LAS VEGAS — THE RING’s No. 3-rated junior lightweight Adrien Broner will defend his WBO crown against Vicente Escobedo in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati on July 21, Golden Boy Promotions will announce during a Wednesday press conference at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
Often compared, style-wise, to WBC welterweight and junior middleweight titleholder, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Broner (23-0, 19 knockouts) is coming off an HBO televised fourth-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Eloy Perez (23-1-2, 7 KOs) in February.
Escobedo (26-3, 15 KOs) was last in the ring in May for a unanimous decision over Juan Ruiz in Escobedo’s hometown of Woodland, Calif.
Broner, 22, was on hand at the Hard Rock Hotel on Friday, where former undisputed middleweight titlewinner Kelly Pavlik scored a seventh-round knockout over Scott Sigmon.
“Escobedo is good, but at the end of the day, I’m Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner, so it doesn’t who is on the other side of that ring. I’m going to do my thing always,” said Broner, whose out-of-the ring antics include being rapper, “AJ Da Problem” in Youtube videos, and having his father brush his hair in the ring after fights.
“It doesn’t matter who gets in there with me, the same result is going to happen. I’m going get in there, I’m going to come in dancing, I’m going to leave out dancing, and I’m going to come in smiling. I’m going to have fun with this thing, man, that’s what I do.”
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.
Perez entered the fight 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.
Another fighter who is expected to be at ringside for Pacquiao-Bradley is former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs).
Broner would like to face Gamboa.
“I wasn’t going to fight at 130 no more, but Escobedo wouldn’t fight me at 135, so we’re going to fight at 130 one more time. I was hoping to fight Gamboa. I want to fight Gamboa,” said Broner.
“I don’t know if he wants to fight me, but it really don’t matter. Who wants to wake up in the morning having to remember that they have to face Adrien Broner in the afternoon?”
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org