When WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco begins trading leather with Adrien Broner at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Nov. 17, DeMarco’s promoter, Gary Shaw, won’t expect his fighter to try to match the slick-boxing former WBO junior lightweight titleholder punch-for-punch.
“DeMarco is a very accurate puncher. He’s not a volume puncher. Yet every shot that he throws has a target,” said Shaw of DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 knockouts).
“Now, those punches that he does throw, they hit the target very hard, and they’re called accumulative punches. When they make contact, they do damage in accumulative types of ways.”
That was the case nearly a year ago against two-division beltholder Jorge Linares on Oct. 15, when DeMarco scored what stands as perhaps the most significant win of his career.
Down, 98-92 on the cards of Jerry Cantu and Marshall Walker, and 99-91 on that of Joel Scobie, DeMarco unleashed a barrage of blows that forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to rescue the bludgeoned and bloody Linares at the 2:32 mark of the 11th.
Linares represented DeMarco’s second consecutive knockout win during a run of three straight triumphs since falling by ninth-round knockout to the late Venezuelan Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) in February of 2010, when DeMarco failed to earn the WBC’s lightweight belt in the final bout Valero’s career.
“Even from the beginning of the fight, I could tell that my punches were hurting (Linares). That became my focus and not whether I looked good or bad. I just tried to focus on landing my punches effectively, which was part of my preparation, and that’s why I believe I was able to win. That’s what we wanted to do from the beginning was to start out by really punishing him,” said DeMarco, during an interview last October with RingTV.com.
“We wanted to make him feel the punches. We thought that would be a way to stop his feet. So in about the fifth or sixth round, thanks to my determination, that was what made him slow down and begin to stand toe-to-toe more. I just believe that my heart was bigger than Jorge Linares. My desire grew and my desire was greater than his in the end.”
DeMarco said that he drew from his experience against Valero, which bore similarities to the bout against Linares. Where Linares out-landed DeMarco, 216-to-97 in total punches and 149-to-83 in power punches, Valero out-landed DeMarco 270-80 overall, 183-33 in power shots, and had an 87-47 advantage in jabs.
Like he did against Linares, DeMarco bloodied Valero, his left hand opening a first-round cut beneath his rival’s right eye. In the second round, DeMarco opened a gash over Valero’s forehead as well as his right eyelid thanks to a left elbow that grazed the oncoming Valero’s face.
DeMarco said that he “never cared” about the scorecards against Linares “because we knew that we were in great shape.”
“His punches were not really hurting me at all. There may have been a few punches that I felt in the first round. But they were not enough to slow me down because I was determined. I knew that if I stayed focused, that it was just a matter of time before I wore him down,” said DeMarco.
“After the 10th round, we came out looking for the knockout because at that point, we knew that we needed the knockout to get the victory. There was a one-two combination that landed. After that, I realized that he was mine, and I wasn’t going to stop punching him until they stopped the fight.”
DeMarco, 26, will be after his sixth straight win and his fifth by stoppage during that run opposite Broner (24-0, 20 KOs). The veteran southpaw is coming off a 44-second knockout of John Molina on Sept. 8.
“What makes this a special fight is that Broner is supposed to be the A-side. But for Broner, this is a major step up, because DeMarco has been in there with Valero and Linares,” said Shaw.
“They’re two of the best fighters at that weight, and they’re huge punchers. So what makes this interesting is if Broner will be able to handle a real, first-class fighter like Antonio DeMarco.”
Broner, 23, is coming off his fourth straight stoppage victory with an HBO-televised knockout of Vicente Escobedo in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati also in July.
Before entering the ring against Escobedo, Broner lost his WBO belt at the scales for missing the contracted weight of 130 pounds both the day prior to the fight and during a Saturday morning re-weigh.
Since winning a unanimous decision over current WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon in March of last year, Broner has scored first-, third- and fourth-round knockouts over Jason Litzau in June of last year, Martin Rodriguez in November and Eloy Perez in February.
“Antonio DeMarco is a very straight puncher, which I’m sure Broner knows,” said Shaw. “We respect Broner, but DeMarco is a tremendous finisher. So if DeMarco hurts Adrien Broner at all, then he knows how to finish him.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com