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Adrien Broner ready for stardom

Adrien Broner lands a punch on Daniel Ponce

Adrien Broner lands a punch on Daniel Ponce De Leon during the second round of their junior lightweight boxing match in Anaheim, Calif. Credit: AP, 2011

Adrien Broner has flare like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and skills unlike any other young boxer in the sport. And he expects to take a big step toward making himself a household name on November 17 when he fights Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) for the WBC lightweight title at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on HBO’s Championship Boxing.

Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) represents everything that boxing needs to grow again. He’s young (23), has knockout power and charisma, traits that many of boxing’s greats had.

“After I’m done with boxing, I want to be the best boxer who ever put on a pair of boxing gloves,” said Broner. “I want to do things that nobody has ever done. I don’t know how long that will take, but I’m trying to do it.”

HBO is certainly pleased and excited about the progression of Broner (pictured right).

They call Adrien “The Problem”, but when it comes to boxing on television for our viewers, it’s anything but a problem,” said Mark Taffet, senior vice president of sports operations and pay-per-view for HBO. “They can’t wait to see Adrien fight. He’s one of those fighters who combines not only incredible talent in the ring, but tremendous charisma outside the ring.”

Broner said he understands boxing isn’t just about what you do in the ring and has let the little kid in him out. “I’m not just a professional boxer, I’m a professional entertainer, too,” he said. “Since the first grade I’ve been a class clown.”

Broner’s last fight, against Vincente Escobedo on HBO’s Boxing After Dark, drew 1.4 million viewers. It was the highest rated and most viewed Boxing After Dark broadcast this year, proving that HBO might have a star in the making.

Broner’s list of opponents –Escebedo, Eloy Perez, Vincente Martin Rodriguez, Jason Litzau, Daniel Ponce De Leon– is impressive. But he said he will fight anyone and weight is not an issue. “I’m very flexible. I can go up and down in weight, 135, 140, 147…And the right guy at 154,” said Broner. “I can do a lot of things.”

One of those things includes fighting Mayweather, fighter Broner is frequently compared to. Although Broner looks up to Mayweather, he’s not afraid to step into the ring with him.

But can he beat him? “I love him to death, but I don’t care who it is on the other side of the ring,” Broner said of Mayweather.

But can he beat him? If he and Mayweather were the same age, Broner has no doubts.

Said Broner: “Honestly, I have a lot to work on, but at 23, I would kick his ---.”

Until Broner steps in the ring with Mayweather, he’ll just have to settle with being compared to the undefeated welterweight, a feeling he gladly embraces.

“This is just the beginning of what I’m going to do and what I can be,” said Broner. “And I’m always being compared to the best in the sport of this era. I feel like I’m doing everything right.”

New York Sports