Adrien Broner is already a three-time world champion—and he's only 25 years old.
Broner won a 130-pound title by knocking out Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November 2011, a 135-pound title with an eighth-round stoppage of Antonio DeMarco in November 2012, and a championship at 147 pounds with a decision over Paulie Malignaggi in June 2013.
As he enters a 140-pound clash against John Molina Jr. in Las Vegas on March 7 in the debut of the Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC, Broner reflects on what he considers his three most significant fights.
3 William Kickett
Broner was 9-0 when he entered the ring in Los Angeles in June 2009 to fight Kickett, who had defeated 15 of his 16 opponents, including talented Argentine Vicente Martin Rodriguez in August 2008.
The fight was competitive through the early rounds, but Broner knocked down the more experienced Australian near the end of Round 5. Broner then finished off Kickett in the following round.
"I fought Willie Kickett right after beating Fernando Quintero (see below), and after the Quintero fight, the same manager brought in Kickett. In his mind, he was thinking, 'Broner just had a tough fight with Quintero, so this is the top guy in the whole division.’ The whole environment was in his favor. We were fighting in Los Angeles, and I was the opponent,” Broner said.
"I got on the scale at the weigh-in and I was slightly over, and Kickett's manager looked at me like, 'Let him have it.' He was just so sure that they were going to beat me, but I beat him—I knocked him out."
2 Fernando Quintero
Both fighters were unbeaten entering their May 2009 bout in Fort Worth, Texas: Broner at 8-0, and Quintero at 7-0-1.
Quintero was the toughest opponent to date for the 19-year-old Broner, who had won half of his fights by first-round knockout.
Broner had difficulty with the 25-year-old Mexican, but did enough to win the eight-round bout by majority decision.
"It was a tough fight, because he didn't come to lay down,” Broner said. “Once I got in there and I really fought eight rounds for the first time, it was like, 'I ain't training hard enough.' My talent got me over that hump, and I had to dig.
“After that fight, I came back to the gym and was like, 'I've got to step up.' I really stepped it up from that point on. That's one of the reasons that I train the way that I train."
1 Marcos Maidana
Broner was riding high after beating Paulie Malignaggi in June 2013 to become a world champion at 147 pounds.
But he says he gained more when he lost his title to Maidana in a unanimous decision in San Antonio that December.
Broner, a significant favorite over Maidana, was knocked down in the second and eighth rounds en route to his only professional loss.
"What people don't realize is that that was one of the highest points of my career,” Broner said. “I got more recognition from my loss than I had ever gotten for one of my wins.
"I look at that fight, and I'm like, 'Man, that fight made me who I am today.’ Everything happens for a reason. I'm kind of glad that I lost that fight. If I had won that fight, I'd probably be dead or in jail."