Adrien Broner has an air of
cockiness that could make him one of the fighters that fans and press alike
could love to hate. In his last two ring appearances, he was accompanied by a
lackey (Did he call him “Dad” in the Rodriguez fight? It sure sounded like it…)
whose job was to often brush Broner’s very short hair. Obviously, he will gain
his fair share of detractors but his talent could lead him to become one of the
few fighters that can truly be called world champion of their weight class.
It’s very possible that by this time next year, he’ll be considered by far the
best super featherweight in the world.
Saturday night, Broner had
little trouble earning his first belt, taking out Vicente Martin Rodriquez of
Argentina for the vacant WBO strap in three rounds. On the surface, it looked
like another Golden Boy Promotions/Al Haymon/HBO maneuver to get their guy a
belt but remember that Broner was originally set to face champion Ricky Burns,
who quickly did an about-face, heading up to lightweight to face Michael Katsidis.
At that point, not many top 130-pounders were excited about fighting Broner in
front of his hometown fans in Cincinnati. Trainer Mike Stafford told Maxboxing
that they are ready fight “anyone, anytime” and look forward to fighting the
best at 130 pounds.
I think the day is coming
soon that both fans and the boxing media will have to admit the talent this
young man has, regardless of his antics.
Also on the card in Cincinnati
was Gary Russell Jr. who is being brought along at a slower pace than many
would like. Originally slated to face Dat Nguyen, Russell only needed one round
to wipe out Heriberto Ruiz, who, in the past, has held regional belts but was never
a serious threat to win a world title (Ruiz was stopped in three rounds by
Rafael Marquez in his only world title fight). For the second time now, HBO has
said “no thanks” to Russell and advisor Al Haymon, believing Russell’s
opposition does not warrant HBO money.
2008 Olympic Gold Medalist
Felix Diaz will look to improve to 11-0 as he faces Colorado’s Brad Jackson,
who is not nearly as good as his 13-7-1 record would indicate. He built a
13-5-1 record in Colorado before losing his last two bouts in New York, being
knocked out in three rounds by Steve Martinez. Diaz will win this fight easy
but there’s no excuse for this being only his third contest of 2011 and having
only ten fights at this point in his career. Diaz should be at least 16 or 17
wins into his pro career and should be close to a Showtime (or at least an ESPN
date) by now. His talent is being wasted, 2½ years into his pro career, fighting
the likes of Jackson.
Deontay Wilder made it 20
KOs in 20 fights, taking out Cincinnati’s David Long, who built an 11-1 record
in club fights in the Cincinnati area. Despite scoring knockouts in all of his
20 pro fights and being the only member of the US team to earn a medal- a
bronze- at the 2008 Olympics, Wilder is still considered more of a project than
a prospect at this point.