RingTV.com caught up to former WBO 130-pound titleholder Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner on the day after his HBO-televised fifth-round knockout of Vicente Escobedo at U.S. Bank Arena in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati.
The stoppage win was the fifth straight for Broner (24-0, 20 knockouts) against Escobedo (26-4, 15 KOs), a 30-year-old who was knocked out for the first time in his career and whose four-fight winning streak was ended.
Escobedo did not attend the post-fight press conference, owing to the fact that he visited the hospital for a possible broken nose, according to Golden Boy Promotions’ COO David Itskowitch and Escobedo’s manager, Rolando Arellano.
Broner discussed his overall performance in the ring against Escobedo, as well as the fact that the fight was contested over the junior lightweight limit because Broner missed weight, an infraction that cost him his WBO belt at the scales.
Broner began the post-fight, in-the-ring interview with a mock marriage proposal to his girlfriend, Arien Nicole Gazaway, only to get down on one knee and to have her brush his hair, as he has had his father do in the past.
Broner also used that moment to call out WBC lightweight beltholder Antonio DeMarco of Tijuana, Mexico, as well as four-division beltwinner Juan Manuel Marquez, of Mexico City, and former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios.
Meanwhile, WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel told RingTV.com that Broner will be named the No. 1 contender to the title owned by WBO lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns (34-2, 9 KOs), of Scotland, who has a defense opposite Kevin Mitchell (33-1, 24 KOs), of England, on Sept. 22.
Broner said he would initially target the southpaw DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs), who will make his third defense against rugged John Molina (24-1, 19 KOs) of Covina, Calif., on the undercard of a main event featuring RING light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson and RING super middleweight champion Andre Ward Sept. 8 on HBO.
DeMarco, 26, will be after his fifth straight victory and his fourth stoppage during that time since being stopped in the ninth round by the late Venezuelan Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) in February of 2010. DeMarco failed in his bid to earn the WBC lightweight strap in what was the final bout of Valero’s career.
In October of last year, DeMarco scored a come-from-behind 11th-round knockout of former two-division beltholder Jorge Linares for the vacant title that he now owns. DeMarco is coming off a fifth-round stoppage of Miguel Roman in March.
RingTV.com: How was it fighting at U.S. Bank Arena for the second time?
Adrien Broner: You know, I’ve fought at home for quite a long time. But it feels good. I love fighting at home. I love putting on a show. It was fun.
RingTV.com: Where does this win rank in terms of your opponents, say, in comparison to the win over Daniel Ponce de Leon?
AB: You know, Ponce de Leon was an Olympian and this guy was an Olympian. It was good opposition against borh guys, but they had different styles. You know, you can’t fight everybody the same way.
Styles make fights. At the end of the day, you know, I looked phenomenal, and I knocked the guy out. I got the victory, so it was a good performance.
RingTV.com: Why did you know that it was time to say “I’m going to walk him down” in your corner to start the fifth, where you finished off Escobedo and knocked him out?
AB: I had been breaking him down every round, and I wanted to take him into the deep waters of the fight to show my conditioning. He came to fight.
But, you know, his corner stepped in and stopped the fight. You know, I respect Escobedo as a fighter, and he’s a good fighter. But, you know, I’m ‘The Problem.’
RingTV.com: In regard to weigh-in controversy, would you do anything differently, what have you learned from this, what in general do you take away from this fight and the entire experience?
AB: I’m just growing up, you know? I’m still maturing in this game. I’m maturing mentally and physically. This is a growing process, and I’m going to be around for a long time.
RingTV.com: What do you have to say to your critics?
AB: I really don’t think about that stuff. I don’t think about that at all.
RingTV.com: If you could choose, whom would you face first — DeMarco, Rios or Marquez?
AB: I’m most definitely going to go back to the drawing board and discuss those fights and my future with my management, with [adviser] Al Haymon, but I would like to fight DeMarco first.
I think that with my style and his style, that would be fun. I really don’t know about the fight that he has coming up, but it would be fun to fight him. It would be a lot of fun. It would be great entertainment. It’s all about having fun.
RingTV.com: What about the chance to face Burns?
AB: If DeMarco don’t fight me, then, yeah, it would be Ricky Burns if he would fight me. We’ll have to see what happens.
RingTV.com: What is your girlfriend’s name?
RingTV.com: How did you come up with the mock marriage proposal move?
AB: I just felt like I needed to do it. I was just having fun. That was fun.
RingTV.com: She looked surprised and so did your mother, but were they aware of it?
RingTV.com: You said that you believed in true love at first sight, so will you end up marrying her?
Photo by Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com