Adrien Broner still slated to fight Friday despite assault charges

ByBrian Campbell ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Junior welterweight titlist Adrien Broner appeared at Wednesday's news conference in Washington, D.C., despite facing felony assault and robbery charges in Ohio.

Broner (31-2, 23 KOs), who defends his title Friday at the DC Armory against Ashley Theophane, appeared agitated at times while briefly talking about the fight but didn't comment on the pair of active warrants for his arrest. Broner, 28, allegedly assaulted and robbed a man at gunpoint in the early morning hours Jan. 21 outside of a bowling alley in his native Cincinnati.

His bout with Theophane, a 12-round junior welterweight fight that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions card on Spike TV, remains scheduled to take place Friday despite Broner's ongoing legal issues.

"To be honest, I didn't come here to talk today," said Broner, who addressed reporters at The Hamilton Live theater in Washington. "I wasn't even going to come to this bulls--- today, to be honest. The fight already sold. As you can see there's about 10 tickets left. My work is done."

Broner, however, talked specifically about the charges he's facing and wanting to go ahead with the fight after Wednesday's news conference.

"Anything is tough when you have a lot of things coming your way," he said. "I have tunnel vision. It's fight time. I'm locked-in until I get the job done.

"Right now I have to focus on this fight. I'm keeping my mind in the right state. I'm not just doing this for me. It's for my family. It's bigger than just me."

A four-division titlist, Broner guaranteed a knockout of Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs) and used Wednesday's forum to call out Theophane's promoter, retired champion Floyd Mayweather, who was en route to Washington, D.C., and not present at the event.

"I'm kind of pissed Floyd ain't here," said Broner, who referred to Mayweather's company, the lead promoter of the card, as "Hateweather Promotions."

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, took issue with Broner's comments and came to Mayweather's aid.

"Hateweather Promotions?" Ellerbe said. "I don't think so. The record speaks for itself, and the bankroll do, too. And the accomplishments in his career speak for itself. You not fighting Floyd, you fighting Ashley. You don't have any reason to hate. And this ain't about Floyd, it's about you and Ashley. Bottom line."

Mayweather has long served as a mentor to Broner, who often playfully referred to him as "Big Bro." But the two have exchanged words in recent months over social media, which escalated after Mayweather criticized Broner for posting a video of himself throwing money into the air and walking away after making a purchase at a Walmart.

Broner responded on March 22 by posting a nearly five-minute, expletive-filled rant on YouTube that closed with him imploring Mayweather to "watch me April 1, I'm gonna knock your fighter out." Their ongoing feud has been used as a marketing tool for Friday's fight.