CINCINNATI - You never know what you’re going to get with Adrien “The Problem” Broner.
That’s part of the reason people love the Cincinnati-born boxing champ. Part of the reason they cheer for him every time he returns home to the English Woods community where he grew up. Part of the reason local fans are lining up to watch his upcoming fight against Emmanuel Taylor at US Bank Arena.
"I'm more than excited to be back in Cincinnati," Broner said Thursday during a press conference for his Sept. 6 homecoming. "Every time I fought at home I gave my fans a knockout."
It’s also part of the reason he’s so easily disliked.
"I'm not going to hold your hand when you cross the street. I'm the Mack truck that's going to hit you and keep going, brah," the three-time belt holder said. "I have to give them a knockout, I got to. And it's got to be pretty, too. I think I'm going to hit (Taylor) with the 30 piece and the biscuit.
"It is what it is, and it's going to get ugly."
Ugly is exactly what it was back in May for the 25-year-old. The World Boxing Council suspended him for racially charged post-match comments toward his opponent, Carlos Molina. Molina is Argentinean and of Mexican descent but was born in Commerce, California.
Moments after defeating Molina, Broner (28-1-0, 22 knockouts) told a journalist in the ring, "I've beaten Africans and I just beat the F-out of a Mexican.”
The crowd showered Broner with boos, leading the attention-crazed junior welterweight to smile in the middle of the ring, the New York Daily News reported.
The former WBC lightweight champion was reinstated after apologizing publicly, but his reputation is still marred.
Adrian Broner really just said - "I'm the Can man" I'm Afri-can, I just beat the F*ck out of a Mexi-can" - Had him on radio, was a jerk.— Mike Gill (@MikeGillShow) May 4, 2014
If that were the first time Broner had gotten himself in trouble, the world probably would have given him a break. But the talented young boxer always seems to find a way to stir up controversy.
"I left with his belt and his girl," Broner said In one notoriously tasteless incident after defeating Paulie Malignaggi.
"Before the fight, he also spoke about talking with one of Malignaggi's ex-girlfriends," wrote Bleacher Reporter reporter Joseph Zucker, calling Broner one of the most "loathed" athletes in the world.
Broner also famously flushed $20 bills down a toilet at a fast food restaurant in a video that was posted on social media.
In a move seen as disrespectful by some boxing insiders, Broner posted several photos of himself eating junk food ahead of his weigh-in for the fight with Vicente Escobedo. The guy even tweeted a pic of himself going to the bathroom while eating a snack cake, according to Boxing Insider.
He then failed to make weight.
"He further outdid himself by embarrassing a young lady on the air when he appeared to be on the verge of proposing to her, only to make a joke of the young woman by asking her to comb his hair," wrote author Sergio L. Martinez.
But even Martinez can see the appeal.
"The thing is, Broner is the quintessential, modern-day, ugly American youth: brash, cocky, self-absorbed but incredibly talented," he said.
While much of the boxing world has issues with the flamboyant titleholder, his fans in the Queen City can’t help but love him and what he does in the ring.
After all, he’s the same guy they grew up around in English Woods. He’s the same skinny kid who trained alongside three-time Olympian Rau'shee Warren who is also on the card. It will be the first time he fights as a professional in his hometown.
"They keep supporting me and I'm going to fight for them," Broner said during the press conference. "We've waited a long time to get to this spot and now we have to stay on top."
It doesn't hurt that major boxing promoters regard him as one of the most profitable draws in the world.
"I'm going to put on a show like I always do and I'm ready right now," Broner said.
Love him or hate me, he’s a force to be reckoned with in the ring, out of the ring and pretty much anywhere he goes.
You know, maybe Broner is right -- sometimes it just is what it is.