In 2012, Adrien “The Problem” Broner, Cincinnati, Ohio, (25-0, 21 KOs), sent a tidal wave through the boxing world with three dominant, virtuoso performances. The last of which was last November in the previously hurricane Sandy strucken Atlantic City, against rugged WBC Lightweight world champion, Antonio Demarco. Demarco was suppose to be the stiffest test of the yet to be tested sensation Broner. What ensued however, was Broner wrecking through Demarco as hurricane Sandy had wrecked through parts of the east coast. Demarco, whose sole loss was to the now deceased heavy hitting Edwin Valero, hadn’t even succumbed to the canvas though he was stopped inside of twelve rounds. In 2011, Demarco awed the audience that was on hand at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California. After taking a beating through much of ten one-sided rounds, Demarco unleashed a fury of punches that ended his foe’s, Jorge Linares, seemingly inevitable victory towards capturing the WBC Lightweight championship of the world. It was one of the most incredible comebacks the sport had witnessed in not just recent times, but in all of boxing history. With Demarco’s gutsy showing, coupled with a first round knockout title defense over John Molina after defeating Linares in their epic eleven round thriler, there was no denying that Demarco, even if being bombarded with sledgehammers wouldn’t slow down if he had any say about it. None of his incredible resliency could save him against the hard hitting, hard to hit, Broner. So in the midst of another grueling eighth round, Demarco’s corner put an end to the stoppage. And Adrien Broner, at his first fight in the lightweight division, had dominated the division’s highest rated fighter. Broner may still have his doubters whom say he’s not the next man to be atop the pound-for-pound rankings, but he silenced any notion that he was all flash and no substance.
In boxing, when an opponent comes in with very, very slim odds, they sometimes get labled as “The opponent” and this is why Broner’s Adversary, former WBA junior welterweight champion of the world, Gavin Rees, Newbridge, Wales, United Kingdom (37-1-1, 18 KOs), has yet to be spoken of in this piece. Let this site clarify something right now: Gavin Rees isn’t a push over. He was a former word champion. With, regardless of opposition, a great professional record. The only reason it took so long to get to the Wales native, is because of how talented Adrien Broner is. The expectations for this fight aren’t about who is going to win, but rather, how good can Broner look against a good fighter? Can Rees exploit holes in Broner’s game that will allow experts, critics, and fans alike to assume fighters of a higher caliber can take whatever Rees is able to accomplish and further it? Anything can happen in boxing, ask Mike Tyson in Tokoyo back in 1990 against James “Buster” Douglas. So it would be foolish to have just about any fight, this one included, decided before the opening bell rings. The truth is though, Ricky Burns, the world’s WBO Lightweight champion, has seemed quite hesistant to step foot in the ring with Broner. And Miguel Vaszquez, the IBF world champion, already has a scheduled bout with the previously mentioned Burns. So in a sense, Broner was left without a dance partner. Though, he’s far from taking the ugliest girl in school to the prom. Immediately when HBO announced this fight everybody screamed “Mismatch!” What they fail to realize is that Broner is taking on one of the tougher opponenets available. He’s only had one fight at lightweight, and the two previously mentioned supposed toughest challenges are facing each other in March. So those egging him on to perhaps move up in weight may be echoing their sentiments a bit too prematurely. Perhaps they fail to realize that the 23 year old Broner is still being groomed, and because of the talents he’s displayed they already want to see him in there with the sports’ finest. Which, if you view it in that prespective, boasts just how talented his showings have been. Wether people like him or not. All the best have done it, from Ali, to Roy Jones. Not every fight is going to be the dream match up fans clamor for, it is what it is. But the fight being presented to us tonight on HBO’s World Championship Boxing is not a joke of a fight, and if it turns out to be one let it be clear that it speaks more to Broner’s talents than Rees’s lack there of. Gavin Rees is a good fighter. But to paraphrase what Broner himself usually says, he can make good or great fighters look ordinary. And that is what Broner is expected to do, wether fair or not, and this publication believes he will do so. There is no one advantage Rees can employ on Broner to gain an advantage in this bout. In just about every category, if not all of them, Broner has Rees beat. And barring the extraordinarily unexpected, Broner will impress and continue his acension towars stardom.
BLEACHER REPORT BOXING’S FINAL PREDICTION: ADRIEN BRONER, MID ROUND STOPPAGE.