Adrien Broner challenged Floyd Mayweather to come out of retirement after claiming a nine-round technical knockout victory over Ashley Theophane in Washington on Friday night.
Broner’s victory over Theophane – a fighter promoted by Mayweather – leaves the WBA super-lightweight title vacant. The fight was scheduled to be Broner’s first defence of the title, but he was stripped of the belt after weighing in 0.4 pounds over the 140-pound limit.
But after defeating Theophane at the DC Armory Arena, Broner (32-2-KO24) continued his ongoing war of words with Mayweather and challenged the unbeaten American to return to the ring to face him.
“Somebody that I look up to, someone that I admire took the chance to do an interview and talk bad about me,” Broner said. “I’m a man, Floyd has got to see me.”
Mayweather retired in September 2015 following his 49th and final victory of his unblemished career – a unanimous points victory over Andre Berto in Las Vegas.
Broner’s latest fight went on amid reports of warrants for his arrest on felony assault and robbery charges in Ohio.
“As you know, I’ve been going through a lot and for me to come in here and bottle everything up and do what I did, I want to give myself a pat on the back,” Broner added.
Theophane would have been crowned the new WBA super-lightweight champion with a victory, but the 35-year-old British veteran failed to seriously threaten Broner before referee Luis Pabon stopped the fight 1:10 into the ninth round.
That gave Broner the stoppage win he promised on Wednesday, even though Theophane (39-7-1) looked to have regained a footing in the fight before his ninth-round defeat.
Broner caught Theophane with a body shot and then a right hook, pushing him back onto the ropes. With Broner punching furiously, Theophane slipped away, back-pedalled and appeared to lift his glove toward Pabon, who stepped in immediately.
In the build-up to the fight, Broner had promised a to secure a fourth-round knockout victory, but Theophane was able to navigate some tricky moments early in the bout.
Broner had Theophane on the ropes midway through the second round, but slipped as he closed in, letting the veteran regain his composure.
In the third, Broner connected with a right hook that led to some turbulent moments for Theophane, who worked out of a similar sequence in the fourth following a right uppercut.
By the eighth, a scattering of boos could be heard amid the crowd of 8,172 fans in Washington, but Broner turned on the style in the ninth to end the fight early.