Adrien Broner (left) had an easy night against a much smaller opponent. Photo by Joseph Fuqua/AP
Adrien Broner looking to be the next Floyd Mayweather
Adrien “The Problem” Broner is a rising star, and he looks like a younger version of Floyd “Money” Mayweather in several ways. Broner is quick, hard to punch, flamboyant, and he has no problems with controversy, just like Mayweather.
This past Saturday night, in a fight promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and televised on HBO, Broner pulled a fast one on Vicente Escobedo by not bothering to make weight for the jr. lightweight division. The weight limit was 130 pounds, which Escobedo weighted in at the day before the fight. But Broner weighted in at 133½ pounds, and he did not bother to lose the extra 3½ pounds to make this fight happen.
Broner said that he was looking to move up in weight class, and that he really wanted to fight Escobedo as a lightweight, which has a weight limit of 135 pounds, but Escobedo was looking to move down from the lightweight division and fight as a jr. lightweight. It appears that Broner had no intentions of fighting as a jr. lightweight, but his only explanation was that he was 22 years old, and he simply grew out of the weight division.
The fight was nearly canceled, but an agreement was made that as long as Broner weighted in within 10 pounds on the morning of the fight, then the match would go on, with Broner being penalized $60,000, $30,000 of which would be going to Escobedo.
The following morning Broner weighted in at 143 pounds, which caused another controversy. Was Broner supposed to weigh in within 10 pounds of the jr. lightweight limit, meaning 140 pounds, or 10 pounds of where he weighed in the day before, which would mean 143½ pounds?
Ecobedo was not happy and he was ready to walk away from the fight, but walking away would mean that he would lose out on an $180,000 payday, the largest of his career. After a renegotiation, which gave him a lot more money, he decided to stay in the fight. Not surprisingly, the fight was extremely one sided, won by TKO in the fifth round by Broner, who weighed 147 pounds by the time of the fight.
Broner entered the ring with a shirt that said “Free Money May,” which referred to the incarceration of Mayweather, and he had a person in his entourage brushing his hair before the fight started. After a slow first round, Broner put on a boxing display that a smaller Escobedo just could not compete with.
Broner’s defense was similar to Mayweather’s, with the high left shoulder that protects his chin and his left arm protecting his body, while his great athletic ability allows him to avoid right hand punches to his upper head. In five rounds of action, he was only hit with 58 punches, while he walked down Escobedo, hitting him 114 times, and connecting on 44 percent of his punches, compared to 28 percent for Escobedo.
It appeared that Broner could have taken Escobedo out at anytime, but he had to show his hometown crowd of Cincinnati a good show. Instead of going for an early knockout, Broner viciously attacked Escobedo’s body, landing 61 punches to that area, compared to only 53 punches to the head.
But in the fifth round it was time to end the show, and Broner went in for the kill. As he was manhandling the smaller fighter, Escobedo’s corner threw in the towel. His corner most likely planned to call it quits once he looked to be in trouble, because they called it quits before Escobedo was seriously hurt or knocked down. It’s hard to blame them for taking that approach, seeing that their fighter could face serious injury against a much bigger fighter who did not bother to make the proper weight.
Broner improved his record to 24-0 with 20 KOs, and after the fight he was as brash as Mayweather. When asked about the match in the post fight interview he said, “You seen it, was it as pretty as me?” Broner continued his act by staging a fake marriage proposal to his girlfriend. Down on one knee, he asked her if she would brush his hair.
“Money May” is a character of Mayweather, and Broner appears to be a character of “Money May.” Broner is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way, just like Mayweather, and he looks like he is trying to play the villain role, just like Mayweather. But at the same time, he has dominated his opponents, just like Mayweather.
Thurman creates his own controversy
Broner was not the only one creating controversy in Cincinnati on Saturday night. Up and coming welterweight fighter Keith “1-time” Thurman made some waves by doing a lot of talking after his sixth round TKO victory.
Thurman entered his fight against Orlando Lora with a 17-0 record, 16 of those victories coming by way of knockout. His first eight professional fights ending in the first round. This was his first time fighting on a big time fight card, and he let it be known what he was about.
“I throw hard,” Thurman said in a pre-fight interview. “I throw with the intentions to hurt.
“The chin can only take so much. Power punchers produce more than the human body can handle. As long as I land one of those punches one time, anybody is going to go down.”
Thurman was not fighting a big time fighter in Lora, but it was one of the toughest fighters that he has faced so far in his career. Lora was extremely tough, and stalked Thurman for the bulk of the fight, but that was not the best idea because Thurman showed that he is a very good counter puncher. Thurman blocked a number of punches while firing back, he landed 124 punches to Lora’s 45, and he connected on 33 percent of his punches to only 13 percent for Lora.
Thurman was extremely patient and did not look for the early knockout.
“The nickname is ‘1-time,’ I’m looking for that knockout all the time, but I’m not in a rush to really do it,” Thurman said in the post fight interview. “If you have a weak chin, we’ll put you out early. My opponent, he’s a veteran, he’s talented, he used his head movement, he was smarter than I thought he’d be. So it took a little longer. But in the end we got the KO victory like we wanted.”
Instead of head hunting, Thurman attacked Lora’s body early on before going up top.
“He was showing me a little bit more skills, a little more awkwardness and movement, so I was like, let’s hit the body,” Thurman said. “Because everybody knows that the body slows anybody down. I was breaking him down round after round, and then we went back up top and finished the job.”
In the sixth round, Lora continued to charge in even though he was taking some big shots from Thurman, and Lora was showing that he was an extremely tough fighter, but the power shots finally did him in, as Thurman connected with a crushing left hook to Lora’s jaw, sending him to the canvas.
Surprisingly, as Lora got up well before the 10 count, he walked over to his corner and signaled them to take out his mouthpiece and he quit the fight.
“I kind of was (surprised), because of how tough he was,” Thurman said. “I thought I was going to have to do it one more time and we were prepared to do it. It’s Keith “1-Time” Thurman, but we’re ready to make replays happen over and over again.”
After that Thurman started talking, calling out some of the best fighters in his weight class. He called out the likes of champions Paulie Malignaggi, Tim Bradley, and undefeated and pound-for-pound champion Mayweather.
That rubbed a lot of fans, and the boxers he called out, the wrong way, because so far Thurman has not accomplished much to talk like that. He looked good in his first big fight, but he was not spectacular in the fight against a middle of the road boxer.
Thurman looks like he has a chance to be something special. But he’s not there yet.