SAN ANTONIO — The last time Adrien Broner was in a dogfight against a volume puncher with power was as a junior lightweight against former titleholder Danel Ponce de Leon in March of 2011. Broner escaped with a narrow and unpopular 10-round unanimous decision .
Since then, Broner (27-0, 22 knockouts) has earned title belts over three weight classes, with two of them coming against fighters similar in style to Ponce de Leon. Broner took the WBO’s junior lightweight belt by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November of 2011, and the WBC’s lightweight title following an eighth-round stoppage of Antonio DeMarco in November of last year.
In his last bout in June, Broner jumped two weight divisions for his 147-pound debut with a split-decision victory that dethroned Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi for the division’s WBA’s belt.
Although Broner failed to earn his seventh straight stoppage win against Malignaggi, he ended the loser’s five-bout winning streak after rising two weight classes from lightweight.
On Saturday on Showtime from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Broner, 24, will try to end another streak, this one being of three straight stoppage wins by Argentine Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs), whose run includes knockouts of Jesus Soto Karass and Josesito Lopez.
It is clear that Maidana plans to use a strategy similar to that employed by Ponce de Leon in an attempt to “go for the knockout” or to “make” Broner “quit.”
“I think that my advantage will be that Adrien Broner is a guy that stays in one spot and likes to take punches and try to block punches. But he’ll drop his guard at some point. When he does that, that will help me, because once he puts his guard down and stays in one spot, you know what the outcome is going to be,” said Maidana, during an interview with RingTV.com last month.
“I’m going to cut off the ring and I’m going to make him stand still and fight and throw a lot of punches at him from the time that the bell rings. I’m never going to allow him to get comfortable in the fight. I’m not going to let him get going on his plan of work. I’m going to make Adrien Broner as uncomfortable as I can. That will lead to the stoppage. I know for a fact that once he feels my punches and my power, that Adrien Broner will either quit or end up getting knocked out, because he has never been tested. Trust me: I have the power to knock him out.”
Meanwhile, Broner will best benefit from employing skills similar to those of boxer-punchers who have troubled Maidana in the past, including IBF beltholder Devon Alexander, and Amir Khan, and technicians like Andriy Kotelnik, who have beaten him. Experienced ex-beltholders Erik Morales and DeMarcus Corley also hindered Maidana before losing decisions.
Maidana was even dropped three times while scoring two knockdowns during a sixth-round knockout win over future 147-pound beltholder Victor Ortiz in June of 2009.
“One more thing that people don’t understand is the guys he knocked out he was able to hit. He’s got to hit me first. He has to hit me first, and he’s never been hit by me… Maidana, he’s definitely a proven hard-hitting puncher, but he’s got to hit me. It’s not like I’m going to let him hit me. He’s got to hit me,” said Broner, calling Maidana a “hard-hitting, body-bruising, bone-cracking puncher.”
“I don’t go up to a fight looking for the knockout. If the knockout presents itself, then you know I got to take it. But, I’m going to go in there focused and once he shows me what he brings to the table, I’m going to do what I got to do to get my victory. I can tell you one thing, that guy better be prepared. I just hope he’s in shape and he’s ready to fight to death the 12 rounds.”
Since falling to Alexander in his 147-pound debut last February, Maidana believes that his past experiences will help him against Broner, having aligned with trainer Robert Garcia, who also handles fighters such as Rios, Nonito Donaire, Mikey Garcia and Brandon Rios.
“In the past, I’ve had a few problems with boxers, slick boxers, but I don’t think Broner is such a slick boxer. He’s talented, but I’m preparing well,” said Maidana.
“I had great sparing partners this time. I adjusted myself and be sure that Adrien is going to respect me in the ring. I will make sure that he respects me in the ring.”
Below, RingTV.com sought the opininions of 25 boxing insiders as to their thoughts on what will transpire in Broner-Maidana.
Adrien Broner UD12 Marcos Maidana: I’m still not sold on Adrien Broner being a full-fledged welterweight. I thought he looked good-not-great against Paulie Malignaggi.
