Adrien Broner(34-4, 24 KOs) looked rusty at times on Saturday night, which is expected when you consider he has not fought in over two years, but fortunately for him, he was able to escape with a unanimous decision victory over Jovanie Santiago(14-1-1, 10 KOs) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn(Showtime).
Broner started slow and ended reasonably strong, but, according to ShoStats, he was out-landed(207-98) by Santiago. Despite that, all three judges saw the fight for Broner (116-111, 117-110, and 115-112).
While he was not impressive, and some believed he may have lost, including Showtime’s Steve Farhood, Broner got his first victory in over four years. According to the former four-division world champion, he did enough to get the win over Santiago.
“I want to go home and really look at my fight,” he said. “I haven’t fought in two years. But I felt good; I felt like I won the fight. I felt like I beat him with the jab, honestly. But it felt good to get my hand raised, though.”
Broner, 31, who has had his share of legal issues over the years, hopes to be very active in 2021. According to him, being busy keeps him out of trouble.
“I want to say to Al Haymon and Stephen Espinoza: ‘Hey, keep me in the ring,'” Broner said. “If I was fighting on the regular, maybe buddy wouldn’t have lasted. But just keep me in the ring. Maybe we’ll stop fighting cases, and maybe we’ll stop getting in trouble.”
Even though the fight with Santiago was at 147 pounds, after it was supposed to be at 140, Broner expects to make noise and get belts at the junior welterweight division.
“There is a lot of work out there at 140,” he said. “Right now, we’re going to the drawing board with Al Haymon and see what’s best for me. But I’m definitely going back to the gym, and I’m looking forward to getting one of those titles this year—at 140.”
What’s next for Broner? He is a draw, and boxing fans flock to see him, so there are quality fights that can be made for him at 140, including fights against Regis Prograis and WBA regular champion Mario Barrios. However, it might be in Broner’s best interest to get another C-level fighter and then go after a more prominent name.
A win is a win for Broner, but going forward, he will have to throw more punches and be more active in the ring if he wants to have success and get belts in 2021.
Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME