SAN ANTONIO -- For all of welterweight titleholder Adrien Broner's questionable behavior -- trash talk, in-your-face craziness, vulgar tweets, arrests and even a recent sex tape, which somehow found its way onto the Internet -- it is all outside-of-the-ring stuff.
Inside the ring is where Broner usually shines and puts all the chaos aside. Broner, whose nickname is "The Problem," is close to breaking out as a mainstream star, and he would love to follow in the footsteps of the man he calls his "big brother," pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. But Broner will need to keep winning to accomplish that -- and perhaps take it down a notch outside the ring.
Broner can go a long way toward reaching that goal if he tackles perhaps the toughest test of his career in former junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana, the wild-swinging, big-punching brawler from Argentina.
"Every boxer wants to be where I am right now," Broner said at Thursday's final news conference before the fight. "I am the person who is going to take over boxing after Floyd Mayweather."
Broner will make the first defense of his 147-pound belt against Maidana on Saturday night at the Alamodome (Showtime, 8 ET; preliminary bouts on Showtime Extreme at 6 ET). Of course, Broner expects to shine.
"You never know, maybe I have to sit in there and brawl it out with this guy for 12 rounds," Broner said. "Maybe I mess him up in two. Maybe one.
"If he makes a mistake and I have a chance to get him out of there, I'm going to get him out of there. If I just beat him to death, then I beat him to death. Who doesn't want to see a young star on the rise like Adrien Broner fight a guy like Marcos Maidana, a hard puncher, a knockout artist with 31 knockouts? Who doesn't want to see that? [But] I have to stay focused. I am not going to allow distraction. I'm not going to lie. This is the biggest fight of my career to date. He is going to try to hurt me, so I am ready and focused."
Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs), who has been in numerous exciting fights -- with Amir Khan, Erik Morales, Josesito Lopez and Victor Ortiz -- always comes to battle, and he says the showdown with Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) will be no different.
"I'm going to hit him hard, very hard, with all I have, and I'll get busy with him," Maidana said through a translator. "I hope he's ready, because I am. This is the hardest fight of my life. I respect Broner, but I don't underestimate him. On Saturday, I'll do my part. I'll do what I came here for -- to fight with my heart and do my best."
There are three other title bouts on the card: welterweight Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) making the first defense of his interim belt against Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs); junior featherweight Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) making his initial defense against Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs); and light heavyweight Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KOs) defending his belt for the fifth time when he faces Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KOs).