SAN ANTONIO — There are 18 fighters in nine bouts scheduled for action on Saturday night at The Alamodome on Showtime, but Friday’s weigh-in was center stage for just one of them: WBA welterweight beltholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner.
When his name was called as the last boxer to step onto the raised platform before the screaming crowd at Market Square, Broner did so wearing shades and with his chisled upper torso glistening as if he had been dipped in shiny oil.
Broner (27-0, 22 knockouts) promptly sauntered to the front of the platform and flexed for the audience, long after rival Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) had been introduced.
“He’s dehydrated,” shouted Broner, 24, pointing at Maidana, 30, who weighed 146.2 to his own 144.4 pounds.
During an earlier interview with RingTV.com, Maidana that he has little chance of being awarded a decision on Saturday and plans to “go for the knockout” or to “make” Broner “quit.”
Having made it clear that he does not trust the judges, Maidana certainly does not plan to leave the fight’s result up to them.
“If I don’t knock him out,” said Maidana on Friday. “Then I won’t win.”
Broner was in Maidana’s face and had to be restrained during the post-weigh-in staredown, while Maidana wore a stoic expression.
Broner, of Cincinnati, Ohio, told Showtime’s Steve Farhood that he could have made lightweight (135-pound limit) or junior welterweight (140). The welterweight division limit is 147 pounds.
Saturday’s fight will be the second welterweight bout for Broner, who previously fought at lightweight and junior lightweight (130). Broner is coming off of a split-decision victory in June that dethroned Paulie Malignaggi for the WBA belt.
Maidana, of Santa Fe, is a former 140-pound contender who will be fighting his fifth bout at welterweight. Maidana is in pursuit of his fourth straight stoppage victory since falling to Devon Alexander in his welterweight debut.
Welterweight Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs), of Clearwarter, Fla., was nearly as vocal as Broner following his weigh-in at 145.5 pounds to that of 146.2 for rival Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs), of Los Angeles by way of Los Mochis, Mexico.
Following a stoppage loss to Maidana, Soto Karass is after his third straight win, having risen from an 11th-round knockdown to drop and stop former 147-pound titleholder Andre Berto in San Antonio.
On the Soto Karass-Berto card, Thurman scored knockdowns in the ninth and final rounds of a 10th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Diego Chaves.
“I know Soto Karass is tough. My grandmother’s tough, too, but she won’t walk into the ring with me. He’s going down,” said Thurman. “This is another opportunity for me to showcase my talents. Everybody knows why this fight is happening. Soto Karass beat Andre Berto, and I was trying to get The Ghost [Robert Guerrero,] but he pulled a ghost on me. Tune in, show up, because he’s going to sleep.”
In other bouts junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs), of Los Angeles, weighed 121.4 pounds for the first defense of his WBC title against Puerto Rico’s Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs), who weighed 121.6.
Shumenov-Kovacs is the opening bout of the Showtime broadcast, which begins at 5:00 p.m. PT/ 8:00 p.m. ET.
For other fights, junior welterweight Ricardo “Dinamita” Alvarez (27-4, 20 KOs), the 32-year-old brother of former RING junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, 23, came in at 140.4 compared to 138.8 for opponent Rod Salka (18-2, 3 KOs). Ricardo Alvarez is after his 14th victory in his past 15 bouts and his 11h stoppage during that streak against Rod Salka (18-2, 3 KOs) .
Former undisputed middleweight cham Jermain Taylor (31-4-1, 19 KOs) was at 162.6 to 161.8 for opponent Juan Carlos Candelo (32-12-4, 21 KOs). Taylor, who turned 35 in August and is ending a 14-month ring absence.
Warren was at 117 compared to 119 for opponent Jose Silveira (15-9, 6 KOs), Herring came in at 134.4 to 133.2 for Lance Williams (6-2, 6 KOs), and Easter, at 133.6 to 135.4 for Hardy M. Paredes (16-12, 10 KOs).
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com