International Boxing Hall of Famer “Sugar” Ray Leonard raved about "The Problem" Adrien Broner and said the current WBC lightweight titleholder “has everything.”
Broner (25-0, 21 KOs), who is often compared to “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather due to dominating roughly 300 amateur pugilists, last fought on November 17 when he badly battered Antonio DeMarco until the tough Mexican’s corner mercifully halted the beating at 1:49 of the eighth round.
"I've been watching this kid, man, and this kid, man, he's a talent,” said Leonard, 56, who captured five belts in five different weight classes and was rightfully named Fighter of the Decade for the 1980s by Ring Magazine. “That kid has it. He's one of those rare fighters that has the entire package. He's defensive, he's offensive, he's powerful, he's quick. He has everything. I just look forward to watching him grow.”
Broner, a cocky and flamboyant youngster who has been featured as a top ten prizefighter in multiple divisions by Ring Magazine, expressed appreciation for Leonard’s kind words and claimed to have met the legendary boxer as a 10-year-old at a national amateur tournament in Kansas.
"He's a real down to earth guy. I remember meeting him. He probably doesn't remember, but I've got a helluva memory,” said Broner, 23, a Cincinnati native who is presently ranked as the number one lightweight in the world by BoxRec. "That means a lot. But honestly, he told me that when I was 10 years old at a Silver Gloves tournament. But just by him saying that, it brings a smile to my face.”
The insufferably arrogant and oftentimes difficult to support Broner, who donned questionable pink trunks to fistfight DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KOs), then promised to mature into an even greater prizefighter.
"You know, because I work hard, and now I'm getting to show the world who Adrien Broner really is,” said Broner, listed as the sixth preeminent pound-for-pound fighter in the world. “Honestly, I still haven't shown everything that I have. So just tune in, and you will see a lot more."
Seeking a sixth consecutive knockout, Broner is slated to throw fists with Welshman Gavin Rees on February 16 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Receiving praise from Leonard (36-3-1, 25 KOs), one of the most skilled and accomplished pugilists in the history of the sport who managed to emerge victorious in bouts against ring icons Wilfred Benitez (53-8-1, 31 KOs), Thomas Hearns (61-5-1, 48 KOs), Roberto Duran (103-16, 70 KOs) and Marvin Hagler, should “mean a lot” to Broner.
In addition to Leonard, who won a gold medal as a light welterweight at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Broner has gained the attention of a couple Bostonian’s for his prowess in the squared circle.
Roger "Pit" Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
“Broner looks like the next great,” said Perron, 76, who worked with Hagler (62-3-2, 52 KOs) at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “He looks like he’ll become the next superstar as today’s big guns begin fading away.”
Jeff Lyons possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of “The Sweet Science” and gushed about Broner’s abilities.
Although Lyons isn’t enamored with Broner as a person, he readily acknowledged “The Problem” is a dominating figure in the ring.
“Broner’s probably the biggest jerk in the sport,” said Lyons, 33, a resident of South Boston. “But, he’s a beast and nobody will touch him at 140 pounds.”
In roughly a month, as Ray Leonard aptly noted, Adrien Broner will continue proving to be “the entire package” by knocking Reese (37-1-1, 18 KOs) onto Queer Street within nine lopsided rounds.