Broner's confidence echoed by Rees
Adrien Broner is cocky, brash and a rising star in boxing. At 25-0 with 21 knockouts, the 23-year-old Broner has made no bones about his desire to follow in the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and rule the sport. He took a big step toward that in his last fight, scoring an eighth-round technical knockout of Antonio DeMarco in what some considered to be the toughest fight of his career.
On Saturday night (10:30 p.m. ET on HBO), the WBC lightweight champion faces Gavin Rees, who brings a 37-1-1 record into the ring. The Cincinnati product says he has never watched Rees on tape and has never seen him fight — and that it won’t make a difference at all in the outcome.
“I don’t train for [specific] fighters,” Broner explained. “I train to stay in shape. This will be another step to my stardom, and I will be victorious.”
When asked if his demolition of DeMarco has provided him with any new confidence, Broner simply replied, “I’m always confident.”
His opponent appears equally as confident. In the pre-fight news conference, Rees lobbed verbal jabs at Broner. The 5-foot-7 Welshman asserted that even American fans do not want to see Broner win, and he boldly claimed he would pull off what would be a huge upset. Broner, also listed at 5-7, reiterated in his own way that he takes every challenge seriously.
“I respect every fighter because only a boxer knows what we go through once we get into that ring. I don't underestimate him. If we stood face-to-face, I probably couldn't see him, but I respect him as a fighter.”
If Broner wins this fight, everything should get bigger. The fights and opponents will only grow larger, and Broner says he plans to keep going up in weight. The next stop is at 140 pounds, where a number of the sport’s biggest names are. Broner would not state any specific names he is targeting to fight in the near future, but he maintains that more fighters are going to find out why he’s dubbed “The Problem.”
“I have my own legacy," he said. "Everybody has their own legacy. Who knows? Maybe I go all the way up to 154 and win a championship. I know I could do it. This is going to be a fun year for me. I'm not looking past this fight, but I'm ready to fight whoever. We're going to take care of business Saturday night.”