DC Commission to license Adrien Broner after assurances he will turn himself in

ByDan Rafael ESPN logo
Thursday, March 31, 2016

The DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission told ESPN.com that it plans to license junior welterweight titleholder Adrien Broner at Thursday's weigh-in after receiving assurances in writing from Broner's camp and authorities in Ohio that he will turn himself in in the days after Friday's fight.

Broner (31-2, 23 KOs) is scheduled to make his first title defense against Ashley Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs) in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card Friday night (Spike, 9 p.m. ET) at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C.

Broner will do so while facing felony assault and aggravated robbery charges in his hometown of Cincinnati in connection with an incident during the early-morning hours of Jan. 21. Broner is accused of assaulting a man and robbing him of $12,000 at gunpoint outside of a bowling alley. Broner, 26, allegedly lost the money to the man during a night of high-stakes betting on bowling games, knocked him unconscious outside the bowling alley after a confrontation, and took the money.

Despite receiving heavy criticism for agreeing to allow Broner to fight with two outstanding arrest warrants in connection with a violent crime, the Washington commission, a three-person panel appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council, said it worked through the Easter weekend to get written assurances from Broner's camp and Ohio authorities that he would turn himself in after the fight.

"On March 25, 2016 the DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission was made aware of an arrest warrant issued by the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, for Adrien Broner, who is scheduled to participate in an upcoming boxing event scheduled on April 1 at the DC Armory," the commission told ESPN.com in a statement Wednesday night. "Due to the nature and seriousness of this matter, the commission contacted Mr. Broner's representatives, expressed the severity of our concerns, and began an investigation to gather information on the status of this situation and to determine if Mr. Broner would be issued a license to fight on April 1.

"Based upon the facts provided by Mr. Broner's representatives, which were subsequently verified by the Municipal Court of Hamilton County, as well as the Hamilton County prosecutor's office, the commission is satisfied that Mr. Broner has reached an agreement with the appropriate law enforcement and judicial authorities that does not restrict him from traveling to or participating in the fight on April 1, and through which he will address this serious legal matter. Barring any changes in these facts, and assuming no additional issues arise, the DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission has no plans to withhold a license for Mr. Broner to fight on April 1."

The warrants Broner is wanted on were issued only for Ohio and not nationally, meaning Washington police are under no obligation to arrest him and return him to Ohio, the commission said. Once Broner turns himself in under the schedule his representatives have arranged, he will be freed on a $100,000 bond and await trial, or perhaps work out a plea agreement.

Broner declined to discuss the specifics of his case on Wednesday during the final news conference for the fight, but he did address the situation in general terms when meeting with reporters following the formal proceedings.

"Anything is tough when you have a lot of things coming your way," Broner 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."