Adrien “The Problem” Broner may be just 25, but he’s already distinguished himself as one of boxing’s most reliably obnoxious stars. The former three-division titleholder is probably best known as the self-appointed heir apparent to his “big brother” Floyd Mayweather Jr. and for having his dad brush his hair in the ring after victories, but there are other cringeworthy stunts, like posting videos of himself flushing $20 bills down the toilet.
Broner, who lost his welterweight title belt in 2013 to Marcos Maidana in a humbling upset that saw him roughed up and knocked down twice, will never be as great as Mayweather, who is still considered the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, but the Cincinnati-born junior welterweight has followed his mentor's strategy of marketing himself as an uber-cocky villain. He's the kind of polarizing figure whose fights some fans will watch just to see if he'll lose. They'll have their next chance when Broner (29-1) fights John Molina Jr. (27-5) in the main event of the March 7 debut of NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions series, which will broadcast 20 free fights on NBC and NBC Sports in 2015.
MAXIM spoke to Broner about Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, why he doesn’t regret dissing Jay Z and Rihanna, and the bizarre reason he continues to flush money down the toilet.
You’re fighting John Molina on March 7, prime time on NBC. How does it feel to be boxing on free TV?
It’s the first time I’m fighting on free TV but I ain’t fighting for free. It’s definitely a bigger platform, and I just can’t wait to get out there.
If you beat Molina, who do you want next at 140 pounds?
We gonna get John Molina first and then we gonna go back to the drawing board with [manager] Al Haymon and see who we fight next. At the end of the day, I'll fight whoever comes to the table. I don’t back down from no fight.
The long-awaited showdown between your buddy Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is finally set for May 2. How do you see that fight going down?
Of course I want my big brother to end his career undefeated and do a great job on May 2, but I’m focused on my fight. He’ll win easy. It’s not a mystery. You know Pacquiao's been stopped before, and you know if big bro go in and sharpen up his p's and q's he’s got a great chance of stopping him. Pacquiao is going to give him a hell of a fight, but Mayweather will win.
You recently made headlines on TMZ and elsewhere for refusing a $40 million Roc Nation Sports contract, and then insulting Jay Z and Rihanna. Do you regret saying what you said about them?
I don’t regret saying nothing. if I knew I would regret it, I wouldn’t have said it. But at the end of the day, there’s ways to handle things and I talked to somebody older that I look up to, that been in the game a lot longer than me, and they told me I could have handled it a different way. But how I felt was how I felt, and I still feel that way.
You're pretty infamous for that video where you flushed $20 bills down the toilet. Is that something you're still in the habit of doing?
You know I still occasionally do it, it depends on how I’m feeling at that time, and that’s how I was feeling.
So when exactly is it appropriate to flush money down the toilet?
If my bankroll feels disrespected from having a twenty in there, then I’m gonna flush it.
You have a ritual of your dad brushing your hair in the ring after every win. How'd that get started?
It was just what I was feeling at the time. I felt like I needed my hair brushed.
Do people ever yell that line from Rocky, "Yo Adrian!" at you?
[Laughs] Which one, when Rocky says "Aaaadriaaan"? Nah, I never heard that one, 'Yo Adrian.'
It's a classic. Are you ever going to try to avenge your only loss against Marcos Maidana?
He don’t wanna fight me. I been trying to fight him, but he don't wanna fight me.
What do you want your legacy to be in boxing?
At the end of my career, I want to be the best who ever laced up a pair of boxing gloves. That'ssome big shoes to fill, but I'm pushing forward to do just that.
Photos by Prince Williams/FilmMagic