ATLANTIC CITY– WBC lightweight beltholder Antonio DeMarco and former WBO junior lightweight titleltholder Adrien Broner each weighed in 134 1/2 pounds at Caesar’s Hotel for Saturday night’s HBO-televised showdown at Boardwalk Hall.
The 5-foot-10 DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 knockouts), a 26-year-old veteran southpaw from Los Mochis, Mexico, stood taller than the 5-7 Broner.
A 23-year-old boxer-puncher from Cincinnati who lost his WBO junior lightweight title on the scales, Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) looked ripped and chisled, his abdomen glistening against the glare of the lights.
‘YO ADRIEN, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU COULD USE A BEER!’
After weighing in, Broner enjoyed himself on stage while waiting for DeMarco to step on the scales.
Broner briefly posed with one of the ring card girls.
When an audience member, marveling at his sculpted physique, remarked, “Yo Adrien, you look like you could use a beer!” Broner quipped, “you like you just had one,” prompting laugher from many in sparse crowd.
During the briefest of stare downs with DeMarco, Broner could be seen mouthing the words, “it’s fight time,” three times.
GARY SHAW CALLS DEMARCO ‘UNDER-RATED’
Promoter Gary Shaw does not believe that DeMarco has received proper recognition, having won five straight since falling by ninth-round knockout to the late Venezuelan Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) in February of 2010, the final bout of Valero’s career.
“I just think that Tony’s really underrated, and I don’t know why. I mean, if you look at his fights, and if you look at who he’s fought, he deserves more respect. But HBO has basically crowned Broner already,” said Shaw.
“Most of the press, if not all of the press, has already crowned Adrien Broner. But we’ll see what Antonio DeMarco is made of on Saturday night, and we’ll see what Broner does with a real 135-pounder.”
Broner 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.
“We didn’t think that they would really do the fight,” said Shaw. “But then, when Broner called out DeMarco, I mean, the fight was basically made. All DeMarco had to do was win his last fight in California in spectacular fashion.”
BRONER, DEMARCO TO WEAR ‘KNOCKOUT’ GLOVES
Shaw said DeMarco chose to wear Reyes gloves, considered the knockout gloves, for the fight. A Broner camp member said that he will wear Reyes as well.
Nicknamed “The Problem,” Broner has scored four consecutive stoppage victories since winning a unanimous decision over current WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon, a southpaw, in March of last year.
DeMarco 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 think that this fight is going to tell us who the real lightweight champion of the world is. At least in one division, we’re going to have one champion,” said HBO ringside scorer Harold Lederman.
“The reality is, we’ve never seen Adrien Broner in a bad fight. The guys comes to fight and he puts on a good show. He’s one of these guys that you think is another Floyd Mayweather. He’s colorful, and that’s all you can say about him.”
LEDERMAN WEIGHS IN ON THE BRONER-DEMARCO OFFICIALS
The Broner-DeMarco officials are referee Benjy Esteves, with judges Alejandro Rochin, Steven Weisfeld and John Stewart.
“Benjy Esteves is a good referee,” said Lederman. “Alejandro Rochin, I’ve never had any problems with. He’s from California and works a lot in Mexico. He’s a good judge.”
“John Stewart’s really good. John Stewart’s a real veteran. No problem there. Steve Weisfeld, he’s good. He’s a good solid judge from New Jersey, and he works a lot in New York. I think we’re good with the judges.”
BANKS AT HIS ‘BOXING’ WEIGHT
Not since his first heavyweight fight, a seventh-round knockout of Paul Butlin in June of 2009, has Banks been this light. The 6-3 Banks was at 218 1/4 against Butlin.
As a heavyweight, Banks takes an 8-0-1 mark that includes four knockouts into his clash with Mitchell, having last suffered defeat as a 200-pound cruiserweight by eighth-round stoppage against Tomasz Adamek in February of 2009.
“I like my weight. It’s good. Being 218, that’s a good moving around weight, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s about moving in the ring and boxing, so I’m good with that. My game plan is to fight, and to take it to him. It’s always good to be a boxer, because that’s what I am,” said Banks, who has weighed as much as 227 pounds.
“But I also know how to take it to him, so that’s what I’ll do. The game plan I have, I’m going to stick to it. The team that I have will make me stick to the game plan when the bell rings on Saturday night. It’s going to be a very, very good, intense fight. A lot of people are suspecting that I’ll run circles around the ring. But that’s not what it’s going to be about. I’m also going to take it to him some, too.”
MITCHELL: ‘I’LL BE VICTORIOUS”
Mitchell’s weight was consistent with what he has come in at over the course of his career. Since battling to a split-decision draw with Alvaro Morales in March of 2008, Mitchell has won 23 consecutive fights, including 18 by knockout, and has stopped his past 10 opponents.
“There’s nothing much to say about my weight,” said Mitchell. “I come within two or three pounds of the this same weight.”
Although he is coming off knockouts in the second and third rounds over Timur Ibragimov and Chazz Witherspoon in December of last year and April, respectively, Mitchell does not anticipate a quick night against Banks.
“His weight, he came in a little light, so I guess that he did a couple of extra miles and he came in here prepared. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I’m ready to go,” said Mitchell.
“I know he’s come in lighter than he has for his past few fights, so I know that he’s put in the work, and he’s taking this fight seriously. It’s going to be a good fight for the fans, but I’ll be victorious.”
For a succession of junior middleweight bouts, Canadian Phil LoGreco (24-0, 13 KOs) and rival Daniel Sostre (11-7-1, 4 KOs) weighed 149, and, 146, respectively; Philadelphia’s Demetrius Hopkins (31-2-1, 11 KOs), nephew of Bernard Hopkins, came in at 154.5 compared to 158 for opponent Joshua Snyder (9-7-1, 3 KOs); and Philadelphia’s Julian Williams (9-0-1, 4 KOs) and Jonuel Tapia (8-2-1, 5 KOs) were 154 and 154.5.
New York junior welterweight Zachary Ochoa (2-0, 2 KOs) and rival Michael Salcido (1-4) were 140.5 and 145, respectively, and Maryland lightweight Terron Grant (4-0, 2 KOs) weighed 130 to 131.5 for Abraham Esquivel.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com