Broner Wins WBC title and Banks KO’s Mitchell at AC
Broner Wins WBC title and Banks KO’s Mitchell at AC
By Ken Hissner at ringside, Doghouse Boxing (Nov 20, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Adrien Broner
Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 25-0 (21), of Cincinnati, OH, made it look easy stopping WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, 28-3-1 (21), of Mexico, in 1:49 of the 8th round Saturday night at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Just before this bout heavyweight Jonathan Banks, 29-1-1 (19), of Detroit, MI, upended Seth Mitchell, 25-1-1 (19), of Brandywine, MD, at 2:32 of the 2nd round “dedicating this fight to my late trainer Manny Steward”. This was for the NABO and vacant WBC International titles.

It was quite a finish with these two co-main events put on by Gary Shaw Boxing and Golden Boy Boxing. Oscar De la Hoya’s GBB came up short having DeMarco and Mitchell. After 5 preliminary bouts the HBO final two came on with this writer not expecting much from the heavyweight division. I was as shocked as most at ringside as the favorite Mitchell with a loud crowd behind him hurting Banks several times in the 1st round making him grab and hold to get through the round looked like a sure winner.

In the 2nd round it was entirely different when Banks countered with a right hand knocking down Mitchell. The crowd went wild as two more knockdowns came as a left hook and then a combo did the damage. Referee Eddie Cotton stopped it at that time. Banks Saturday night was in the corner of heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitchko in Germany as the champion successfully defended his titles as Banks was filling in for the late Manny Steward. Banks dedicated this fight to Steward as he pulled off the upset after 10 heavyweight fights since losing his only fight in 2009 trying to dethrone Tomasz Adamek for his IBF cruiserweight title. The fans gave him a much bigger ovation than the one he was introduced by ring announcer Michael Buffer.

Broner entered the ring with white rimmed sun glasses and a pink robe which on the back had his nickname “The Problem” with RIP under it and what looked like a picture of Steward between. On the other hand the champion DeMarco also looked confident, taller and along with a southpaw advantage. That advantage only lasted a round holding Broner at bay with an effective jab.

In the 2nd round Broner started taking over methodically breaking down DeMarco. By the 4th round Broner was landing power shot upper cuts reddening both of DeMarco’s eyes. One of the best referee’s in the game Benjy Esteves, Jr. was watching DeMarco closely as he was taking much punishment though fighting back as much as he could as a champion. The power shots Broner was landing would have knocked out most opponents.

There were big rounds for Broner in the 5th through the 7th as DeMarco refused to go down until an uppercut which was part of a 4 punch combination in the 8th put him on the canvas. DeMarco’s corner immediately got to the top of the corner steps telling Esteves DeMarco had enough as the referee waved the fight off at 1:49!

It was the second title for Broner after having won the WBO super featherweight title previously though losing it on the scale not in the ring. Let’s hope the “millions” Broner talked about making doesn’t derail him like it did a Hall of Fame fighter also from Cincinnati named Aaron “The Hawk” Pryor whom Broner gets compared to time and time again. Otherwise Broner has a bright future that may carry him into a third weight division before he is done.

It’s questionable if Banks who has sparred many rounds with the younger Klitschko and worked his corner for the first time would challenge the 3 organization champion but his brother Vitali may be another thing especially if he retires with the WBC crown as talked about. Banks is No. 6 in the WBC while Mitchell was No. 7 contender. Mitchell’s proclaiming he didn’t think President Obama whom he voted for not winning may have matched his not thinking Banks had any chance either. Banks challenging the WBC’s Silver champion Bermane Stivererne of Canada who is No. 2 looks like a future fight. Besides Adamek and Steve “USS” Cunningham have a date next month with the winner fighting Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev who is No. 1 contender.

The undercard featured 3 bouts at 8 rounds and a pair of 4’s. After a couple of blow out 1st round stoppages by lightweight Terron Grant, 5-0 (3), of White Plains, MD, stopping Abraham Esquivel, 5-3 (3), of Mexico at 2:14 and a follow-up bout where welterweight Zachary Ochoa, 3-0 (3), of New York stopped Michael Salcido, 1-5 (0), of Casa Grande, AZ, at 2:09, it looked like a quick undercard was in store. Grant had Esquivel down 3 times with referee Earl Brown counting after the 3rd before Edquivel’s corner threw in the towel.

Philly prospect Julian “J Rock” Williams, 10-0-1 (5), looks like he has all the tools as he broke down durable Jonel Tapia, 8-3-1 (5), of the Bronx stopping him at 2:10 of the 7th round. Referee Alan Huggins had seen enough after Williams landed 5 straight punches without return having Tapia out on his feet. Williams worked the body well breaking down Tapia and should have a good future ahead of him.

This writer has seen Williams hold his own with then unbeaten Mike Jones in the Shuler gym many times. “He held up good. I didn’t think he’d last that long since he was stopped earlier twice,” said Williams. What he didn’t say was those two losses were to Eddie Gomez and Giavonni Rodriguez, two of the world’s top prospects from and in PR.

Philly’s Demitrius “The Gladiator” Hopkins, 32-2-1 (12), stopped Joshua Snyder, 9-8-1 (3), at 1:26 of the 5th round. He’s two for two this year since moving up to light middleweight. “He was a big guy (158) and I hope to move down to 147 and fight next month,” said Hopkins. His trainer/conditioner Danny Davis will see to that. The former light welterweight title challenger should fit right into the welterweight division’s mix.

Phil Lo Greco, 25-0 (14), of Toronto, CAN, looked like he might be in for a short night himself in the 1st round getting dropped by a Daniel Sostre, 11-8-1 (4), of Highland, NY, right hand. He came back in the 2nd round driving Sostre to the ropes before getting rocked again by a Sostre combo.

As the fight progressed you could see Sostre slowing down. In the 6th he was getting hit without return by Lo Greco covering up in his own corner when referee Huggins waved it off to the disappointment of Sostre. It may have been a quick stoppage. This writer had it even after 6 rounds with Lo Greco taking the last 3 and in complete command.

E-mail questions, comments to Ken Hissner

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