Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The Next Chapter In The Career Of Adrien Broner


Former four-division world champion Adrien Broner's career can be described a couple of different ways. The one that this observer has used when asked about Broner over the years has been too much, too soon. It seemed as though when Broner emerged on the scene in the early 2010's after turning professional in 2008, that he began collecting world titles in multiple divisions during a period of time where many fighters are still developing as professionals. While this is a testament to Broner's skills and talent as a fighter, his rise to stardom might be viewed by some as one that was too quick.

By now, Broner's career and issues outside of the ring have been chronicled by many in Boxing media including yours truly, so for the purposes of the constraints of one column, I will summarize where we are now. After some setbacks in the ring, troubles outside the ring,  failed attempts to return to the ring, a highly publicized split with his longtime manager Al Haymon and the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), a failed deal with relative newcomer to the sport BLK Prime, and more than two years removed from his last fight, the now thirty-three year old former world champion prepares to return to the ring against relative unknown Welterweight contender Bill Hutchinson on Saturday, June 9th at Casino Miami in Miami, FL. The bout, which will headline a pay-per-view card available globally on digital combat sports streaming network and pay-per-view platform FITE TV, not only signals Broner's return to competition after a long absence, but also his first fight after forming an alliance in a multi-fight deal with Hall of Fame promoter Don King.

This fight has a clear storyline going into it. It represents the next chapter and what is likely a fresh start for Broner. In terms of the opposition that Broner will face on June 9th, Bill Hutchinson is a fighter, but he is also a practicing lawyer, which is a rarity in the sport. As a fighter, Hutchinson does have a respectable record of 20-2-4, with 9 Knockouts. The level of his opposition however, has been limited up to this point and this is a significant step up in caliber of opposition for him against the former world champion Broner. What Hutchinson does have going for him going into this fight is he has been the more active of the two, having fought as recently as 2022 and has won his last ten bouts.

The obvious question here is does Hutchinson have the skills to make it competitive against Broner and to potentially pull off an upset. Unfortunately, as a consequence that does not happen too often these days as compared to many years ago thanks to the advent of streaming video, but this is a rare instance where this observer, a noted and proud Boxing lifer, journalist, historian, and one who studies fight films on a daily basis, has not been able to find any footage of Hutchinson in action as this will be my first opportunity to cover him. It is important however, to keep in mind that Adrien Broner is coming off of a two year layoff and has had to deal with distractions outside of the ring in that time, which has contributed to his inactivity. Often the biggest enemy of fighters in any combat sport is inactivity. So, as there are questions as to what Bill Hutchinson will bring to the table, there should be questions as to what kind of Adrien Broner we will see in this fight. As inactivity should be viewed as an enemy, with that the possibility of “Ring Rust” is definitely possible for a fighter coming off of a lengthy absence such as Broner. 

While we do not know what Hutchinson will bring with him into this fight, there is a blueprint of sorts on how to fight Broner that perhaps he might try to use to his advantage. Adrien Broner is one of the most accurate fighters with his offense when he is actively competing, but often opponents have been able to make fights close and out work Broner by being more active and keeping Broner in a defensive shell where he does not get his punches off consistently. Obviously, we are not likely to get an idea of what Hutchinson might do until the fight is actually occurring in the ring. It would be wise of this largely unknown fighter/lawyer to have spent time studying Broner’s previous fights and to try and implement an approach for success in this fight. 

Hutchinson must keep in mind that Broner does have hand speed and punching power, but he needs to try and force the issue in this fight by making Broner fight. The one advantage that Hutchinson might have here is the fact that he has been more active than his opponent and as such, he needs to make it difficult for Broner to work off that “Ring Rust, even though he is at a significant disadvantage in terms of experience and caliber of previous opposition. This will also be the first time that Hutchinson will be in a scheduled ten round bout in his career and it will be interesting to see how he will look in the middle and late rounds of this fight, should it get that far and if the bout proves to be a competitive bout.

Outside of the significant layoff for Broner, seemingly this has all the appearance at least on paper of a fight that he should be favored to win. It will nevertheless be interesting to see if this chapter in Broner’s career is truly a fresh start where no matter what happens win, lose, or draw, and how he performs, will be one that sees him being more active inside the ring to try and work his way back into world title contention rather than dealing with issues outside of the ring.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

Broner vs. Hutchinson takes place on Friday, June 9th at Casino Miami in Miami, FL. The fight can be seen globally on digital combat sports streaming network and pay-per-view platform FITE TV for $24.99. The broadcast will begin at 6:50PM ET/3:30PM PT (U.S. Times only.) For more information about FITE TV including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, and to learn how to download the FITE app, please visit: www.FITE.TV. To order Broner vs. Hutchinson from your web browser Click Here.

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