By Jeff Newman: In what has to be seen as a do or die match-up for Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-2, 22 KOs), he’ll be fighting Khabib “The Hawk” Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant WBA 140lb strap in less than two months from now at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Broner and adviser Al Haymon may not want to admit it, but if he loses this fight to Allakhverdiev, it’s going to put Broner in a bad place that I don’t think he can climb out of unless he move back down to lightweight.
The thing is I don’t know that Broner can fight at lightweight any longer. He’s put on so much size in the last year from him moving up to welterweight, I think it’s really doubtful that he’ll be able to get back down to 135 or 130 for him try and turn his career around. With the way that Broner looked in his last fight against Shawn Porter, I don’t know that Broner has the ability to fight good enough to beat the top 140 pound fighters.
Haymon picked a beatable guy for Broner to fight in their battle for the vacant WBA World light welterweight title. Allakhverdiev looked terrible in his last fight in losing to Jessie Vargas by a 12 round unanimous decision 16 months ago in April 2014. By the time that Allakhverdiev gets back inside the ring to fight Broner on October 3rd, he’ll have been outside of the ring for 18 months.
That will definitely help Broner in this fight, as if he needs it. If he can’t defeat a fighter in the class of Allakhverdiev, then he’s going to need to make a big decision about whether to stay at 140 or to try and move down to 135. Broner lost his last fight to Shawn Porter last June. Broner held constantly and ran when he wasn’t holding.
“I’m excited to be back in Cincinnati taking on a tough world class fighter who is going to bring it,” said Broner. “This fight means the world to me. It’s a huge deal to have the chance to be a four-division world champion at 26 years old.”
Even if Broner does win the fight against Allakhverdiev to become a four division champion, it doesn’t matter because it’s a paper title just like the other ones Broner has won in the past. Broner has never beaten anyone that you can call a good fighter to capture his world titles, and it’ll remain that way even if he beats Allakhverdiev. For it to mean something, Broner would have to beat the likes of Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson or Terence Crawford. I’m not sure that he can do that.