BRONER-RODRIGUEZ FIGHT SUMMARY:
The undefeated Cincinnati, Ohio native, Adrien “The Problem.” Broner (22-0, 18 KOs), 22, was coming into this bout against his adversary, Argentinian, Vicente Martin Rodriguez, 26 (34-3-1, 19 KOs), looking to capture his first World Championship in his young career. Broner came up big and captured the WBO Super Featherweight Championship, stopping Rodriguez for the first time in his career, in spectacular fashion at 1:43 in the third round. Disregarding the second round in which Rodriguez was able to compete with Broner with slightly more success, Broner dominated the short lived affair. Opening up the first stanza immediately showing off some eye catching facets of his game, with the hand speed and coordination. Broner’s style of fighting is reminiscent of current Pound for Pound elite, Floyd Mayweather. That is just a comparison, and not to say that Broner is a fighter of Mayweather’s caliber. However, when you see Broner come out of the corner, left hand held low and all, in the same position Mayweather does, one could see why comparisons would be drawn a bit. Whenever Broner’s back was to the ropes, he would twist and bend at the waist, holding the left hand across the stomach, and right hand up protecting the right side of his face. Known as “The shoulder roll.” Which is another technique Mayweather uses as well. One last comparison between the two: Broner’s flamboyant post-fight interview and somewhat of his disposition can be reminiscent of Mayweather and other fighters who have used their charisma to generate interest.
Back to the fight itself, Broner, although very impressive, especially considering his experience, still has some growing pains he will have to go through, and that is fine because nobody is suppose to have it all figured out at Twenty Two. Broner has already accomplished a feat few have done before him, and that is be a World Champion at such a young age, like the man he shared this event with “Canelo” Alvarez. Although the technique in Broner’s defense had the look of Mayweather’s: Mayweather’s defense it is not, Broner did get caught with some clean shots at times, particularly in the second. So, he still has some sharpening up to do, but with all that talent, speed, confidence, and coordination, Broner certainly has the tools to put together a package that could make him a star in boxing.
Broner seems to have a local fan base as well, as the thousands on hand in his native Cincinnati were universally adoring Broner, before, during, and after the bout. There are not a lot of “Big names.” In the Super Featherweight division, perhaps the undefeated and up and coming Diego Magdaleno, fresh off a dominant victory weeks ago on the main event on ESPN’s ” Friday Night Fights.” Other than some fighters with World Championships in the division, and Magdaleno, there are not a lot of options that would help catapult Broner into stardom anytime soon. So, Broner should just focus on getting better every fight, regardless of whom he is fighting. After all, at such a tender age, it might be a blessing for Broner that he is not in a strong division. It is quite possible Broner with his talent could clean out the division and unify the titles, and in the process develop his skills to where he would be ready to fight some elite Pound for Pound fighters. That, of course, is thinking ahead, and for now Broner has shown some exciting prospects, garnered himself already a World title, and should be on the road to fighting the best the Super Featherweight division has to offer.
ALVAREZ-CINTRON FIGHT SUMMARY:
HBO’s main event for “Boxing After Dark” was hoping to showcase the undefeated Mexican superstar, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs), 21. Alvarez was looking to defend his WBC Junior Middleweight Championship for the third time against the most recognizable name he had ever faced, former World Champion originally from Puerto Rico, Kermit Cintron (33-5-1, 28 KOs), 32. Alvarez captured the WBC Junior Middleweight Championship less than a year ago against Matthew Hatton, and then routed Ryan Rhodes with ease in his first title defense. Many in the boxing world, with high boxing IQ’s mind you, believed that Alvarez’s potential could shoot to the stratosphere. That notion dipped after Alvarez came in lackadaisical two months ago in September, when Alvarez fought the not-world-class Alfonso Gomez. In that bout, Alvarez was getting hit by shots that he should not be getting hit by, his enthusiasm and energy were not there, and he seemed to be looking for an easy win. Gomez took advantage of this and made Alvarez look unspectacular through six rounds until Alvarez launched a vicious assault that led to a stoppage in the sixth. Though some dispute the TKO 6 result, and believe it was a premature stoppage. So because of Alvarez’s unimpressive showing, those stratosphere potential buzzings were then met with skeptics for the past few months. With Kermit Cintron, here lied an opponent for Alvarez that was superior in skill and resume to Gomez. So, if Alvarez could have a more impressive showing against Cintron than he did against Gomez, it would surely quiet more skeptics and excite those who have high hopes for Alvarez. Once the bell rang in Mexico City, it was apparent Alvarez had set out to do just that, and that he did.
