Adrien Broner should have been taking to the ring tonight for the first time in eighteen months. Instead, he’s dealing with mental issues.
The situation dates back years for Broner, who also has well-documented problems with drugs and alcohol.
Last year, Broner had two spells in hospital over various issues. This summer, things looked different for Broner as he began training in May.
Adrien Broner camp
Holding onto a July date, Broner went through a ten-week camp only to see his fight with Omar Figueroa pushed back a month.
“The Problem” expressed his dismay at the delay more than once. He reinstigated his training but was never really in a good place.
Subsquently, one week before he was due to trade blows, Broner stated it was too much, and his mental health had suffered.
Figueroa, who had problems he documented days before Broner’s pullout, was not impressed.
The super-lightweight star says there’s evidence contradicting Broner’s excuse for not fighting.
“We have seen some video of him. It hasn’t been hard to find. So we know more or less what to expect,” said Figueroa.
“I have no problem with Broner not taking the fight because of mental health. I’m trying to advocate and get more people to take care of their mental health.
“But for him to use it as a cop-out annoyed me.
“All the troubles with camp and dealing with the weight cut and all that camp entails, I was hoping to take it out on Broner.”
Figueroa vs Lipinets
Omar now goes up against Sergey Lipinets in a hastily-arranged collision on Showtime. He believes his previous focus on Broner is currently out of the window.
“Obviously, we were preparing for a certain style, but the fight fell through,” he pointed out. “So I have to take all my experience and the things I’ve learned all these years and apply it toward Sergey.
“He’s no pushover, and he’s a former world champion. We know we have our hands full.”
Figueroa added further awareness of his struggles: “I’ve been a fighter for 27 years now, and the sport hasn’t always been the nicest to me.
“We all know about my mental health struggles, but I got to enjoy training camp for the first time. I got to enjoy dealing with all that a training camp provides.
“If this is my last fight, I’d be happy with that. But I know I’m not done, and I have a lot left in the tank.
“I love this sport too much, and there’s not anything else that would fulfill me the same. I’m excited about Saturday. I’m pumped as I’ve never been before.
“I finally got to enjoy myself, and I think I will enjoy Saturday night. I’m looking forward to a war with Lipinets.
“With anyone struggling with mental health, the most important thing is to reach out to a friend or neighbor and know that you’re not alone. Life’s not easy.
“It’s a constant struggle and an everyday battle. We must stay strong, rely on each other, and have each other’s back.
“Just love each other, and that’s the best we can do.”