Lem Satterfield

Broner, DeMarco ready to let fists do the talking

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Undefeated former WBO junior lightweight beltholder Adrien Broner “is coming to knock out” WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco, who vows to “be the first person to beat Broner” when they clash as part of an HBO-televised double-header at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Nov. 17.

A gifted 23-year-old out of Cincinnati who is promoted by Golden Boy, Broner (24-0, 20 knockouts) called out DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, following July’s HBO-televised knockout of Vicente Escobedo at the U.S. Bank Arena in Broner’s hometown.

“I’m not coming just to win this fight, I’m coming to knock DeMarco out,” said Broner, who has never officially fought as a lightweight, but lost his WBO belt at the scales before entering the ring against Escobedo, having missed the contracted weight of 130 pounds both the day prior to the fight and during a Saturday morning re-weigh.

“This fight is speed vs. power and it’s going to be just another day in the ring for me. Going up in weight is going to be different and I know he can hit, but you can’t hit what you can’t see and I’m too fast and furious for him.  Power is nothing if you can’t connect. It’s like moving a sack of rocks.”

Promoted by Gary Shaw, DeMarco, 27, who is coming off last month’s 44-second knockout of John Molina, which represented his fifth straight win and his fourth by stoppage during that run.

“I applaud HBO for making this fight a reality, because this is the type of fight that boxing fans around the world can appreciate. My fighter, world champion Antonio DeMarco, is a warrior and a proud champion who brings nothing but pure excitement to the ring,” said Shaw.

“Broner has never face a fighter like DeMarco or his level of competition.  For Antonio it’s another fight in which the challenger talks about upsetting the champion, but DeMarco knows what he needs to do to retain his title.”

Molina entered the fight with a mark of 24-1 that included 19 KOs and had won six straight fights, five of them by knockout, before facing DeMarco.

“This is another tough fight that has been presented to me and I’m going to do everything to keep my WBC title,” said DeMarco, who last suffered defeat by ninth-round stoppage to the late Edwin Valero in February of 2010.

“Broner talks a big game, but he’s never been in the ring with a hungry Mexican fighter like me. I wanted this fight from the moment it was offered to me because I know I’ll be the first person to beat Broner and put him in his place. When I put my hands on him, he’ll regret his decision to move up to my division.”

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In the co-feature, heavyweight prospect Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-0-1, 19 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., will take on Johnathon Banks (28-1-1, 18 KOs), of Detroit.

“This is the perfect double-header the week before the Thanksgiving holiday because I guarantee that when it’s over, you’ll be thanking these four boxers for two great fights,” said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions.

“Broner vs. DeMarco is a great mix of styles, and we’ll see how Adrien handles the move up to lightweight against a hard and accurate puncher like DeMarco. The heavyweight fight between Mitchell and Banks should produce an American heavyweight ready to fight for a world title, and I can’t wait to see who prevails.”

Mitchell is considered by many to be America’s best hope at ending the country’s drought of champions in a division dominated by the Ukrainian Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir.

No U.S.-born fighter has held a heavyweight title since 2007, when Shannon Briggs briefly wore the WBO’s strap. In 2006, Hasim Rahman held the WBC belt while the IBF title was held by Chris Byrd.

Mitchell was forced out of a scheduled July 14 bout against Banks as a result of having strained his right hand.

“It’s taken a while, but I’m happy to finally be back in action and fighting a great opponent like Johnathon Banks,” said Mitchell, 30, who scored his 10th straight knockout victory in the third round over Chazz Witherspoon at Boardwalk Hall in April.

“I love fighting in Atlantic City because I know my fans from Maryland and the [Washington,] D.C. area will be out in force cheering me on. I am going to give them all a great fight.”

A longtime sparring partner for the Klitschkos, Banks has gone 8-0-1, with four stoppages since, himself, being knockout in the eighth round by Tomasz Adamek in February of 2009.

Banks appeared to poke fun at the fact that Mitchell is a former scholarship linebacker at Michigan State who was named Maryland’s Defensive Player of the Year at Gwynn Park High in Brandywine by the Associated Press. Mitchell began boxing shortly after graduating from college with a degree in criminal justice.

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“I’m looking to steal the show on November 17,” said Banks, 30, who was last in the ring for a unanimous decision victory over Nicolai Firtha in February.

“I’ll prove what a true boxer at the highest level can do against a football player. The winner of our fight should be next in line for a title shot. I plan on making sure that winner is me.”

The card is being televised starting at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, with tickets going on sale on Thursday at noon ET and being priced at, $200, $100, $50 and $25. Tickets will be available for purchase at the Boardwalk Hall box office by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com.

 

Photos by Naoki Fukuda

Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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