Perspective, maturity and humility. Not exactly the three words that usually come to mind when describing three-time world champion Adrien Broner.
But those are exactly the words trainer Mike Stafford used in talking about the transformation of Broner from brash youngster to dedicated professional.
“The perspective aspect from his standpoint has changed, because he's realized that he has a team, being me, [adviser] Al Haymon and himself," Stafford said from Broner's training camp in his hometown of Cincinnati.
"He knows some of the things that he's done wrong in the past, and so he's shown a lot more maturity and humility. We're all making the decisions together; it's not just him doing it on his own anymore."
The 25-year-old Broner, who is nicknamed “The Problem,” will face hammer-fisted John Molina Jr. (27-5, 22 KOs) in Las Vegas on March 7 for the debut of the Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC.
Part of a multi-year deal between the network and Haymon Boxing, the card’s co-main event features Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero in a 147-pound matchup.
"This is a very big date on NBC for us after being on HBO and Showtime," Stafford said. "It’s is a really big deal for Adrien, so he's really focused."
Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) became a champion in a third weight class when he jumped from 135 pounds to win his 147-pound debut by split decision over Paulie Malignaggi in June 2013.
Broner already had won a 130-pound championship in November 2011 with a third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez, as well as a 135-pound title with an eighth-round TKO of Antonio DeMarco in November 2012.
"There was a lot of pressure on him, being that he was going to be the next Floyd Mayweather, and being that he's a millionaire," Stafford said. "But now he's gotten accustomed to all of that, so he's a different person from two years ago to now."
Broner's 12-round unanimous decision over Emmanuel Taylor in September represented his second consecutive 140-pound triumph since falling by unanimous decision to Marcos Maidana, who floored Broner in both the second and eighth rounds in December 2013.
"We wouldn't be talking about him losing his first fight if he wouldn't have gotten caught with a couple of punches and gone down against Maidana,” Stafford said. “But he showed that he's still someone who should be recognized as one of the best fighters in the world.
"We had the opportunity to move up in weight, and experienced one win and one loss, but we came away with a title with that one win. With all of that, we just had one bad night and a couple of bad rounds, but he also demonstrated that he's one helluva fighter. I guess that everything happens for a reason."
If Broner is to achieve his goal of becoming a four-division champion this year, he will first have to get beyond Molina.
"I think the public is going to see a more patient and skillful boxer who is going to take his opponent apart,” Stafford said. “He's going to make fewer mistakes than his counterpart.
"He's got so much confidence because he realizes that he's got the experience. [Molina] may be dangerous, but Adrien has so much talent and so much speed, and he's training his ass off. Just wait until you see him."
- Broner vs Molina Jr
- Adrien Broner