ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The welterweight bout between Devon Alexander and Marcos Maidana is still the official main event to tonight’s HBO Boxing After Dark show at the Scottrade Center, but the showdown between Adrien Broner and Eloy Perez continues to command more fan attention, thanks to Broner’s non-stop trash talking, instigating antics and the general animosity between their camps during fight week.
Broner-Perez matchup continued to steal the spotlight from Alexander and Maidana at the weighin, which took place at city hall on Friday. The two unbeaten junior lightweights were the last to get on the scale, which is usually what the main event fighters do, but once again, they delivered drama and intensity that Alexander and Maidana have lacked in recent days.
After both weighed in at the division limit of 130 pounds, Broner (22-0, 18 knockouts) took an intimidation move straight from the playbook of his idol Floyd Mayweather by chocking Perez (23-0-2, 7 KOs) during their post-weighin staredown. The brief throttle sparked a shout-and-shove session between the Broner and Perez’s camps.
Since Monday, the two camps, who were housed at the Westin, have gone at it verbally every time they see each other in the hotel (always after a series of insults from Broner). However, the heated final press conference on Thursday kicked the hostility up a notch. Members of Broner’s team almost came to blows with members of Perez’s in the lobby on Friday morning.
The managers of Broner and Perez were told to rein in members of their camps by the fighters’ promoter (Golden Boy Promotions). The number of team members that accompany each fighter to the ring tonight has been limited and extra security was hired for the arena.
Fans will find out soon if Broner and Perez continue to upstage the main event once they get into the ring.
The scheduled 10 rounder between Alexander (22-1, 13 KOs), who weighed in at 146.5 pounds, and Maidana (31-2, 28 KOs), who tipped the scales at 146.75, remains the better fight on paper.
The two HBO-televised fights are supported by six undercard bouts.
Lightweight prospect Sharif Bogere (21-0, 13 KOs) faces Sergio Rivera (25-8-2, 16 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout.
Heavyweight hopeful Deontay Wilder (20-0, 20 KOs) takes on Marlon Hayes (23-10, 12 KOs) in an eight rounder.
Welterweight KO artist Keith Thurman (15-0, 14 KOs) pits his power against Chris Fernandez (19-14-1, 12 KOs) in a six-round bout.
Junior middleweight prodigy Eddie Gomez (7-0, 6 KOs) faces David Lopez (3-7-3) in a six rounder.
Former amateur standout Chris Pearson (2-0, 1 KO) takes on fellow Ohioan Jeremy Wood (1-4, 1 KO) in a four-round middleweight bout.
Tyrone Chatman (8-1-1, 6 KOs) faces fellow St. Louis native Marlon Smith (2-0, 1 KO) in a four-round junior middleweight bout.
Photos / Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions and Craig Bennett