Weight still isn't an issue for Adrien Broner.
The man known as “The Problem” continues to be a problem for his opponents, no matter the weight class or skill level. Such was the case Saturday night when Broner dispatched of Antonio DeMarco, winning the WBC lightweight title in the process.
Broner's eighth round TKO was an example of skill triumphing over will without any chance of a miracle comeback. DeMarco's ability to withstand pain and punishment was on full display, but also was his desire to fight and his desire to never give in. This is a big part of why DeMarco has a reputation with those within the sport or those who follow the sport. Also, he was the perfect kind of opponent to test Broner's ability to dish out punishment.
Both started out incredibly slow in this one as Broner boxes with a defensive approach and on this night he seemed more methodical than usual, seeming to put the most thought possible into every punch as he got going. This also forced DeMarco to start slow as DeMarco is the kind of fighter who responds best in the ring to confrontation and action, something Broner didn't provide much of until the fight got going.
When it did get going, Broner's straight right and his uppercuts were the main punches that were landing often. After round four, Broner was almost unstoppable in landing any kind of punch, and it was his accuracy that helped the onslaught become full on domination of the fight by the time rounds six and seven came around.
Round five best personified what Broner can be as a dominant boxer while round four best personified what Broner can be as a fighter. Round four was where both men stood toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring and began going shot-for-shot. Though it was in a slower manner than boxing viewers are used to seeing, it still had all of the action. However, by the end of the round it was obvious that Broner had taken control of the fight and had gotten the better of the round's action. Broner then followed that with a dominant round where he began to land shots at will while DeMarco could only attempt to fight back. By the end of that round, the damage Broner was inflicting had become clearly visible on DeMarco's face.
DeMarco's jewel round in this bout was round three. This was the one time that DeMarco had Broner on the ropes, though he wasn't able to do much when he did. But this was also the only round that DeMarco seemed to get the better of Broner. It also may have had the unfortunate side-effect of being the catalyst for Broner turning up the heat and eventually overwhelming DeMarco.
The end came in round eight, and in spectacular fashion. Around halfway through the round, Broner knocked DeMarco down with a brutal left hook and DeMarco's corner immediately waved a towel in surrender for their fighter. It should be noted that DeMarco's corner wanted to stop the bout after round five, but DeMarco was able to talk his way out of it for the moment.
Banks' bout with Mitchell was the end of a rough last few weeks as Banks has had to deal with Steward's death, having to take Steward's place as head man in the corner of heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko in Klitschko's title defense last weekend in Germany, Steward's funeral, and the final preparation days for his own fight. Banks handled it all with grace and any anger or fury he had inside him over the loss of his trainer and mentor, he let go inside the ring Saturday night.
Mitchell dominated the action in the opening round. He was more aggressive, less afraid to throw and also landed the only significant punches of the round.
Round two was all Banks' and it started with a combination landed in a corner. After Banks landed this combo, Mitchell seemed staggered, and Banks was able to land another combination of punches with a right being the final shot before Banks went down.
From here the fight became a wild brawl with both men swinging for the fences; Banks initiated the brawl and appeared to be looking for the kill while Mitchell was swinging as a survival instinct. Banks got the better of this long brawling period and scored a second knockdown with a big right that sent Banks slipping to the canvas from his own momentum. Though not a complete knockdown, the ropes seemed to be the only thing keeping Mitchell from falling flat and it was ruled a knockdown. Banks ended up sending Mitchell down a third time, this one coming in the final minute of the round after a couple more big shots to the face. At this point, referee Eddie Cotton called the fight with Mitchell on the canvas.
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