Female multi-division world champion Claressa Shields says Adrien Broner displayed the same flaws in his game last Friday night against Blair Cobbs that he’d been showing since his defeat against Manny Pacquiao five years ago in 2019.

Shields points out that the former four-division world champion Broner (35-5-1, 24 KOs), who turns 35 next month on July 28th, wasn’t letting his hands go the way he needed for him to defeat Cobbs (17-1-1, 10 KOs) in their headliner at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Cobbs took advantage of Broner’s low output by dropping him in the second round with a looping left to the head and then continued to hit him virtually at will in the last eight rounds to win a ten-round unanimous decision by the scores 97-91, 96-93, and 96-93.

Broner’s Decline

Shields says he’s unsure if Broner’s problems are related to age or the wear & tear of a 16-year career.  She just knows that Broner has not shown improvement since his loss to Pacquiao five years ago in 2019, and that’s worrisome.

“I love Adrien Broner, but it’s the same thing since the Pacquiao fight [in January 2019], just over and over again,” said female multi-division world champion Claressa Shields to Fighthype, discussing former four-division world champion Adrien Broner’s loss to Blair Cobbs last Friday night.

It’s like groundhog day with Broner, as he’s showing the same issues every fight by being busy enough, and letting his opponents outwork. We saw that in his fights against Jovanie Santiago, Mikey Garcia, Adrian Granados, Marcos Maidana, Manny Pacquiao and Shawn Porter.

Nothing has changed along that front. Broner has just gotten older, and isn’t physically fit as he was when he fought those fighters. Broner arguably deserved losses to Santiago and Granados, but the judges gave him questionable victories.

We saw the same thing in Broner’s 12-round draw against Jessie Vargas in 2018. He didn’t throw enough punches and allowed his opponents to outwork him. If you factor in those controversial decisions, Broner should have eight losses on his record.

“He doesn’t let his hands go,” Shields continued about the 34-year-old former four-division world champion ‘The Problem’ Broner. “Maybe age has caught up to him. Maybe the wear and tear has caught up to him. I don’t know, but I saw the highlights where Blair knocked him down [in round two].”

The fact that Broner hasn’t shown improvement in his work rate by this point suggests that the problem is resistance to change, and it’s not something that can be fixed by pep talks or additional training.

He’s not physically capable of throwing enough punches to win against top tier competition. Cobbs is a rock bottom fringe-level contender at welterweight. So if Broner can’t beat this level of fighter, what future does he have in the sport?

Broner’s Pre-Fight Antics

“I saw the lead-up where Adrien was saying he’s got bodies on him and that he’s killed people and stuff. When I heard him saying that at the press conference, I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s not focused on the fight. He’s focused on murders,’” said Shields.

Broner misjudged what the reaction would be from boxing fans and the media when he talked about bodies and guns at the final press conference this week. He thought those comments would play out well with people, but it made him look like he was focusing on crime, which has nothing to do with the sport.

Has Broner been watching too many crime shows on TV? Moving forward, Broner needs to separate that stuff from his career as a boxer becaue that junk has nothing to do with boxing. He’s not going to impress fans nationwide by in the U.S by talking about guns and bodies.

“I’m like, ‘What the f*** is going on?’ But I had hoped it would be a great return fight for him,” said Shields. “But I know Blair was not going to lay down for him, and Blair is not a bad fighter either. He’s not the most skilled, but he is very entertaining, and he punches fast and hard. He’s always in great shape.”

Cobbs, 5’11 1/2″, had too much size, speed, and power for Broner to deal with last night. When the fight was made, it was obvious that Cobbs was going to be a nightmare for Broner because he was too big and threw far too many punches for the aging former four-division world champion.

In hindsight, Broner shouldn’t have picked Cobbs for his opponent. Although Cobbs was excellent in creating interest in the fight with his gift for gab, he’s too active for a fighter like AB.

Broner’s Future: Retirement or a Comeback?

“Congrats to Blair. I wish Adrien a speedy recovery. I hope he decides what he wants to do, but he’s had a great career. I’m not going to say it’s time for him to hang it up or not because I don’t know, but I know he’s a four-time world champion,” said Shields.

If Broner is desperate for money, he’ll likely continue to fight as long as he can because he has to make a living somehow.

Even with Broner’s career in dust at this point, he can make more money inside the ring than outside unless one of the broadcast networks hires him as a commentator. Working for one of the brocasters might be tricky for Broner because he would have to be careful with what he says on air. Stay in a gig like that would require that Broner be entertaining, but without going overboard saying the wrong things.

“When a fighter is ready to retire, that’s up to them. I pray that he just stays safe and continues on his journey and don’t let it get him too down on him losing. I hope he bounces back. If bounces back means he retires, cool,” said Shields.

If Broner is going to continue, his promoter will need to lower the bar by matching him against journeyman-level opposition. However, it’s going to be difficult for Broner to attract fans’ interest in his fights if he’s not facing top-tier opposition. Blair Cobbs was a low-level opponent, but the way that Broner was dominated by him means he’s incapable of beating top-15 competition.

“Adrien is a good fighter. He had a great career, and it’s up to him to decide when to retire, not nobody else,” said Shields.

YouTube video

Read the full article here