TMT VS AB: Theophane the gatekeeper to Mayweather-Broner showdown?

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Floyd Mayweather Jr Adrien BronerAs WBA Super Lightweight Champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (31-2, 23KOs) awaits confirmation for his next fight, it seems that Adrien’s relationship with his “big bro” Floyd Mayweather Jr. has hit the rocks following Broner’s devastating loss to Shawn Porter this past June.  During the build up to Broner vs. Porter, it was apparent that Floyd was looking to pass the torch to Adrien as boxing’s next PPV star as soon as Mayweather hung up the gloves.

However, Broner had a terrible performance against Porter and was dominated- losing a 12 round Unanimous Decision, which resulted in the second loss of Broner’s professional career.  A lot has changed since that June night in Las Vegas, but Broner has maintained that he’s as closer than ever to Floyd.

“Me and Floyd’s relationship is like no other, man. We’re very close. We’re alike, but we’re very different.  He’s always been someone who’s always going to tell me when I’m wrong and when I’m right, our relationship is crazy,” Broner said in an interview with BigBoyTV.

Adrien recently rebounded from the Porter loss with a 12 round stoppage on October 3 over the Russian Khabib Allakhverdiev, winning the vacant WBA Super Lightweight title – Broner’s fourth World Title in four weight divisions.

However, during the buildup to that fight Mayweather was nowhere to be found and, following Broner’s postfight interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray, the fighter made a comment that further hinted at the possibility he and Floyd were potentially on the outs.

“I think he probably heard what I said,” Broner stated in his interview with Big Boy.  “I said something about one of his fighters that he (Floyd) said would beat me.  But I would love it. It would be AB vs TMT and the hype about it would be me and Floyd clashing heads on the promotion side, but at the end of the day it’s a business. I love him and he love me.”

The fighter Broner is referring to is Londoner Ashley Theopane (39-6-1, 11KOs) who is part of the TMT staple and is being lined up by Floyd Mayweather to be Adrien’s next opponent for the first defense of his title.  However, it’s not clear why Floyd would want to match one of his fighters that he feels could defeat Adrien Broner, but it does seem that Floyd no longer wants Adrien to be his heir apparent.

Broner still has a burning desire to be the cash cow of the sport and, despite two losses, still has the talent and marketability to make that happen, which has the industry speculating that a possible fight could take place between Broner and Floyd should Mayweather return to the sport for his 50th fight next May at the new Las Vegas Arena.

“You can’t just leave with all of it and not give it to somebody, why not give it to me?  Your little bro,” said Broner.

Adrien obviously wants to fill in Mayweather’s shoes, but he might have to do something he hasn’t shown much interest in based on past interviews and that is getting into the ring and defeating his big bro.

While Mayweather’s return from his retirement is still up in the air, it’s hard not to consider Adrien as a possible opponent for his 50th bout. But Adrien has an opportunity to turn 2016 into a big year, and although Ashley Theopane is not the most commercially recognized opponent for AB, people will still be intrigued on just what the future might hold for Adrien “The Problem” Broner.