Bellator champ-champ Patricio ‘Pitbull’ would love a go at Adrien Broner

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Dave Doyle
·2 min read
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Bellator lightweight and featherweight champion Patricio Freire has a date for his next fight: a defense of his latter title belt against Emmanuel Sanchez at Bellator 255.

And while that April 2 bout was officially announced at Bellator’s Tuesday news conference, another major item seems to have caught his attention: Bellator’s new partnership with Showtime, which kicks off with “Pitbull’s” card at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Freire doesn’t just see big things for Bellator with the new Showtime deal. He sees the potential for crossover fights, too. Specifically, Showtime-promoted boxing star Adrien Broner.

“I like that we can put Bellator in this division,” Freire said in Portuguese through a translator. “And also we can do a boxing match. I’m looking for that, too. I can beat that (expletive).”

Broner has held titles in four different weight classes. And while Freire has proven to be a belt collector himself, he says a potential boxing match isn’t about collecting gold, but just the challenge in and of itself.

“I like challenges. In boxing, you have someone who is good, I want to fight him,” Freire said. “I don’t care about the titles. I care about the challenges. I put myself in a dangerous (situation) and take care of that.”

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Any chance of “Pitbull” engaging in a big boxing match is long down the road, at best. And in the meantime, he’s got quite the challenge ahead of him in the Bellator featherweight grand prix semifinals.

Freire and Sanchez already have met once, and Sanchez gave “Pitbull” one of the toughest fights of his career before falling by unanimous decision at Bellator 209.

Perhaps that’s why Freire hasn’t made a grudge match out of this like he does for most of his bouts, including his last fight against Pedro Carvalho or the one he’s trying to cook up with Broner. Sanchez and “Pitbull” have earned one another’s respect as they vie to meet A.J. McKee in the final.

“Pedro is a young man. He got the loss, now he’s going to make himself a better fighter,” Freire said. “I know he’s a good boy. So with Sanchez, I fought him and I know he knows it was a war, so that’s why we have a respect for each other.”