I expect him to deliver a showcase performance versus Marcos Maidana, but also reminded of the power difference between the two. Maidana’s toughness is overstated, but his punching power is for real.
Broner will get tagged enough to know not to get too careless, but at the same time “get down” enough to keep the crowd entertained and a steady lead on the scorecards throughout.
Adrien Broner UD Marcos Maidana: It’s a very tricky fight. But Adrien Broner is a very tricky fighter, much more so than Marcos Maidana. Dynamic possibilities in Broner’s varied skill set are still a year, maybe more, from achieving their potential. Broner’s got a lot of growing up to do.
Will he be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr? Or the next Zab Judah? A look at his career’s direction is part of the intrigue in only his second bout at 147 pounds against dangerous power evident in Maidana’s 31 stoppages in 34 fights. Broner has to be smart and careful. He has enough speed to elude Maidana’s crippling shots.
Broner’s own punches are also precise enough to hurt, confuse and even knock down Maidana, who has been on the canvas four times — once in a narrow loss by decision to Amir Khan and three times in a victory over Victor Ortiz. Khan’s fast hands and agile feet troubled Maidana. That speed and agility will keep Broner out of harm’s way and ahead on the scorecards.
Record: 29-9 [Malignaggi SD 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner W12 Marcos Maidana: When asked who he’d like to face next after his last fight in the ring against Paulie Malignaggi, Adrien Broner offered boxing fans the opportunity to participate in some matchmaking by democracy. Fair enough, but they didn’t stuff the ballot box for Marcos Maidana as their first choice: That was Lucas Matthysse.
Credit to Broner for at least trying to give fans what they really want to see, but if that question also went to the polls, their selection would be unanimous. The people want to see “The Problem” solved. Such is the style of Broner that fans love to hate him and will pay and pay again to see him lose.
Unfortunately for those fans, Maidana is not a viable candidate to unseat Broner as WBA welterweight champion. The Argentine can be out-boxed by a counter-puncher and he can be hurt when hit cleanly. Like he did against Antonio DeMarco last year, I expect Broner to put on a clinic and drop Maidana at least once on his way to a very wide decision win.
Record: 25-10 [Malignaggi W 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner TKO10 Marcos Maidana: Last time out Adrien Broner was made to look ordinary by Paulie Malignaggi in a disappointing fight.
The “Magic Man” was able to implement a game plan which prevented Adrien Broner from showcasing his impressive blend of speed and power, but Paulie was unable to inflict enough damage of his own to secure the decision.
By contrast Marcos Maidana is tailor made for the unbeaten American. He only fights coming forward, pays little attention to defense and Broner will enjoy a turkey shoot in this one.
Some may point to the Khan fight as evidence that the Argentinian can trouble a boxer, but Amir has the nasty habit of wasting punches and hanging around in the pocket.
Broner will counter Maidana’s crude assaults with ease and use the ring to his advantage. After four or five rounds Maidana will be sickened and reluctant to lead, which will give “The Problem” the invitation to release blazing attacks of his own. I think this will be a brutal demonstration of Broner’s talents and I hope Maidana doesn’t get badly hurt.
Record: 17-10 [Malignaggi SD 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Marcos Maidana: While Adrien Broner struggled at times with an inspired Paulie Malignaggi during his debut at 147, I believe Marcos Maidana’s aggression will better suit “The Problem’s” sharp-shooting style.
Like his mentor Floyd Mayweather Jr., Broner’s biggest strength on offense is his precise power punching and if Josesito Lopez was able to land 57 percent of his hardest punches against the Argentine, just imagine what Broner will do.
Maidana is in a strategic Catch-22. If he tries to crank up the volume as he did in past years his leakier defense will open up countering opportunities for Broner.
But if Maidana is more careful with his output, he takes away what he does best and he’ll allow Broner to set his own pace. Therefore, Maidana’s best chance is to land the big punch, which is always a dangerously limiting proposition against a multi-talented fighter like Broner.
The guess here is that Maidana will not go for the early KO, which will allow the slow-starting Broner adequate time to warm up and get into his rhythm. By the middle rounds he’ll be in a good enough groove to pile up points and pull away to a decisive decision.
Record: 21-7 [Ward W 12 Rodriguez]
James Gurr, guest/fan, Santa Monica, Caliif
Adrien Broner UD Marcos Maidana: This has the potential to be quite a fight, and Marcos Maidana will make a difficult outing for anyone. However, despite Broner’s less-than-scintillating performance against Paulie Malignaggi, I think his skills will see him through against the rugged Argentinian.
Maidana’s skill and balance have improved under Robert Garcia, but it still won’t be enough against the more naturally talented Broner. The only way Maidana can spring the upset is if Broner feels the propensity to get into a firefight. However, Broner should be too smart for that and will systematically pick Maidana apart.
He may score a knockdown, as Maidana can be hurt, but I don’t see Maidana getting stopped. Maidana will have his moments, especially if he can get Broner against the ropes, but he is still too raw to overcome Broner’s natural gifts.
Record: 0-1 [Alvarado UD 12 Provodnikov]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Marcos Maidana: The gifts are there. And whether you agree with his lifestyle choices, Adrien Broner’s in-ring ability is far beyond that of Marcos Maidana and will present a major “Problem” (pun intended) for Chino.
Where Devon Alexander and Amir Khan were both able to defeat Maidana with a disciplined technical attack from the outside, Broner is a superior boxer and will use his range and power to keep Maidana at bay all night.
Surely, Broner will get sucked into a minor brawl to see if he can finish Chino, but trainer Mike Stafford will keep his urge to fight in close quarters at a minimum.
There is a possibility that Broner stops Maidana to prove a point after his underwhelming performance against Paulie Malignaggi. But I think that Broner will play it smart and punish Maidana en route to a unanimous decision. Ultimately, over the next couple of fights we’re about to figure out whether Broner is the next Floyd Mayweather or Zab Judah.
Record: 14-2 [Judah UD 12 Malignaggi]
Adrien Broner UD12 Marcos Maidana: While a gifted offensive fighter, Adrien Broner is flawed enough defensively to consider the heavy-handed Marcos Maidana a live underdog.
We’ll learn how complete of a welterweight Broner is in this fight because Maidana will test his chin, something Broner didn’t need to worry about when he fought Paulie Malignaggi in his welterweight debut.
If he takes Maidana’s power well, Broner’s boxing ability should carry him to a unanimous-decision win against an opponent with plenty of defensive flaws of his own.
Record: 22-8 [Judah SD 12 Malignaggi]
Marcos Maidana KO 6 Adrien Broner: Adrien Broner is at the moment America’s hope for future boxing stardom with Andred Ward seemingly never to be a big draw. The detractors and “haters” of Broner are many, the Internet boxing forums are filled with comments to confirm that.
Marcos Maidana on the other hand is not well known outside of serious fans. On paper, this appears to be a steppingstone match up for the young American. Maidana has a couple losses and has shown in the past that he can be out-boxed by guys with movement and speed.
Broner is fast of hand, but let’s face it, he doesn’t present a lot of lateral movement. In fact, his Floyd Mayweather imitation is somewhat flawed as his stance is too wide. This would seem to be of little concern, but in this fight, it may make all the difference in the world.
The Argentine is a powerful puncher whot has improved defense and movement under the tutelage of Robert Garcia. Broner, with the wide stance, will, when pressured, have no means of escape, giving Maidana ample opertunity to land hard shots.
Broner can be hit, as seen in past fights, so expect fireworks early and often. With this being said, a fight going the distance is not likely to be scored for Maidana with the promotion backing Broner. So my prediction for the fight is mid-round stoppage for Maidana
Record: 2-2 [Pacquiao KO 9 Rios]
Edward “Revolver” Khabrov, guest/fan, Zaporozhye City, Ukraine
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner won controversial decisions against Daniel Ponce De Leon and Paulie Malignaggi, who, like Marcos Maidana, have impressive workrates.
Unlike Maidana, however, Ponce De Leon and Malignaggi are more skilled and technically sound. Maidana has been troubled by slick, fast and skilled boxers such as Devon Alexander and Amir Khan.
Although I don’t consider Broner to be as slick and illusive, he does have a good handspeed, defense and accuracy even as he’s often flat-footed and boxing out of a wide stance. At any rate, I see Broner using his speed and skills to outbox Maidana.
Record: 1-1 [Golovkin mid-round TKO Stevens]
Marcos Maidana TKO 10 Adrien Broner: The logical choice here is Adrien Broner. He seems like the next big thing, but I’m going against logic in this one. I still want Broner to prove it to me. He has looked good, but with the exception of Paulie Malignaggi and Daniel Ponce de Leon, he has fought D-level opposition, and he certainly was NOT dominant against either Paulie or Ponce.
Broner was pushed to the limit in both. Maidana, on the other hand, has the far superior level of opposition. I know what Marcos has: Major guts, major balls, major punch. He’ll probably get knocked down, he usually does. However, he always gets up.
He’ll fall behind, but he’ll be relentless, he won’t give up. While Maidana is losing early and middle rounds, he will still be doing damage, and I think it will catch up to Broner late. Marcos takes it by late stoppage.
Record: 23-12 [Malignaggi SD 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner W12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner still has yet to prove his power has carried over from the lightweight division, and he certainly has his work cut for him with a brick wall like Marcos Maidana.
However, Maidana struggles with swift guys who can box, and I see Broner flustering him with his hand speed and movement the same way Devon Alexander did last year.
Record: 21-9 [Malignaggi W 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner is brazen enough to try and embarrass Marcos Maidana, kind of like a young Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Can Maidana land a turn-it-around punch? Maybe. That aside, he should not be able to substantially damage Broner.
Record: 19-10 [Ward KO Rodriguez]
Adrien Broner W12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana is rugged and determined, but does he have the skills needed to defeat Adrien Broner?
I say no.
Maidana has one of the biggest hearts in the game. His boxing skills have improved under the tutelage of new trainer Robert Garcia.
Broner is loaded with talent. He can box and punch. His chin is something of a question mark. Maidana should be able to supply some answers.
I see a highly charged fight for a few rounds with possible knockdowns. Broner will eventually take over and win by unanimous decision.
Record: 17-5 [Malignaggi W 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Matt Richardson: This could wind up being yet another tight fight on the scorecards, but I cant see Marcos Maidana being the one with his fist held up at the end.
Frankly, if Adrien Broner is as good as he has looked — and been hyped to be — he should be able to comfortably box his way to a unanimous decision.
Record: 25-9 [Malignaggi W 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: I expect Marcos Maidana to give a spirited effort and really test Adrien Broner on Saturday night.
Maidana’s sheer will and power make him dangerous, yet I see Broner being a little more talented and have a feeing he will be on his game.
I also think Broner will have filled out a little better at 147 pounds compared to his welterweight debut against Paulie Malignaggi. I would have to pick Broner to win an entertaining decision in this one.
Record: 20-7 [Judah W 12 Malignaggi]
Adrien Broner KO Marcos Maidana: Both men make for fun offensive fights and Adrien Broner, betraying the hype, isn’t the defensive wizard some think he is. He gets hit in most fights, and Marcos Maidana can hit with the best of them.
Unfortunately, he still gets hit much more than Broner, and the fledgling porn star knows how to use his feet for space. Devon Alexander multiplied the offense on Maidana and had him looking weary.
Broner has more firepower than Devon and, while Maidana may have some fun moments, Broner breaks him down before its over.
Record: 26-10 [Judah W 12 Malignaggi]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Marcos Maidana will always be dangerous because of his tenacity and power. But he doesn’t have the all-around ability to compete against a boxer as slick as Adrien Broner, assuming Broner doesn’t get too bold or careless.
Record: 20-7 [Stevenson KO 10 Bellew]
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner has too much ability for Marcos Maidana to stay with him. Broner wins a boxing exhibition.
Record: 26-6 [Judah W 12 Malignaggi]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Marcos Maidana: I’m going with Broner to use more speed and lateral movement than he did with Paulie. He will fight a much smarter fight and will win a unanimous decision
Record: 21-6 [Stevenson KO Bellew]
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: As much as you would hope that Marcos Maidana’s power would be enough to carry the night, it won’t.
Adrien Broner is quick as lightning, and while he doesn’t have Floyd Mayweather-like defense, he has a good beard. He is also an outstanding boxer.
Record: 4-2 [Bradley SD 12 Marquez]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner is stepping up big time against a dangerous puncher in Marcos Maidana. Broner should be too fast and has much more skill, but what happens if Maidana lands a big shot right on the button.
The only question I have with Broner is whether he has a great chin or just an ok chin. If its the latter, he could get exposed by the explosive welterweight from Argentina.
However, Broner should be too fast and elusive for Maidana and that question may not get answered Saturday night. Broner has some pop of his own, and could stop Maidana. But I see him boxing his way to wide unanimous decision.
Record: 15-5 [Garcia TKO 10 Martinez]
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner had no problem blowing through his competition with relative ease until he went up two weight classes to 147 pounds to fight Paulie Malignaggi. Broner figured he’d have no problem with Malignaggi, either. But he did.
Malignaggi’s speed and movement, not to mention his excellent chin, made Broner’s job of finding that chin difficult, even with his speed. His defense was suspect, too, and his punches didn’t pack the kind of power they did at the lower weights.
Well, Marcos Maidana is the anti-Malignaggi. He comes right at you, has very heavy hands and a granite chin. Broner is going to have to box to beat the slower Maidana, and that’s what I believe he will do, being patient, using his speed to counter and catch Maidana as he rushes in for the kill. This will go the distance but Broner will prevail.
Record: 21-6 [Malignaggi W 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner UD 12 Marcos Maidana: Adrien Broner did not produce the highlight victory he hoped for against his nemesis Paulie Malignaggi. Broner must make a statement against the proud Argentine fighter Marcos Maidana, or Broner will continue to fabricate a false impression of greatness.
Maidana, under the tutelage of famed trainer Robert Garcia, has been molded into a more grounded fighter, with a healthier work-rate. Maidana no longe wastes his punches and leaves himself open for counters with sloppy footwork.
Broner likes to emulate the Floyd Mayweather shoulder roll, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Broner’s not the defensive genius like his “Big Brother” Floyd Mayweather. Broner’s behavior in the ring is much more of an aggressive boxer-puncher. That will give Maidana the opportunities he will desperately need in this fight.
When you punch in an aggressive manner, you can leave yourself open for counters and haymakers. Broner will potshot for the first few rounds, demonstrating his superior boxing fundamentals and exhibiting his gifted speed.
Maidana may touch the canvas early, courtesy of a left hand to the body, and will continue to eat shots over the course of a sustained beat-down from Broner.
Record:8-2 [Malignaggi SD 12 Judah]
Adrien Broner W 12 Marcos Maidana: Having won the WBA 147-pound title last time out, Adrien Broner will be looking to impress against the Argentinian wildman, who, in many ways, appears tailor-made for him.
Marcos Maidana’s strength, going forward, will work against him. When Broner has faced guys who look to come at him, like Antonio DeMarco, he has looked at his best.
I expect things to go similarly here. While Maidana may put hands on Broner early, I think Broner’s greater speed, skills and fundamentals will see him pick off Maidana to win a wide decision.
Record: 16-9 [Judah W 12 Malignaggi]
By a lopsided score of 23-2, the experts see Adrien Broner defeating Marcos Maidan to remain unbeaten a in defense of his WBA welterweight belt.
Photo by Soobum Im, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photo by Nick Laham, Golden Boy
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com