Originally posted on Boxing Watchers  |  Last updated 7/23/12

At my day job, there's an abbreviation that all of my employees know: NFG. It stands for "No F---s Given," and we use it when people show up at our business who obviously don't care. Usually this means they've dressed like slobs or idiots, but it really can refer to anything. Occasionally it's meant as a sign of admiration. Most of the time, though, we use it in a derogatory fashion.

Adrien Broner joined the NFG Crew in a big way on Saturday. He obviously didn't care about making weight for his 130-pound title defense against Vicente Escobedo, showing up 3 1/2 pounds heavy at the weigh-in, then even heavier the next morning. After a frenzied series of negotiations, the fight went on anyway, and Broner pummeled Escobedo, because he's really good. Humorously, BoxRec (a site I really respect, and I understand is just playing by its own established rules) still has Broner listed as the No. 1 super featherweight in the world.

There wasn't humorous about the way Broner handled the outrage over his indifference about making weight, which was to treat the whole thing as something of a joke. Besides knocking people out, that's pretty much what he does. In retrospect, this was probably the least surprising case of a boxer missing weight since... maybe ever, because:

a) Broner had already made it known that he was moving up in weight after facing Escobedo.

b) Though I stopped following The Problem on Twitter a whole ago because he was drifting across the line from funny to insufferable a little too often for my tastes, numerous folks had pointed out that while he was in camp, he kept posting pictures of and odes of love to crappy food.

There's really no answer to Broner's attitude about flat out refusing to make weight. He forfeited his belt, which didn't make a difference because he would have given it up anyway when he left the division. A larger portion of the purse went to Escobedo, but that didn't matter much either. Why? Because Broner looks like the goods, arguably the most dynamic young American boxer at any weight, and there's more dough down the road for him.

Speaking of money, that was the motivation for Escobedo to (eventually) agree to the fight. It was telling that his camp was divided about whether or not the fight should go on. In the end, he really had little choice - as Kevin Iole explains perfectly here - because unlike Broner, Escobedo doesn't have big paydays looming in the future. He needed the extra money he was getting, even if it was a painful way to earn it.

Lest this turn into solely an anti-Broner rant, it should be pointed out that he's not the first boxer to appear not to give a crap about appearing at his contracted weight this year. Brandon Rios, who was in a very similar set of circumstances now that I think about it, did the same before his meeting with Richard Abril. Venerable Mexican warrior Erik Morales came in heavy for his March bout with Danny Garcia, then ended up getting beaten up anyway.

So we're talking about a systemic problem here, one inherent to the way boxing is organized (using that term loosely), and one with no easy solution. Don't expect HBO or Showtime to do anything to solve it. Their bread is buttered with money, and they make that, or at least lose less of it, thanks to guys with star power. Broner has that, professionalism be damned.

The only way I could see behavior like this ending is if boxing had a centralized ruling body and a single authority figure with the kind of power that Dana White has in the UFC. You know, the same kind of thing writers and fans have been calling for as long as I've been a boxing fan. And there's probably less chance of that happening than there is of Broner not getting his hair brushed or otherwise clowning around when the cameras are on him.

NFG, baby. NFG.

 

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