Adrian Broner to make 140-pound debut on Saturday’s Mayweather-Maidana undercard

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Updated: April 30, 2014

Adrian Broner had a hellacious 2013. He moved up to the welterweight division last June to defeat Paulie Malignaggi to win the WBA title, but lost it in his only defense after he was pummeled by Marcos Rene Maidana in December. Fighting for the first time since the Maidana disaster, Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) will move back down in weight for his 140-pound debut that will be featured on “The Moment: Mayweather vs. Maidana SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Saturday.

Broner was labeled the next ‘Floyd Mayweather’ because, he’s accustomed to mimicking Floyd’s use of the shoulder-roll – a defensive maneuver that fighters use to help them slip, block, dodge, and counter punches while making opponents miss. Broner was able to successfully use the shoulder-roll because, his hand and foot-speed is very quick.

Broner won world titles at 130 and 135 pounds before moving up two weight divisions last year to capture the WBA welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi, via split-decision.

Everything was going well for Broner until he fought Marcos Rene Maidana last December. It didn’t matter what Broner did, Maidana’s aggression and brute punching power was too much for Broner and his shoulder-roll technique to overcome. Maidana scored a pair of knockdowns, as he tortured Broner for twelve rounds. The biggest fight of Maidana’s career proved to be Broner’s worst night.

“Anybody taking a loss that I did, it would probably break them,” Broner said. “But coming from where I come from, I’m strong mentally and physically so I’m OK.  I’m personally proud of myself and I don’t care that a lot of people are looking for me to just go in here and walk over this guy, but at the end of the day they’re forgetting that [Maidana] not just somebody to walk over, he’s a top-class fighter.”

Broner’s defeat to Maidana shook-up the boxing world. Mayweather was initially ready to fight Amir Khan, but instead, opt out to fight Maidana. Khan was offered (and accepted) the chance to face Luis Collazo in one of the other televised pay-per-view fights this Saturday. That left Broner to fight Carlos Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs) in what will be Broner’s first at junior welterweight.

Remember Broner moved up two weight classes from 135 to 147 for better competition since his world title fights at 130 and 135 against Gavin Rees, Eloy Perez, Vincente Escobedo, Antonio DeMarco, and Vincente Rodriguez were all too easy. Perhaps, Molina can give Broner a few anxious moments.

“Molina is a hell of a fighter,” Broner said. “Like I said, I don’t disrespect any boxer.  It takes a lot to get inside that square circle and I don’t take any boxer lightly.  I just want him to be on his A-game May 3.”

Broner promises that the loss to Maidana hasn’t affected his confidence, or his ability to engage in crossfire whenever necessary.  Broner has been training hard in Washington, D.C. and appears to be very excited about returning this Saturday.

“After this fight they will see that I’m still ‘The Problem.’ Anybody can get it in the ring. I’m still the same guy,” Broner said.

Broner added: “I know there’s a lot of people that dislike the things that I do, but there’s a lot of people that love the things that I do and they want to see Adrien Broner back on top and I will not disappoint them and anybody who wants to see me.”

We will see whether Broner is ready to return to the big stage on Saturday.

“THE MOMENT: Mayweather vs. Maidana,” is a 12-round world championship unification bout for Mayweather and Maidana’s respective 147-pound titles. This is the third fight of Mayweather’s lucrative multi-fight deal with Showtime Networks Inc. In the co-main event, Amir Khan faces Luis Collazo in a 12-round bout. In addition to Broner-Molina, the show will also feature a 10-round super middleweight bout featuring J’Leon Love vs. Marco Antonio Periban. The event will be produced and distributed live by SHOWTIME PPV (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

Tickets for the live event priced at $1,500, $1,000 and $750 are still available, not including applicable service charges and taxes. Tickets priced at $550 and $350 are sold out.

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