The week began when Broner and Brooklyn-based rapper Tekashi 69 exchanged vulgar insults Monday on Instagram.
Sources told BQE Media that scheduled press workouts to be held this past Wednesday at Gleason’s Gym were cancelled in fear of their alleged feud escalating, a report refuted by Showtime that Wednesday and on Saturday’s broadcast, but without explanation.
Thursday’s press conference at Barclays Center went on as scheduled, though it was moved from the original location, Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom, and Broner had some choice words for Vargas and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, who co-promoted the event.
“I’m gonna beat his a--,” said Broner. “I hope y’all give me the credit that I deserve, that’s all I want. I know all of y’all are against me. Him right here,” he continued, pointing at Ellerbe, who was seated to his left on stage. “I know Leonard Ellerbe against me.”
“You don’t disrespect me like that,” fired back Ellerbe, before the two argued.
As for the actual fight on Saturday night, extra security was on hand, and there were never any plans for a post-fight press conference, seemingly in anticipation of extracurricular activity.
A similar decision was made back in October when another triple header, which included a bout between Jermell Charlo and Erickson Lubin that culminated in a chair being thrown from Lubin’s entourage directed at Charlo immediately after the fight. A few members of Barclays security then chased the chair-thrower off the premises.
In the first of this past Saturday’s Showtime-aired tripleheader, Gervonta Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) TKO’d Jesus Cuellar (28-3, 21 KOs) for a WBA Super Featherweight Title. During the fight’s second round, BQE Media and others were notified of a firearm being at the Barclays Center location, which allegedly had been fired in an arena hallway.
Rooms in the media center and at the event level were on lockdown for around 20 minutes as action continued in the ring, even into the beginning of the co-feature between Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) and Hugo Centeno, Jr. (26-2, 14 KOs), which ended in a second-round knockout for Charlo, the twin of the aforementioned Jermell.
“If you stand here, you’re going to get shot,” an officer told reporters and others in the hallway before locking down the media room, where everyone retreated.
Commotion stalled while Broner entered the ring for the main event, coming out to a song by Tekashi 69, seemingly trolling the rapper, who was one of many names on Showtime’s “Celebrity List” for the night.
A Barclays Center staff member informed BQE Media that police were “in full force” outside of the arena, which was later confirmed after the fight, in which Broner and Vargas fought to a draw, even though many felt Vargas should have been victorious.
“Look at his face,” exclaimed Broner after the fight, cutting off Showtime’s Jim Grey during his post-fight interview duties, before turning to Vargas.
“I beat you’re a--,” he told Vargas through Grey’s live microphone.
But, as expected, the fights were secondary.
BQE Media later learned that an unknown suspect did shoot a gun in a hallway at Barclays Center. TMZ reported Sunday that the shooter is allegedly a member of Tekashi 69’s squad, and the shot was released during an altercation with Casanova (another Brooklyn-based rapper) and his team.
Per the TMZ report, Tekahi’s people passed by Casanova and his entourage while walking down a hallway leading to a VIP section in the arena where the altercation ensued. A member of Tekashi’s camp discharged one round from a firearm and a .32 caliber shell casing was later recovered.
The two crews had been feuding for months.
There were no arrests or injuries. It appears, at the moment at least, that none of the fighters are linked to the shooting.