RING No. 3-rated junior lightweight Adrien Broner will defend his WBO crown against an opponent to be determined on the May 19 undercard of the HBO-televised rematch between IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltholder Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan before returning to his hometown of Cincinnati on Aug. 18.
Broner (23-0, 19 knockouts) is a personal friend of Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs), whom he supported when Peterson dethroned Khan (26-2, 18 KOs) by disputed split-decision in December in Peterson’s native Washington, D.C.
In the wake of the win over Perez, the flamboyant Broner has received acclaim as a potential successor to WBC welterweight titleholder, Floyd Mayweather Jr., whose fighting style he has admitted to emulating.
Broner, 22, is coming off last month’s HBO televised, fourth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Eloy Perez (23-1-2, 7 KOs) at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Broner’s biggest win prior to facing Perez was in March of last year, a disputed unanimous decision over former world titleholder, Daniel Ponce de Leon, before de Leon’s partisan fans in at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Two months later, Broner scored a first-round stoppage of Jason Litzau, followed by November’s third-round knockout in his last fight against Martin Rodriguez that earned the WBO’s vacant belt and ended the former titleholder’s unbeaten streak at 13-0-1, with nine knockouts.
The triumph over Rodriguez was accomplished before Broner’s partisan crowd at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, the last time Broner fought in his native Ohio.
“Like I’ve always said, I’m an entertainer,” said Broner, whose out-of-the ring antics included being rapper, “AJ Da Problem” in Youtube videos.
“I’ve got this movement going on called ‘The Band Camp,’ and it’s me doing my thing. We’re moving slowly but surely, and we’ll be on top of the game pretty soon.”
Perez entered thefight with Broner as THE RING’s No. 9-rated junior lightweight, and was coming off his second straight knockout victory, having stopped Ira Terry in the sixth round in October in the wake of September’s second-round stoppage of Daniel Jimenez that ended a run of three straight wins.
Perez’s signature victory had been a 10-round decision over Dannie Williams (21-1, 17 KOs), who has won nine consecutive fights, six of them by knockout, since falling to Perez in September of 2009.
One opponent being eyed for Broner is Vicente Escobedo (25-3, 15 KOs), who has scored three straight victories since dropping from lightweight, flooring each of his opponents at least once during each of the fights.
A former 2004 U.S. Oympian, Escobedo is coming off a first-round knockout of Lonnie Smith, whom Escpbedo’s floored three times before his hometown supporters in Woodland, Calif., on March 3.
Esbobedo ended Smith’s streak of nine consecutive victories that had included six stoppages. Prior to Smith, Escobedo had scored knockdowns in the seventh and third rounds over the course of unanimous decisions over Walter Estrada and Rocky Juarez in March and September of last year, respectively.
Like Broner, Escobedo is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, and his manager, Rolando Arellano, told RingTV.com that he would attempt to make the fight with Broner.
“I’ll let Rolando take care of that. I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me,” Escobedo told RingTV.com in an earlier interview. “Supposedly, that’s what he’s said, that if I get done with the fight against Lonnie, then it’s Broner. That’s fine with me.”
Escobedo has fought 11 times above the 130-pound weght limit, where he has suffered the losses by decision to Daniel Jiminez, Michael Katsidis and Robert Guerrero. Escobedo said the losses to superior fighters such as Katsidis and Guerrero served as an advantage against Smith.
“I felt when I fought against Robert Guerrero and Michael Katsidis, they were strong,” said Escobedo. “Katsidis kind of bullied me around the ring, so I definitely felt the difference.”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Chris Cozzone-Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org