By nature, Adrien Broner,
who came into the weekend as the undefeated WBA welterweight beltholder, is a
brash and cocky sort. To his fans, he's a fun and colorful personality with
transcendent talent. His detractors believe he is a minstrel show dressed up
in boxing trunks and gloves, a parody of himself. Broner is among the most
polarizing figures in boxing. You either love or loathe him. And up until his
fight with Marcos Maidana at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, he largely
had things his way in the squared circle. But there he was late on Saturday
night, running out of the ring, bruised and battered from the heavy-handed Argentinean.
Scampering away like a thief
in the night, shielded by his handlers but unable to escape this stark reality,
“The Problem” had been solved (and seemingly, an endless array of internet
memes would be created within hours by a joyous public who had longed for this
More than just taking a
defeat – Broner’s first as a pro - he was righteously beaten by Maidana, a man
who speaks softly and carries a big stick.
It was a brutal comeuppance,
one that hasn't been as enjoyed by the masses since perhaps Prince Naseem Hamed’s
cloak of invincibility was divested by another strong and silent type, Marco
All the flash and finesse of
Broner were quickly overrun and trampled by the aggression and persistence of
Maidana, who set the tone in the first round with a barrage of looping right
hands and left hooks. Broner laid down an early foundation of body punches that
allowed Maidana to consistently touch him and set up an attack upstairs. For
all his recent success, Broner, like many other Al Haymon clients has been kept
away from punchers for the most part. But he quickly found out that that’s
precisely what he was facing on this fateful night. A booming left hook - that
Broner believed was a jab to the midsection at the onset - sent Broner to his
seat and forever altered the tenor of this bout.
This was no one-man concert
or performance for the leader of the BandCamp record label but a real fight
against a hard man who simply would not be denied. Maidana was overlooked and
most believed he was just another small bump in Broner's road to greatness.
Nobody told Maidana and time and time again, he just banged away at Broner, who
had his cage numerously rattled throughout the fight.
“I trained hard to get to
this point. My plan was to win with heart and I just kept going forward. Every
time I landed a punch, I felt I was hurting him. He had a hard punch and I had
to be cautious,” said a victorious Maidana, who wasn't afraid to get chippy
with Broner, who regularly employs an arm-bar and was excessively clinching when
in trouble. More than a few body shots on Broner strayed south of the border
and Maidana wasn't afraid to execute a payback “dry hump” in the late rounds. “This
fight was dirty, so I had to play dirty too,” he stated.
Broner began to work his way
back into the fight in the middle rounds when another left hook sent him
twisting to the canvas. From there, Broner clutched Maidana with both arms to a
point where “El Chino” felt compelled to thrust his head right beneath Broner's
jaw. If this were the NFL, Maidana would've been flagged for leading with his
head and fined. Broner's reaction was to writhe on the floor for a short spell
and get as much of a respite from the ensuing onslaught coming his way. For his
refusal to play by the Queensbury Rules, Maidana was docked a point by referee
Laurence Cole, who, at times, had difficulty policing the action.
To his credit, Broner
actually fought well into the late rounds but as the bell sounded to signal the
end of the 12th, it was clear who the winner was. And the scores
117-109, 115-110 and 115-109 reflected what took place during this fight.
Broner didn't give any comments to the media but his trainer, Mike Stafford
commented, “I thought it was a little closer than they had it but I just don't
think he was on tonight.”
With his big victory,
Maidana is now in line for more lucrative paydays and match-ups with the
marquee names in the welterweight division. And after a victory over “Faux Mayweather,”
Floyd Mayweather is a possibility. “It could be. Certainly that fight makes a
great case for Maidana that he deserves the fight,” said the head of Showtime
Sports, Stephen Espinoza, on Saturday night. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden
Boy Promotions, told Maxboxing, “You definitely have a name which will be in
the mix but we'll have to see. I'll talk to Floyd and his team. But this was an
amazing performance against a very game Adrien Broner, who didn't give up even
though he was hurt early on and so it just shows you Marcos Maidana is special.
We all want to see the guy.”
