The Big Question: Is Broner the least credible four-weight champion ever?

Boxing Monthly
06/10/2015 11:04am

Adrien Broner can now claim to be a four-weight world champion – what does that say about contemporary boxing and the true worth of 'world' titles? Is Broner the least credible multi-division titleist ever?' [Leo Gamez must run him close]. Boxing Monthly's online team give their verdict in this week's 'Big Question'.

Broner's one of the least credible world title-holders I have seen, let alone multi-division titlist. It's a harsh thing to say, but some of the fighters seen as less credible grabbed a portion of a title after losing a few fights or after spending a few years in the wilderness before springing an upset.

In Broner's case, he has had it all laid out on a plate for him yet he still tends to go for vacant titles, struggles to make an long-term impact in the division and is hardly box office material in the ring, and he is only box office material out of it for people who like to watch gaudy, nonsensical films that have little or no meaning or weight.

In fact, it is fitting that he has picked up a few vacant titles as he is the poster boy for the vapidity of some aspects of modern boxing and life. Broner will win more titles, he will lose key fights and when the dust settles on his career people will struggle to say which division he "owned" and the titles he won.

He is one tenth talent, nine tenths hype and lacks the humility to improve as a fighter, something that cannot be said of his idol and mentor Floyd Mayweather Junior—Broner isn’t even a facsimile of Mayweather, he is a Crayon drawing replica glimpsed in passing through a keyhole. - Terry Dooley.

We live in an era where teams want to "make history" for the sake of making history.......... and the whole multi-weight champion has become a relatively easy bandwagon to jump-on.  Leo Gamez and Jorge Arce both became four-weight champs because they were given chance after chance until it came to fruition, but at least both stuck within the same governing body.  Broner has simply picked up belts  where it made sense, so from a business perspective it's been great - but both he and Nonito Donaire have shown the luxury of being able to steer through four options in each weight.

The strange thing is, De La Hoya was only the fifth boxer to manage this circa 1997, but the list is now on 15 - with an average addition recently of one fighter per year.

It seems to be truly elite you now have to win at five weights (where we only have five men who qualify): and that should not include Donaire or Arce winning Interim versions. - Colin Harris.

Rather than helping talented fighters cement their standing as truly special talents, I feel that the proliferation of belts actually diminishes legacies. Fighters like Ricardo Lopez or Marvin Hagler may not have jumped around weight classes collecting belts but they built ‘Hall of Fame’ worthy careers by dominating their divisions and beating all comers. The wide availability of belts encourages the exact opposite as fighters can quickly become multi-weight champions by actively avoiding the best opponents. Plotting and planning seems to be done in meeting rooms with a list of the various governing bodies’ world rankings rather than in the gym with a tape of an upcoming challenger. 

Adrien Broner is the perfect example of a fighter whose reputation has been harmed by his careful choices. The Ohioan is an extremely talented fighter who - whether you like his methods or not - has the ability to crossover into the mainstream. He clearly outgrew the super-featherweight division but proved himself to be a potentially outstanding lightweight. Sadly, rather than establishing himself as a potential great 135lber, he abandoned ship in search of money and fame.

Broner may be a four-weight world champion but so far his belts at 140lbs and 147lbs amount to little more than bargaining chips. - John Evans.

In my eyes Adrien Broner is a perfect example for why boxing fans must learn the distinction between a champion and a title-holder - they are indeed two very different things. 

Champions are "the man" in their division, title holders are "the mEn". Broner has never been the man...

It was good to see him rededicated to his conditioning for Saturday's fight, coming in at his lowest weight in years.  After all, that has been "the problem" lately in his career.  A fully dedicated Adrien Broner is a major player at 140 pounds, but Terence Crawford looks to be "the man". - Michael Montero.

Despite the number of sanctioning bodies and belts, being a four-weight world champion is still quite an accomplishment. A suitable skill set and fighting style at one weight may have to be completely reworked one or two divisions above you.

Broner never belonged at 147. His power didn't carry up that far, and that's where he took his two losses. His trash talk aside, if he dedicates himself, 140 could be a division he may dominate. He's still only 26 and has a lot of experience under his belt. - Martin Chesnutt, TKO Radio.

It didn't surprise me when Adrien Broner defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev on Saturday to claim a fourth 'world title' in as many weight divisions as the Ohioan is undoubtedly a talented fighter. These days I rarely take notice of how many weight divisions a fighter has reportedly held a so-called world title in because it is ridiculously easy to do so. Unless the fighter in question has been proven to be the number one in a particular weight class, or has travelled up a division or two and beaten the 'MAN' in that weight class as Naoya Inoue did when he dethroned Omar Narvaez at 115, holding a belt means nothing more than it being a promotional bargaining chip. Broner won a vacant title which is even more diluted as he didn't beat a champion for the belt just another of a host of contenders in Allakhverdiev. I like to judge a fighter’s resumé on who they won and lost against in their respective primes and not by cherry-picking their way to multiple world tiles in various weight divisions. By the way, Leo Gamez was involved in one of my favourite fights against Sornpichai Kratingdaengym back in 1999, a multiple knockdown thriller, which is more than can be said about Mr. Broner! - Danny Winterbottom.

Accepting how diluted world titles have become, Broner has, in reality, been a top contender in four divisions. He’s never championed a division in the manner Wladimir Klitschko currently does at heavyweight, or Guillermo Rigondeaux does at super-bantam. He’s held a few belts but then, doesn’t every fighter these days?

World titles are still incredibly important to the fighters. They still want to win belts and so belts still matter. They increase a fighter’s earning potential and open doors to bigger nights.

If we’re looking at what world titles actually mean in terms of grading accomplishment, however, I think it’s safe to say they don’t mean as much as they once did. The governing body’s ratings are often bizarre and a well-connected promoter can more or less guarantee their fighters world title tilts if the boxers can negotiate an official eliminator or two (which often involves two fighters ranked outside of the division’s true top ten, if we take a common sense approach to ranking them).

If Broner retired tomorrow, he’d be remembered more for being a dysfunctional dunderhead, a YouTube oddity, than he would for anything he accomplished in the ring. That probably says it all, doesn’t it? - Andrew Harrison.

The closest 'The Problem' has come to being a lineal or true world champion was his run at lightweight when he beat No#1 rated (by The Ring at least) Antonio DeMarco for the WBC belt. His other title wins have been against fighters nowhere near the top of the weight class. Broner is a very talented boxer who looked spectacular at the lower weights, but north of 135 he looks pedestrian and for him to be listed in the same company as Roy Jones Jr and the like is obviously ridiculous. We're in a world where every sporting event needs a tag line “Can Billie Joe Saunders be the first Romany Gypsy to hold a smidgen of a world title?" - the boxing fans don't care but it sells to TV and that's where the money comes from. As long as we continue to buy tickets and tune in to these 'title' fights, the more multi-division titlists we'll see. - Callum Rudge.

Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME.