WBC lightweight titleholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner will return to the ring on Feb. 16 most likely in Atlantic City on HBO as the main event of a double-header to include a rematch between heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer informed RingTV.com on Saturday.
The opponent for the 23-year-old Broner (25-0, 21 knockouts), who is coming off last month’s eighth-round knockout that dethroned Antonio DeMarco in Atlantic City on HBO, is to be confirmed after Dec. 15, according to Schaefer.
But Schaefer said the leading candidate to face Broner is WBO lightweight beltholder holder Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KOs), a 29-year-old who will pursue his 21st consecutive win and his eighth stoppage during that run on Dec. 15 in London against Jose Ocampo (17-5-1, 12 KOs) of the Philippines.
“If WBO champion Ricky Burns wins next weekend, then he would be the leading contender to land the fight,” said Schaefer. “If he is not available, Golden Boy has been discussing other opponents for Broner.”
A former WBO junior lightweight titletholder, Broner has won five straight by knockout, and ended DeMarco’s streak of five consecutive wins, four of them by stoppage.
On the Broner-DeMarco undercard, Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) floored Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 KOs) three times in the second and final round, ending a streak for Mitchell that had gone for 23 consecutive victories, 18 of which were knockouts, including the past 10 straight.
Banks also rose to 9-0-1, with five stoppage wins during thar run as a heavyweight, last falling in his final bout as a 200-pound cruiserweight by eighth-round stoppage against Tomasz Adamek in February of 2009.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org