The 'Future Of Boxing' Had An Ugly Meltdown In The Ring, And His Career May Never Be The Same

Adrien Broner is a 24-year-old lightweight who has been hailed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as “the future of boxing.”

Coming into Saturday’s fight with journeyman fighter Marcos Maidana, Broner had a perfect 27-0 record — something that allowed the boxing world to forgive his hyper-vulgar, swaggering persona out of the ring.

But Broner got dismantled by Maidana, losing a unanimous decision and suffering an ugly meltdown in the process. If Broner had only lost the fight, it wouldn’t have been so devastating for his future.

Instead he embarrassed himself and the sport.

He “humped” Maidana when they clinched:

After that he nearly got knocked through the ropes, and the rout was on (via @gifdsports):

He flopped on a headbutt to get an extra point:

He ran out of the ring immediately after the decision was announced:

Bernard Hopskins said that’s a cardinal sin:

“That was even worse than losing the fight. Because that showed that he can’t handle the reality [of getting beat]. That can make or break your career. This now has a lot to do with what happens in the second part of his career. Because he’s at the second now.”

Broner was touted as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather. He and Canelo Alvarez were supposed to be the next great generation of fighters. Now all of that is up in the air.

Jay Caspian Kang of Grantland summed it up nicely after the fight:

“I still admire all those things about Broner — bad nights happen in boxing, as do great ones, and I think it’s fair to say that Broner had the worst night of his career and Maidana had his best. But I’ve reached the point where the Adrien Broner act has overwhelmed the merits of the athlete and I cannot think of one athlete who has been able to rebuild after being beat down in such an awful and humiliating way.”

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