Broner Wins First Title; Russell Jr. Destroys Replacement Opponent, Plus 2008 Olympic Medalists Diaz and Wilder
By Alec Kohut, Max Boxing (Nov 29, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing
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.

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