According to Schaefer, there
is no rematch clause for this fight, although he did add, “I think it's a fight
I would like to do a rematch and so, why not? But there are other great fights
and opportunities out there for Broner and for Maidana and who knows? Maybe
Broner may want to move back down in weight.”
It's not clear if Broner wants
to go through that harrowing experience ever again. As for Maidana, well, he
simply says, “I have no problems with a rematch.”
Much was made about the
goings-on in Maidana’s corner after the 11th round after Broner hit
him with a hard left hook after the bell. Judging by this video, which is among
many things posted on social media platforms detailing what took place (http://instagram.com/p/h7hoPEBaVQ/#),
it is certainly something the commission in Texas should examine.
exactly was in that piece of gauze put over the nose of Maidana, who was
certainly buzzed by that tardy punch from Broner?
The use of an unapproved substance may result in disciplinary action.
Only water and electrolytes shall be permitted for hydration of a contestant
between rounds. Honey, glucose, or sugar, or any other substance may not be
mixed with the water.
Now, looking at the footage, nothing was consumed orally but instead inhaled by
Maidana. But it has to be stated; the use of smelling salts or ammonia caps in
the corner has been banned for years in boxing. Back in 2004, trainer Stacy
McKinley was disciplined by the state of California for utilizing them during
the fight between Tito Mendoza and Librado Andrade (http://www.thesweetscience.com/article-archives/640-the-half-year-awards-in-boxing).
And in response to these
allegations, Ariza spoke to Michael Woods of The SweetScience.com:
Don't be naïve; this stuff goes on. I've talked to more than one boxing veteran
who tells me the use of smelling salts or other stimulants has gone on for
years in the corner. They will sometimes put the substance onto the towels they
will use before the fights and when needed, break them out and wipe them over
the fighters’ faces. One even told me they had certain signals in the corner
for when they were to be utilized. Others have told me they will put the
capsules in the towel they use between rounds and do some hocus-pocus with
their hands to make sure they’re hidden from the ringside inspectors as they
use them to re-energize their boxers.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
It will be interesting to see how Texas deals with this - if at all.
Looking ahead, Schaefer said with a chuckle after Broner-Maidana, “By the way,
it almost sickens me to think about that: Maidana against Keith Thurman. Oh, but I
can't do that.” Well, actually given that they are both under the promotional
banner of Golden Boy, he absolutely can (if both boxers are willing).
Regardless, it was a very strong year for Golden
Boy, who was jettisoned from HBO early in the year and dealt with Showtime
extensively in 2013. While the sheer viewing numbers may not reflect it (HBO
still plays to bigger audiences), the paradigm has absolutely begun to shift.
The gap is closing between HBO and Showtime and Golden Boy plays a key role in
“It's crazy how many great options we have,” said
Schaefer. “The bad news is that it’s the end of the best year in recent history
for boxing but the good news is another great year is on the horizon.”
Keith Thurman continues his strong development as
he stopped Jesus Soto Karass in impressive fashion this weekend. “One Time” is
becoming a real pro...Leo Santa Cruz got a tougher-than-expected time from
Cesar Seda. There's still a chance he could return to the ring on February 15th at the Staples Center...Anyone else not particularly excited about the
possibility of Bernard Hopkins against Beibut Shumenov?...I thought Paulie
Malignaggi had a very good night breaking down Saturday night’s main event...Vodka
lemonade was my drink of choice in San Antonio and I was impressed. Club Kim was
the place to be. Thanks to everyone who dropped by...Word is Golden Boy prefers
for Saul Alvarez to face Alfredo Angulo on March 8th. They believe
it's a favorable style and more saleable than Carlos Molina...Here are the
ticket numbers for Andre Ward's fight against Edwin Rodriguez on November 16th in Ontario, CA: tickets
sold: 2,491, gross receipts: $188,699, comped tickets: 958...How did the
Packers beat the Cowboys?...Regardless of anything else, Jameis Winston was the
rightful winner of the Heisman Trophy...How can I get a BandCamp letterman
jacket? I want one for Christmas...
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