The first round was a feeling out process, but after that Alvarez showcased exactly why some in the sport, this site included, believe that it is quite possible Alvarez can one day be the best fighter, Pound for Pound in boxing ( it does not hurt that Sergio Martinez, Floyd Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao are in their 30s, and getting older). While it is obvious thats a vastly hasty statement to make for the Twenty one year old, it just speaks volumes to his talent and potential. Sure, Alvarez has fine tuning in many areas, as he is far from a finished product, but that is the scary part. Against Cintron, from the second stanza on, it looked like man vs boy. Except that, the 32 year old Cintron was the boy, and Alvarez was the man. Cintron’s record shows he can pack a punch, as he holds a very high knockout percentage. However not only did his shots not buckle or affect Alvarez (aside from Alvarez banging his gloves together asking for some more) they paled in comparison to Alvarez’s own shots, which looked thudding and thunderous in contrast. Do not be misled either, Alvarez was not fighting Cintron at all times like a bull; not at all.
Alvarez has what most Mexican born fighters do not (particularly at this weight) and that is some very, very good hand speed, and hand speed for the most part cannot be taught. Neither can punching power, and the good lord summoned that upon Alvarez too. So with his blessings in speed and coordination, Alvarez fought the style he choose at will, not what Cintron dictated to him. By the fourth round, Alvarez was coming forward and continuously awaiting Cintron to open up just so he can counter punch in combination. That is something to behold, in any fighter let alone a young fighter. Usually when a fighter is pursing another he is trying to be aggressive and get off first, what Alvarez was doing was putting pressure on Cintron hoping Cintron would open up just so he could counter him, the oddity in that is in countering, the man doing so typically is going backwards, not forward. Alvarez almost appeared to be fighting in such a style as to “try it out” to add some more nuances to his game. Besides the new found counterpunching in his repertoire, Alvarez still showed he can go after a guy and beat him up, walking through Cintron when he wanted, and whacking at his body. Alvarez finally took the surprisingly over matched Cintron out of his misery at 2:53 in the 5th round via TKO. There has yet to be any glaring weaknesses in a focused Alvarez (not the man who showed up this past September against Alfonso Gomez) besides his youth and inexperience, two qualities that will come his way.
“Canelo” Alvarez presents a beautiful package: He’s the hardest punching Junior Middleweight in the world, incredibly strong, and may just be the fastest as well. He can counter punch, take a punch, does not mind a brawl, does not mind boxing either, he is very intelligent, and most importantly ( if you are a promoter that is) he is highly, highly, marketable. Good looking Red headed pure blooded Mexican fighters that can punch like a Junior Middleweight George Foreman do not come around too often, can you name another one? Only mistake Alvarez made was calling out Floyd Mayweather after the fight. Make no mistake about it, one has to love the bravado in a young fighter, the willingness already to fight the best there is to offer. However, there are plenty of fights in the Junior Middleweight and Middleweight divisions for Alvarez to face off against to earn a fight of that magnitude, to help build his own resume, and to make fights with bigger names down the road even bigger.
His mandatory challenger right now is James Kirkland, fresh off a scintillating performance weeks ago against Alfredo Angulo in an upset. Nobody would object to that, or the winner of the Cotto-Margarito grudge match, in which the winner walks away with the WBA Junior Middleweight Championship. So, if Alvarez were to face the winner, and be successful, he would make himself undoubtedly top dog at Junior Middleweight, being the unified Champion. Than there is always the Middleweight Champion of the World, Sergio Martinez, and Mexico’s other superstar, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Who Alvarez labels “The Devil.” Any of those match ups mentioned would be mouth watering. There are those who say “boxing is dead” and then there are those who say “once Mayweather and Pacquiao fight, or retire, boxing is done.” After seeing the performances from two young blossoming prospects on “Boxing After Dark.” It is almost comical to make such a statement, Alvarez and Broner showed that boxing has quite the bright future with the sport in their hands, along with many others.