Adrien Broner has the capability of being one of the biggest names in boxing in the next two years, but it is almost certain that he will have to leave the lightweight ranks to prove this to the wider world.
Broner’s name is not one most recognised by sports fans despite his impeccable 25-fight unbeaten record, in which he has had no challenge and only in moments felt the need to accelerate into second gear.
A second failed attempt to secure a title unification bout with WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns has presented a WBA title shot to former Prizefighter winner Gavin Rees next.
Rees has an obvious puncher’s chance, but without a win of note for nigh on six years, Broner will not need to do any more than normal to seal victory, for which he is 1/33.
In truth, Rees doesn’t have much going for him here as he is slower, lighter, shorter and older than Broner, while his style is not particularly elusive.
Broner is 1/8 to win by KO for the 22nd time and this is hard to oppose and the only way to find any real value looks to be in the round betting markets.
He has stopped three of his last eight opponents in the opening round and is 12/1 to defeat Rees in such an easy manner, although Broner’s hand being raised some time in the opening six rounds looks the best bet at 10/11. This is something he has achieved in four of his last five fights.
This ease of victory is the problem with the lightweight division in general, in that Broner is at least two levels above any of the competition and he will not set pulses racing or cement any kind of legacy without testing himself.
Broner is still only 23, but there have already been suggestions that he should jump the boxing ladder and look for a fight with Floyd Mayweather, someone he is regularly compared to because of his way with words and ability to make boxing looking supremely easy.
A step up to light-welterweight, where he could face the likes of Amir Khan and Danny Garcia, would help make Broner more of a household name and set him on the path to a career that his talent deserves.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date