Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Adrien Broner moves up to lightweight to face WBC champion Antonio DeMarco tomorrow night. Does the young star pick up another world title at age 23, or will DeMarco prove some of the skeptics right?
DeMarco should pose as the second stiffest challenge of Broner's career after Ponce De Leon (well, minus Fernando Quintero, who Broner clearly lost to). It's not that I'm confident Ponce De Leon is a better fighter than DeMarco; it's just that his awkwardness was something Broner couldn't quite figure out. DeMarco is a pretty straightforward guy. He's solid, but not particularly extraordinary or unusual in any department. Even though Broner is moving up in weight for this fight I still think he holds all the physical advantages, perhaps minus durability. Durability shouldn't be a problem for Broner here though since I expect him to dish out three times the punishment he receives. Eventually DeMarco will need to be saved by the referee.
If things don't go as planned I expect it's because I've under rated DeMarco's technical skills. He is a southpaw after all. Broner's shoulder rolling may not work like it usually does. Then again Broner has been sparring with Hank Lundy (who is a switch hitter but is proficient fighting out of both stances). I expect him to be prepared. Broner TKO-10.
This fight is cool in that it represents new challenges for Broner while also going up in weight. DeMarco can thud, the Molina fight was a pretty awesome reminder of that. But Broner is a near otherworldly talent in terms of...well, talent and athletic ability. He'll likely be too quick, too hard to hit and simply too good for DeMarco. It'd be really nice to see Broner in a bit of trouble though Either way, we're going to learn something this fight, but I imagine we learn that Broner, moving up a weight, is still really damn good. I'll take Broner by stoppage in the middle rounds.
I have been critical of Broner's crummy matchmaking like anyone who has two actual eyes and a brain might be, but he's got the goods and then some physically. It's all about what he's got mentally, and that hasn't been properly explored yet. We have only the preliminary results from a couple of tough fights, notably the one everyone saw against Daniel Ponce De Leon. There has been no challenge in anything he's done since then, and you can do the Roy Jones Jr bit about how it's just that Broner made them look so bad, but he made them look so bad because these were hand-picked opponents designed entirely to make him look like the next Floyd Mayweather.
And he might be the next Floyd Mayweather. If he's got it upstairs, then he's going to be a force for years, through a few more weight classes. At 23, he's plenty young enough to get even better than he already is, and chances are that's what will happen. He'd be a huge disappointment if he were to flame out. And I like Broner big in this one. DeMarco is a good, admirable fighter, but unless Broner truly cannot deal with southpaws, I think he's going to dominate this fight. It's a great matchup and no matter what happens, the matchmaking should not be faulted. DeMarco's as legit as it gets at 135 and Broner is going straight at him. I just suspect that Broner puts more fuel on the next big thing fire tomorrow night by wiping out a really good opponent, and showing just what kind of fighter he really might be for the next decade or so. Broner TKO-8.
This is a strange one. On paper, this should be a close fight, and a tough one to call. In reality, ever since it was confirmed I've tried to look past the notion of Broner winning here, yet I've struggled to do so.
Now the question of making weight has been answered, the good news is that, at least, we have a level playing field. My concern, though, is that this won't be the spectacle we're willing it to be. I like DeMarco. I really do, but he's a long way off being as talented as Broner and, gritty though it was, I think too much has been made of a win over a fragile Linares.
Broner may play dumb, but he's no fool, and this is a real test. I think we'll see a more disciplined performance from him, keeping things on side, staying away from a tear-up. I'd fancy him to win a firefight here anyway, but allowing it to turn into one gives DeMarco something to work with. I think Broner boxes his way through the first half of this fight, countering and gradually frustrating his man, before stepping on the gas to grind down a game, but ultimately outclassed DeMarco, to take a clear decision or late stoppage. Broner by UD.
I've written a lot about this fight and Broner for the past few months, and my feelinga remain very mixed on him. Nevertheless, I feel the talent disparity in this matchup is too much for DeMarco, a very good fighter in his own right, to overcome. I could see DeMarco giving Broner some problems with his size in the early going, but gradually talent will tell and speed will kill. I think Broner will grow more comfortable as the fight goes on, and settles in to counter-punching mode. He will have to work, but he should be able to handle his lanky Mexican opponent. Broner by decision.
Final Tally: Adrien Broner 5, Antonio DeMarco 0.