(Photo credit: David Martin, Don King Productions)
Adrien Broner still has to do the job in the ring.
For now, the former four-division titlist is at least on point to fight. Cincinnati’s Broner proudly stepped on the Florida Athletic Commission scale, where was right at the 147-pound limit for his scheduled 10-round welterweight bout versus Pittsburgh’s Bill Hutchinson who was 145 ½ pounds.
Together, they headline a Don King-promoted pay-per-view event from Casino Miami Jai Alai in Miami, Florida (Friday, Fite TV, $24.99).
Broner (34-4-1, 24KOs) titlist has not fought since February 2021 in a twelve-round win over Jovanie Santiago atop a Showtime telecast.
The 28 months between fights saw two cancellations, one of his own doing and the other beyond his control. He withdrew from a scheduled clash versus Omar Figueroa last August, citing mental health reasons. His attempt to return atop a BLK Prime PPV saw three separate opponents fall through before the event was canceled outright.
Broner’s appearance at Thursday’s weigh-in lends the suggestion that he is serious about his latest ‘last’ chance to thrive in the sport. He has previously won titles at junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight but has not held a belt since 2016.
Hutchinson (20-2-4, 9KOs) steps well up in class for the fight. The 34-year-old club-level boxer—who is also a practicing attorney—enters his first scheduled ten-round bout and by far the most significant opponent of his twelve-year career. Hutchinson attributed the slowdown in his career to the passing of longtime promoter Michael Acri, one of the most beloved figures in the sport who died in 2021 after for years battling pancreatic cancer.
Among the notable undercard bouts is the latest step in the suddenly active career of Guillermo Rigondeaux. The 41-year-old Cuban southpaw faces late substitute Charlie Clemente-Andino, both of whom made weight for their scheduled ten-round bantamweight contest.
Rigondeaux (21-3, 14KOs) was 118.8 pounds for his second fight of 2023. The fifteen-week span between fights is the quickest turnaround for the two-time Olympic Gold medalist and former 122-pound king since 2012. It was also the last time the Cuban southpaw—who lives in Miami—fought more than twice in one year.
Clemente (12-0, 5 KOs) was 119.4 pounds for his first fight in seven years. The Carolina, Puerto Rico native was planning a comeback when he received the call to replace Argentina’s Julian Evaristo Aristule (35-17-1, 18KOs), who was unable to secure a visa in time.
Below are the weights for the rest of the undercard
Ahmed Elbiali (22-1, 18KOs), Miami via Cairo, Egypt, 173.8 pounds vs. Rodolfo Gomez Jr. (14-6-3, 10KOs), Laredo, Texas,174 pounds—10 rounds, light heavyweight
Neslan Machado (19-0, 8KOs), Miami, 127.8 pounds vs. Jonathan Smith (8-1, 6KOs), South Bend, Indiana, 127 pounds—10 rounds, featherweight
Antonio Williams (15-0-1, 6KOs), Richmond, Texas, 133.6 pounds vs. Braulio Rodriguez (20-6, 17KOs), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 134.8 pounds—10 rounds, lightweight
Adlay Rodriguez (4-0, 4KO), Miami via Havana, Cuba, 146.2 pounds vs. Raul Garcia Jr. (2-0, 1KO), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 146.8 pounds—6 rounds, welterweight
Nigel Fennell (13-2, 8KOs), Chula Vista, California, 146.6 pounds vs. Antonio Perez (7-0 5KOs), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 145.8 pounds—8 rounds, welterweight
Dorian Bostic (13-0, 12KOs), Dundalk, Maryland, 133.2 pounds vs. Joshua Clark (6-1, KOs), Fridley, Minnesota, 134 pounds—6 rounds, lightweight
Alex Esponda (1-0, 1KO), 155.4 pounds vs. Robert Rodriguez, 151.6 pounds—4 rounds, junior middleweight
Brayan Leon (2-0, 2KO), Las Vegas via Pinar del Rio, 171.8 pounds vs. Jon Kennedy (0-2, 0KOs), Mason City, Iowa [weight t/k]—4 rounds, super middleweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox