Adrien Broner hopes training changes equal improvement

The four-division world champion switched up his recent training camp—moving to Florida to work with Kevin Cunningham and former 130-pound titleholder Gervonta Davis in preparation for Saturday night's Showtime-televised main event against former welterweight champ Jessie Vargas.

Adrien Broner vs Jessie Vargas Fight Promo (Showtime Sports)

Adrien Broner knew something had to be done following his last fight. He had just lost to Mikey Garcia — a boxer with whom he shares the distinction of being a four-division world champion — and he knew he had to shake things up to move forward with his career.

The loss to Garcia was his third in his last nine fights. He recognized that he needed something else in his arsenal to maximize his talents.

“The Mikey fight, he just out-worked me, so it’s time to add to my team and that’s why I got coach Kevin Cunningham,” Broner said. “I felt like it was time to change. I've known Coach Cunningham for a long time. He’s the real deal. He’s not going to B.S. me. He's going to keep me on my toes. I need that. He's going to bring out the best of Adrien Broner.”

Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) will also continue to work with his longtime trainer Mike Stafford, who has been in his corner since his amateur days. He’s hoping it will be a winning formula when he takes on former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) this Saturday, April 21 at Barclays Center.

Broner will headline an action-packed Showtime-televised tripleheader (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) — featuring Jermall Charlo against Hugo Centeno for an interim 160-pound title and Gervonta Davis taking on Jesus Cuellar for a vacant 130-pound title.

Broner moved his training camp to West Palm Beach, Florida to train with Cunningham and Davis, who recently parted with his longtime trainer Calvin Ford. The two have been working under Cunningham at his gym there.

“A couple of weeks after the Mikey Garcia fight, Adrien called me and told me was making some changes and wanted me to consider taking the lead as his head trainer,” said Cunningham. “I’ve known Adrien since he was eight years old and about 60 pounds. I said, ‘You know what you’re getting when you come to me. I’ll give you all I’ve got if you’re going to be serious and focused.’”

“I’m known as a stern disciplined trainer, coach and teacher. I’ve got a military and police background, so I don’t play a lot of games. When Broner made the decision to come to me, I knew he was ready,” said Cunningham. “We started training together before camp started and I saw a different look in his eyes — nothing but hard work, dedication and focus. He’s going to show the world on April 21 that he’s rededicated himself and he’ ready to reclaim the thrown.”

I started my career young. I won titles in four weight classes. I’ve accomplished a lot, and there’s still more to come. I have a lot of fighting left to do. Four-division World Champion Adrien Broner

Broner was familiar with Cunningham’s work in the corner of Devon Alexander. Cunningham had guided Alexander to a victory over Marcos Maidana a year before Maidana defeated Broner in a welterweight title match by unanimous decision.

After Maidana, Broner dropped down a weight class and went 6-2 with two knockouts. “The Problem” rebounded from a 144-pound unanimous loss to Shawn Porter — whom he floored in the final round in June 2015 — with a 12th-round stoppage of Russian contender Khabib Allakhverdiev, becoming a four-division champion with a 140-pound title that October.

Broner lost the 140-pound crown at the scales before stopping Ashley Theophane in the ninth round in April 2016. He had to adjust the weight before his next match against Adrian Granados, raising questions about his conditioning and whether there was enough discipline in his training regime.

"Coach Mike stopped being a coach and started being more of a friend. I needed him to keep being my coach. Don't get me wrong, he'll always be like a father figure,” said Broner, a Cincinnati native.

“But when it comes to training and my career, I needed a change. Coach Kevin Cunningham is my head coach for this camp, but I did not fire Mike Stafford. I just added to my camp.”

Broner was an undefeated three-division champion by the age of 23, displaying unlimited potential and drawing comparisons to Floyd Mayweather Jr. Five years later boxing fans are still waiting for Broner to realize that potential.

“Adrien really has done everything possible to propel his career in the right direction,” said Cunningham. “It’s not just his boxing career, it’s also his personal life. He’s really working hard to get it right this time.”

Broner believes he will respond well to the changes in his training and at 28 years old he believes he still has a lot left to reach the potential that he displayed earlier in his career.

“The only real punishment I’ve taken is against Maidana. I got a fractured jaw. Shawn Porter out-wrestled me,” said Broner. “I started my career young. I won titles in four weight classes. I’ve accomplished a lot, and there’s still more to come. I have a lot of fighting left to do.”

For a complete look at Broner vs Vargas, check out our fight page.

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