Adrien Broner’s big mouth didn’t get him in trouble this time. But the former world champion boxer might not be so fortunate if there are future outbursts similar to the one May 3 that landed him on the agenda of Tuesday’s Nevada Athletic Commission meeting.
That night at the MGM Grand Garden, Broner won a 10-round unanimous decision over Carlos Molina in their 140-pound fight that was part of the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana main event. After the fight, Broner was interviewed in the ring and let loose an expletive-filled racist rant toward his opponent, drawing boos from the crowd and astonishment from the five commissioners at ringside.
“I’ve beaten Africans, and I just beat the (expletive) out of a Mexican,” Broner bellowed to Showtime ring reporter Jim Gray.
Tuesday was the first opportunity since the fight for the commissioners to discuss with Broner his behavior. He was contrite and apologized.
“I didn’t mean any harm,” he said. “It was more entertainment. If I hurt anybody with what I said, I’m sorry. I’ll be sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The commission didn’t fine or suspend Broner. But it is concerned about what appears to be a growing lack of civility within boxing.
“It brings discredit to the sport,” commissioner Skip Avansino said. “I’m very concerned about the direction things are headed. You’ve got fighters saying things. You’ve got promoters saying things. The lack of sportsmanship is troublesome to me.”
Commissioner Pat Lundvall said the NAC has rules that deal with behavior that crosses the line, and that perhaps fines and suspensions need to be meted out to the worst offenders.
“I feel a responsibility to the people who come to watch,” she said. “I’m concerned for their safety. Someone could be incited by comments made by a boxer that could result in causing physical harm to someone else.”
Broner, 24, said he was surprised he was asked to appear before the commission. Afterward, he said it’s time to grow up.
“It’s a maturity thing,” he said. “I understand where they’re coming from. I still want to entertain when I perform in the ring. But I need to be more aware of the things I say from now on.”
Broner said he hopes to return to Las Vegas, fight for a title and become a world champion again.
“I love performing here in Vegas,” he said. “What’s in the past is in the past. I’m moving forward, and hopefully I’ll be back in Las Vegas to fight again in the near future.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.