SAN DIEGO, December 13, 2013 – Adrien “The Problem” Broner needs to have a dominating victory over the hard-punching Marcos Maidana on Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio in their junior welterweight title fight if he wants fans to consider him one of boxing’s major stars like his mentor, Floyd Mayweather.
Broner’s situation was the same in June, when he faced Paulie Malignaggi. Broner was expected to defeat Malignaggi with ease. Instead, Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) won a narrow split decision against the far more aggressive challenger. Malignaggi stayed busy and stayed on his feet the whole fight. He hit Broner plenty, if not hard.
Broner said after the fight he’d let his fans pick his next opponent. Discussion on Twitter immediately turned to the hard-hitting boxer Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) from Argentina who had a nifty knockout victory against Josesito Lopez the previous week. Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer agreed, saying, “In my opinion, Adrien Broner versus Marcos Maidana is one of the hottest fights in the 147 pound division.” So he made it happen.
Broner’s naysayers (and they are many) says he still hasn’t faced anyone considered a real threat. Broner now faces a serious opponent in Maidana, who is a crowd-pleasing, active punching boxer. Pressure keeps increasing on Broner to deliver a breakout performance in the ring. You can keep winning and still lose the fans.
Maidana says he respects Broner in the ring and doesn’t underestimate him. He’s also said he’s going to deliver a whooping to Broner. Broner dismisses Maidana, saying he’s not in his league and he will “light him up like a Christmas tree.”
Meanwhile, Broner has escalated the trash talk and even trashier behavior outside the ring. Fight fans who follow this sort of thing already know what Broner’s been up to. I won’t reward him by repeating any of it here. Flashy doesn’t have to be synonymous with trashy, Adrien.
During the weigh-in Friday, Broner got into Maidana’s face and started talking to him. Maidana doesn’t speak much English, but he didn’t like Broner crowding him on the scale and slapped him away. Later during the face-off, Broner did more yapping and got a nice shove from Maidana. The pair had to be separated by light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins. Both fighters made weight.
The brief altercation was quickly separated by current IBF Light Heavyweight Champion and future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, who seemed prepared to intercede between any kind of disturbance on stage.
After the media event, the hard punching Argentine had much to say about his opponent.
“I really don’t understand English, but people have been translating everything he’s been saying,” stated Marcos Maidana. “He can talk all he wants, but I’m going to teach him to respect me. I’m completely unaffected by all of this. I’m fine. I’ve been in great battles with fighters much stronger than him, so I’ll be ready for anything in the ring. I know I will more than likely need a knock-out to win this fight, so that’s what I plan to do tomorrow night.”
Maidana is the kind of fighter described as having “heavy hands.” When his punches land, they hurt. Maidana needs to penetrate Broner’s defenses to land those shots, not an easy task. To take out Maidana, a smart game plan for Broner includes body shots to wear Maidana down and diminish his power, therefore reducing his knockout threat.
For the second week running, Showtime is putting on a four-fight card, and all of the undercard fights have potential to be entertaining. Welterweight Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) defends his interim belt against the tough Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) If Thurman and Broner both win, the pair could face each other in a highly entertaining showdown. Someone please remind Thurman he’s in San Antonio, not San Diego.
Exciting super bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) makes his first title defense against Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs) in a classic Mexico vs. Puerto Rico matchup the Texas fans will enjoy. Light heavyweight Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KOs) defends his belt for the fifth time when he faces Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KOs). The light heavyweight division hasn’t been this exciting in decades with the likes of Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev and the ageless Bernard Hopkins leading an active pack. Shumenov has been out of the ring for 18 months. Kovacs from Slovakia is a complete unknown. This is his first bout outside Europe. All the undercard fighters made weight on Friday.
Broner vs. Maidana airs on Showtime Boxing Saturday, December 14, at 8 p.n. ET from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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