Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) knocked defending WBA welterweight champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (27-1-1, 23 KOs) down twice and took his belt with a 12-round unanimous decision at a rocking Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas Saturday night.
The bout was televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing.
Maidana, 30, set the tone in the opening stanza by staggering the overconfident Broner with an overhand right. The defending champion stumbled, but stayed on his feet. Maidana continued to force the action in round two. A long left hook put Broner down for the first time in his career. He got up quickly but staggered into the ropes.
Broner battled back in rounds three and four. He boxed off his back foot - trying to catch Maidana with heavy hooks and uppercuts. Some did land. Maidana connected with a chopping right that stopped Broner in his tracks. His stinging jab was making it virtually impossible for Broner to get off first.
Broner, 24, set the pace in rounds five and six. He started well. An uppercut snapped back the head of Maidana. A right hand landed. Maidana, a native of Argentina, who fights out of Oxnard, Ca. went to the body with authority. Broner countered back with a three-punch combination. Maidana found his chin again with a left hook. Broner snapped off two left hands. He was trying to fight his way back into the bout, but Maidana would have none of it.
Maidana landed two hard right hands to the chin of Broner in round seven. Broner found his rhythm in the middle of the stanza, but Maidana continued to be busier. Broner came out firing in round eight. The strategy was working until Maidana caught him a sweeping hook. Broner sunk to the canvas. Up at five, he backed up still feeling the effects of the punch. He grabbed Maidana and held on. Maidana, with his head down tried to get free. He headbutted Broner. Referee Lawrence Cole immediately took away a point from Maidana.
Maidana kept up his advantage in round nine. Another left hook buckled Broner’s knees. Maidana stalked Broner, punishing him with hard punches to the head and body. Broner barely fought back.
In rounds 10 and 11, Maidana continued to land hard shots to the head of Broner. The young champion battled back with uppercuts and hooks, but the punches did not slow Maidana.
Broner was told by his corner before the last round that he needed a knockout to win. He tried - banging Maidana with heavy shots, but the durable former IBF junior lightweight champion refused to fall. Broner walked into a left hand. Maidana looked hurt in the last minute of the round, but still managed to clock Broner with hard left hook at the bell.
The scores were 115-110, 116-109 and 117-109 for the new champion.
“It was a great fight,” Maidana in the ring after the fight. ”The plan was to fight anyway I could."
Broner was whisked to his dressing room immediately after the decision was announced. His face was puffy.