Though the Pacquiao defeat might appear to be the final nail in Adrien Broner’s coffin. Though disliked because of his cocky attitude, there’s a lot of right things Broner did until he was 27-0.
He was touted as one of the best upcoming prodigies, famed just proved to be too much for him as he could never reach the level, which he had set for himself.
Self-proclaimed best of his generation at one stage was set to take the torch for Floyd, but his career had different plans. After four losses in recent times and somewhat of a transformed personality, Broner couldn’t seem to put it all together.
Still, I’d say that there’s plenty we can learn from the fighter when he was in his prime. For this Adrien Broner boxing strategy blog, let’s talk about his boxing aspect, which I like the most, i.e. his jabs and counters.
As learned in the previous videos, the jab to the body or the jab to the solar plexus has many benefits. You use it for a wide variety of purposes such as scoring points, stealing oxygen, gassing out your opponent, slowing aggression and disrupting your opponent’s rhythm.
Especially when you’re up and against a pressure fighter, jab to the body can help you slow the contest down tremendously. However, there’s a problem with the move. And that is if you don’t set it up the right way, it can prove to be fatal.
Now here’s where Adrien Broner’s technique is something from which we can learn.
In the clip above, you can see Adrien Broner maintain his eye contact with Taylor. From a mental standpoint, that works as a feint. The eye contact from Broner acts as a deception allowing Broner to land the jab to the body.
In the clip above, you can see Broner still maintaining eye contact with Broner. At no point, does he break that eye contact with Taylor. It makes his opponent feel as if he is going to throw something towards the head.
Since Broner’s eyes are mapping his face rather than his body. However, as I said, his eye contact causes deception and allows him to deliver an unpredictable jab to the body. He does not telegraph the jab to the body with his eyes.
If you watch closely, you’ll see how the eye contact makes Taylor get into a high guard defense with the intent of protecting his head. Thus, it ultimately provides Broner with an opening and allows him to shoot the jab without fear of any response from Taylor.
2. Using Blinder and Distraction
Though the eye contact is the most lethal weapon, in cases where it doesn’t work, Broner makes use of a blinder or a distraction to divert Taylor’s attention away from the intended target which of course is the solar plexus.
In the clip above, you can see the blinder that he uses. As said over a hundred times, intelligence boxing is, in fact, executing the art of deception.
Through blinders, Adrien Broner is successfully able to force his opponent’s attention elsewhere. Taking it away from the intended target.
That’s like making your opponent think you’re going to perform the ‘A’, but instead, you choose to opt for ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’, which weakens him mentally.
3. Jab to the Body Setup
You can effectively use the jab to the body to set up a straight right hand to the body. The jab to the body can be used to create an opening. After which, you can land the right hand, left hooks or perhaps even an uppercut.
Since the jab to the body tends to move your opponent forward, you can make your opponent lean into your offence.
After the jab to the body, we can see Taylor’s body involuntarily leans forward. And of course, this creates an opening for the right hook or the right uppercut. Even with your opponent’s high guard defence, you can expose him with the left hook.
We have seen boxers do this on numerous occasions where they can punch right through the guards of their opponent.
You can see the clip above in which Mayweather in a punching session is giving a tutorial talking about how that’s a blind, and it sets up perfectly for a follow-up.
In the clip above, you can see Adrien Broner using his right hand as the blinder. It’s quite like what Mayweather just demonstrated in the video above. He uses it to distract Taylor and divert his attention away from his intended target.
When you want to land a specific punch, it can be crucial, first to create a distraction. Off the distraction, we can see Adrien Broner land a left hook to the body. Notice that by using the blinder, Taylor covers up and exposes his right side of the body, allowing Broner to land the left hook.
In the clip below, you can see Adrien Broner intelligently setting up the left hook to the body by using a “Tap” left hook or a “Throw Away” left hook to get Taylor to cover up and lift his right arm just enough to expose the right side of his body.
This presents Broner with an opportunity to land the left hook. Ultimately, he lands the left hook, which is partially blocked by Taylor.
In the clip below, if you watch it at 0.25 or 0.50, you can see Broner causing a distraction at first. He creates the distraction and then follows it up with a right uppercut.
Now he tries uppercut, but that doesn’t seem to connect, and thus he quickly follows it up with a hook, which works exceptionally well following an uppercut.
With this combination, he can slice past his opponent’s defence with ease. Beautiful boxing from Adrien Broner.
