. Like his estranged mentor, Mayweather, there will be many that purchase hoping to see Broner lose.
However, as Broner defines who he is as a boxer-businessman, being the combat heel street representative will only be proven by his balance sheet.