Marcos Maidana pulled off one of the biggest upsets in 2013 when he defeated Adrien Broner in December.
It was one of the most impressive performances of Maidana's career as he sent Broner, who had never been knocked down in his professional boxing career, to the canvas during the second and eighth rounds. Marcos thoroughly dominated the action from start to finish, exposing serious holes in Broner's defense.
The loss brought an end to Broner's perfect record, and his quest to become boxing's No. 1 villain like his mentor Floyd Mayweather.
Given Broner's chosen brand of self-promotion, it wasn't much a surprise that a decent number of boxing fans thoroughly enjoyed watching Maidana outclass him. The 24-year-old has been criticized relentlessly ever since the loss, but he still has a few supporters.
Respected boxing trainer Naazim Richardson is one of them, and he shared his take on Broner's loss and the backlash that followed during a recent interview with FightHype's Percy Crawford.
"Look here man, the kid took a beating. He ran his mouth and paid the price for it, but he took a chance with it," Richardson explained. "If he wouldn't have ran his mouth, he may never be where he is today. It's just [that] the public wants Mayweather to lose so bad that Broner is getting Mayweather's backlash.
"They were hoping they could do this to Mayweather someday and it ain't happened yet because he hasn't taken a 'L' or a short, so they're giving the extra to him. He's getting that backlash from that. 'We ain't been able to say this about Mayweather.' It's just like anything, when a joker can't beat the older brother, they try to pick on the younger brother. At the end of the day, he's a young boy and I'm just hoping he don't feed into nothing foolish of people trying to entice him into some shit."
Generally speaking, calling yourself the heir apparent to boxing's pound-for-pound throne despite having limited exposure to top level competition, bragging about your ice cream diet prior to a fight, and rapping and dancing your way to the ring would earn you a legion of detractors with or without any association with Floyd Mayweather.
Still, Richardson makes very good points.
It's hard to fault Broner for following Mayweather's villain blueprint considering the fact it's the easiest way to success in boxing. A chosen few like Oscar De La Hoya have been able to rise to the top of boxing's food chain while maintaining their professionalism, but most who try to embrace the "good guy" role typically end up like an Andre Ward -- who is clearly one of the most skillfully boxers around right now, yet is often overlooked by casual boxing fans.
Heck, Floyd Mayweather was once a "good guy" who said all the right things during interviews, but that didn't get him very far.