ATLANTIC CITY — Former WBO junior lightweight titletholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner delivered a beat-down of epic proportions on the way to an eighth-round knockout to dethrone Antonio DeMarco as WBC lightweight titleholder in Saturday night’s HBO-televised clash at Boardwalk Hall.
In victory, Broner improved to 25-0, with 21 knockouts, earninig his fifth straight knockout, and ending DeMarco’s streak of five consecutive wins, four of them by stoppage, since falling by ninth-round knockout to the late Venezuelan Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) last February.
“Broner is special,” said DeMarco’s promoter, Gary Shaw. “I’m proud of DeMarco for fighting the way that he fought.”
Over rounds four through eight, Broner averaged 39 power shots landed, nearly triple the weight class average of 14. Broner landed, in succession, 52, 40, 32, and, 37 power shots in the last four rounds, choosing to wage battle from close range where he repeatedly pummeled DeMarco (28-3-1, 21 KOs).
The end came at 1:49 of the eighth, when a right uppercut by Broner drove DeMarco backward and to the canvas. Referee Benjy Esteves was about to begin the count when DeMarco’s corner stepped on the ring apron, waved a white towel and signaled the end to the fight.
“I was shakin and bakin him until I flipped him up. I knew coming into the fight that it was going to be a world class fight. But I knew he didn’t have the skills to beat me. I wanted to make a statement tonight, and I did,” said Broner, who was coming off a fifth-round stoppage of Vicente Escobedo in July.
“He was definitely the toughest opponent that I’ve faced. He’s strong and could take a punch. I’ll fight anybody. I’m going to be running this city and sport for a long time to come. I don’t try to knock out people, but I know that I have the ability to press them and get the cheese.”
All three judges — John Stewart, Alejandro Rochin and Steve Weisfeld — had Broner wining, 69-64.
“It was hard to penetrate his defense,” said DeMarco, who was coming off a 44-second knockout of John Molina. “His shoulder-roll made it difficult. It was a hard fight, but I’ll be back.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org