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Broner vs Vargas: Odds, purses and our fascination with AB

Lee Cleveland Updated
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He's back... On April 21, former multi-division champion Adrien Broner (33-3) faces always-prepared, top-flight contender Jessie Vargas (28-2).

Vargas vs Broner, which will be fought at a catchweight of 144 pounds, will serve as the main event of a Showtime tripleheader at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Bettors are split over this fight and for good reason. It's a great match-up.

"That is gonna be a good fight," former champion Brandon Rios told BoxingScene.com.

"I gotta go with my boy Vargas. He is more of a boxer and has more of the boxing skills."

[But] It is a coin toss," Rios added.

And oddsmakers agree. Betting lines for this fight are about as even as it gets.

Broner vs Vargas odds (as of Apr 8)
One word - Tight.

SkyBet odds
Broner 4/5
Vargas 11/10 

William Hill odds
Broner 8/11
Vargas 11/10

Paddy Power and betfair odds
Broner 4/5
Vargas 5/6

Broner 10/11
Vargas 10/11

And don't expect the betting lines to change much from now until fight day.

Broner vs Vargas purses
We don't have purse details but will update this article when we receive them. Our best guess is AB will be paid $850,000 to $1 Million while Vargas will earn 400-700K.

Based on the trend cited below, we expect AB to earn the standard $1 Million.

Boxing Schedule

Fact: Neither fighter has been particularly active lately. Vargas has fought only twice since upsetting Sadam Ali March 2016; Broner has fought three times in roughly the same period.

AB also pocketed $1 Million when he last fought in July, losing a unanimous decision to powerbroker Mikey Garcia who earned roughly the same amount.

We don't expect an uptick in Broner's purse because a) his stock has dropped a bit since last year and b) Broner vs Vargas won't be as big as Broner vs Garcia. That stated, we don't think Vargas will demand a split as high as Garcia's, leaving Broner with a higher percentage of the overall purse.

Adrien Broner Purse history
vs Garcia 7/17 - $1 Million
vs Granados 2/17 - $1 Million
vs Theophane 4/16 - N/A
vs Allakhverdiev 10/15 - $1 Million
vs Porter 6/15 - $1.35 Million
vs Molina 3/15 - $1.25 Million
vs Taylor $1 Million 9/14 - $1 Million
vs C. Molina 5/14 - $1.25 Million 
vs Maidana 12/13 - $1.5 - $1.75 Million

Broner vs Vargas
Welterweights (Catchweight 144 lbs)
Saturday, April 21
Barclays Center, Brooklyn

The fascination with Broner
Those who thought Adrien Broner's loss to Mikey Garcia last July would be the end of AB on the big stage were wrong. Hence, he's headlining another big event on Showtime in less than 3 weeks.

Say what you will about AB and all of issues outside-the-ring issues, he appeared focused, in-shape and ready to fight against Garcia who used fine footwork, angles, superior speed and accuracy and a higher activity rate to convincingly outbox his foe.

So, is Broner worthy of headlining a major Showtime event? After all, he's dropped 2 of his last 5 fights including his most recent bout.

Answer: Of course

Yes, boxing is a business too. And Adrien Broner is a showman who garners a lot of interest when he fights. And interest equates to revenue, and a lot of both is healthy for the sport.

Adored and vilified, controversial bad boys tend to draw.

Message to fighters and promoters: If you want to get paid, appeal to boxing fans. If you want to be rich, appeal to the masses.

Hector Camacho, Sugar Ray Leonard, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor and the list goes on.

All of those men were fighters apart – They offered something unique and different, and the public was drawn to them. Also, as Sugar Ray, Pacquiao and De La Hoya showed, a fighter doesn’t have to be the proverbial ‘bad guy’ to capture the imagination of the public; He must simply possess special qualities that set him apart…. Outside the ring.

Fact: If Broner losses to Vargas, he'll be 6-4 in his last 10 fights

Floyd Mayweather isn't the highest paid fighter ever because fans adore his fighting style. It's his high level of controversy, outside-the-ring antics, charisma and hip-hoppish persona that made him must-see TV and an international star.

Boxing Schedule

Adrien Broner's ring accomplishments are a far cry from Floyd Mayweather's but AB, because he's a wild man, sells tickets and generates headlines.

Fighters who generate tremendous interest, whether positive or negative, don't need bright and shiny records or world titles to stay relevant.

Should Broner be silenced by Vargas, will he ever be relevant to the sport again or anything more than a glorified gatekeeper?


Fact: Vargas has only lost to Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao

If Broner loses to Vargas but does not get embarrassed, history suggests he might, after just 2 or 3 wins over lower tier opposition, be able to become relevant enough to face one or two of the sport's powerbrokers on boxing's big stage by the end of next year.

... At this point, though, a Vargas defeat would certainly be a bigger set back than the loss to Garcia last year.



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