If ever a boxer and a city were made for each other, it would be Adrien Broner and Washington, D.C. After all, the nation’s capital has long been home to large personalities—something with which the loquacious Broner can certainly identify.
So it is that the two will come together for the first time April 1, when Adrien Broner (31-2, 23 KOs) makes the first defense of his 140-pound crown against Ashley Theophane (39-6-1, 11 KOs) at the D.C. Armory in Washington, D.C. (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
“I’m very excited to fight in Washington, D.C.,” says Broner, a four-division champion who has spent portions of recent training camps in D.C. but has never competed in the city. “My following is huge in D.C., it’s my second home, and I think we’re going to give the fans what they’re looking for.”
Fighting in his native Cincinnati, Broner claimed a vacant 140-pound title on October 3 with a 12th-round TKO of Khabib Allakhverdiev. Broner controlled the fight from the outset and had a wide lead on the judges’ scorecards when he stopped Allakhverdiev with just 37 seconds remaining in the bout.
Broner’s victory over Allakhverdiev came nearly four months after he dropped a 12-round unanimous decisioin to Shawn Porter at 144 pounds on June 20. It was just the second time since turning pro in mid-2008 that Broner tasted defeat; his first loss came against Marcos Maidana in December 2013 in the first defense of the 147-pound title Broner earned six months earlier with a narrow win over Paulie Malignaggi.
Broner captured his first world title at 130 pounds in November 2011, when he scored a third-round knockout of Vicente Martin Rodriguez. He defended that crown twice before moving up to 135, where he defeated titleholder Antonio DeMarco via eighth-round TKO in November 2012.
After a successful defense against Gavin Rees, Broner jumped up two weight classes to take Malignaggi’s 147-pound crown.
While Broner is quite familiar with championship settings, Theophane most certainly is not. Despite turning pro nearly 13 years ago, the 35-year-old has never before fought for a title.
A London native who now lives in Las Vegas—where he works out of the Mayweather Boxing Club—Theophane comes into this bout riding a six-fight winning streak that spans more than two years. Most recently, he knocked off Steve Chambers by 10-round unanimous decision on September 12.
Among Theophane’s six losses, the highest profile came in February 2010, when he dropped a split decision to future two-division champion Danny Garcia. Since that loss, Theophane has gone 14-2 with a pair of six-fight winning streaks.
On April 1, he’ll be gunning for his seventh win in a row, something he hasn’t achieved since an 8-0 run from March 2006 to December 2007.
“I’m excited to face Adrien Broner for a world championship,” Theophane says. “It’s been a long, hard road to get here.
“I get to have my career-defining fight against a four-division world champion. It gets no bigger than that. I will be leaving the ring on April 1 as the new world champion.”
Says Broner: “Ashley Theophane is a world-class fighter, and this is going to be a tough fight for me. I want to fight the best in the 140-pound weight division, and Ashley Theophane is one of the best.”
For a more complete look at Broner vs Theophane, visit our fight page.