LAS VEGAS -- Not so long ago, boxer Adrien Broner was billed as an up-and-coming Floyd Mayweather, a welterweight superstar in the making.
That was before Broner was clobbered last December by Marcos Maidana, who knocked him down twice in the first round and wound up winning an easy decision. Had Maidana not won that fight, it likely would be Broner -- not Maidana -- fighting Mayweather in a Showtime pay-per-view bout Saturday night.
The brash and bombastic Broner (27-1, 22 knockouts), who is fighting Norwalk’s Carlos Molina (17-1-1, seven KOs) on the undercard, didn’t seem too humbled at a news conference Thursday when he stood on the stage at the MGM Grand Hotel and talked trash.
He started meekly, quietly thanking God before breaking into a chuckle and dropping the sheepish act.
“Listen, I’ve come to do damage, man,” he said. “I’m going to punch him with bad intentions and I’m back on my A-game. I’m thankful God really slowed me down and showed me, whatever he had gave to me, he can take it away. But at the end of the day, man, we’ve got to get back to business. I’m still a three-time world champion in three different weight classes. I’m still that same fresh, fly, flashy, hungry young man.
“I kind of feel disrespected. The only thing that’s keeping me on top of the water is I’m on my `big brother’s’ undercard. Other than that, man, I’m a main-event fighter. No disrespect to anybody on this card, I’m a main-event fighter. You could put Adrien Broner anywhere and [people] would come see me.
“You put Carlos Molina in front of me? That’s kind of disrespectful to me. I’m going to make an example out of this … He’s getting the biggest payday he ever got, and he’s about to get his … whooped.”