In the clip below, is a sample knockout from Adrien Broner and his trademark over the top dance following the knockout. Regardless of how much you dislike him, you can’t deny that he got moves.
Having seen the jab to the body abilities of Adrien Broner, let’s move towards his counterpunching skills.
4. Counter Punching at its finest
Broner’s fight with Paulie Malignaggi is one of the best displays of counterpunching in boxing. On a personal level, Broner’s was on an entirely different level with his counterpunching abilities.
There’s no doubt that Broner does possess a great sense of timing and speed on the counter. He is also one of the best at throwing short and accurate punches.
See the clip above, that right there is a counterpunching masterclass. Look at the number of shots Malignaggi is trying to land versus the shots Broner’s attempting to land.
Broner’s counter punches are fewer yet so precise. And it’s visible who’s catching clean and causing more damage to his opponent.
One of the key reasons why Paulie Malignaggi was constantly countered by Broner is because all the offense that he was landing was chest high.
Paulie was having a tough time landing clean punches to the head. And thus, he resorted to chest-high position. Now, this proved to be dreadful for him as it left him susceptible to attacks.
These openings were exploited by Broner and as and when he saw the opportunity, he creeped in and made him pay for it.
One thing I must clarify is there’s nothing wrong with punching at the chest of your opponent. However, there’s a problem when you don’t vary your defense. We’ve seen this in our previous case studies before wherein fighters have a hard time adjusting their offense which presents opponents with an opportunity.
See, the issue is when you keep the pattern uniform, your moves can be easily telegraphed. An experienced boxer can sense your next move and that can spell a doom on your chances of gaining an upper hand over your opponent.
Like the battering we saw above, if like Malignaggi, you fail to diversify your attacks, you can be successfully countered.
Almost all the punches that Paulie was throwing was at chest high. You can see that in the image below.
Again, the jab should be used to the chest, but it shouldn’t be telegraphed. Thus, it’s quintessential that you vary your jab to the head, chest, shoulders and gloves. That’s the best way to maximize the jab.
Even in the image below, you can see Broner’s successfully punching over the top of Paulie’s jab. When you’re consistently throwing punches at a chest or arm level, don’t be surprised if your opponent’s starts punching over you.
The number of right hands that Malignaggi ate in this match was simply staggering. He didn’t understand what was wrong. Neither did anybody in this corner.
So, that’s hard to believe. We’ve seen in our Terrence Crawford case study, how he can adapt as per his opponent’s style.
However, we don’t see that happening from Malignaggi and as a result, we got the most dominant counter punching display ever from Adrien Broner.
5. Turning your opponents
One of Broner’s most underrated ability is the way he turns his opponent. We have learned about the importance of turning in our Lomachenko case study.
Like him, Broner can take quick half steps around his opponents and deceive them with his movement.
This movement from Broner allows him not only to change the angle of the fight effectively but also the position and in some cases, the distance.
By stepping around his opponents, he most importantly breaks his opponent’s rhythm and then sets up his offence.
In the clip above, you can see just how quickly Broner can move out of the trouble. He is mocking Malignaggi with his quick movement. Changing levels, head slots and moving across the ring like he’s fighting a rookie.
With regards to the clip, it’s nowhere near what we saw in Lomachenko vs Piriyapinyo but even for the dying seconds of 8th round, what he’s doing here is pretty embarrassing for any opponent.
You can see Malignaggi trying to catch Broner with a flurry of punches, but he is ducking them and moving his head like it’s nothing.
Broner, on the other hand, when he feels the time’s right, he turns over to the right, charges on his opponent and tries to land a right to the head.
Unfortunately, it misses his opponent, but still, there’s a significant gap between him and Malignaggi.
Broner got to Malignaggi’s head and frustrated him with his movements and quick adjustments. Out of frustration, Malignaggi tries to go all out on Broner.
Ultimately, he tries to throw a right hand. However, by the time he lands it, the bell is already rung, and the round is over.
Regardless of how much we despise his cocky attitude, there’s no denying that Adrien Broner was a serial killer in his prime.
He would slay any challenge that would come in front of him, till the time he lost the edge. Who knows, what he would have achieved had he stayed focused.
See the thing with Mayweather is that he does the theatrics and doesn’t let that affect his in-ring performance. As soon as he enters the ring, he shows who’s the boss.
But when a young Adrien Broner let success get to his head, he couldn’t maintain the boxing side of things, which led his career to derail.
How much are we going to see of Adrien Broner? A lot. Will it be worthy of learning something new? Absolutely.