Gary Shaw, the promoter of WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, says he's very confident that his fighter can pull the upset over challenger Adrien Broner tonight when the two meet in the HBO main event from Atlantic City.
"HBO’s basically crowned Broner. Most of the press, if not all of the press, has crowned Broner. A lot of the fans, too. So we’ll see what Antonio DeMarco’s made of, and we’ll see what Broner does with a real 135-pounder. He had trouble with Ponce De Leon, who was coming on up in weight. But I have supreme confidence in DeMarco. He’s fighting for all the right reasons."
... "The question is, stylistically, will he be able to hit Broner like he wants to hit Broner? That’ll be a question. Will Broner be able to land on DeMarco? Will he be one of the first to really hurt DeMarco? It’s a great fight. Everybody said we’re 70-30 underdogs. I always thought maybe it was 60-40 Broner. Today as I sit here, I think it’s 60-40 DeMarco."
DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KO) has had two fights that you could say were really on this level: His win last year over Jorge Linares, and his loss in 2010 to Edwin Valero. At that point, Valero was peaking and had truly become one of the best fighters on the planet. And Linares is an exceptional talent whose skills may even surpass Broner, but reality is that Linares is a fairly fragile fighter who can be beaten down.
Shaw admits the matchup is tough stylistically for DeMarco, and he's right. But it could be tough for Broner, too, if it turns out he doesn't have the power to get DeMarco out of there, or he doesn't adjust well in the ring when a fight is actually a challenge. He struggled with Daniel Ponce De Leon, and he had problems with Fernando Quintero, but that was in 2009, when Broner all of nine fights into his pro career.
I don't think there's any question that he's better now than he was against Quintero. The open question is if he's truly made big improvements since the Ponce De Leon fight, because his wins over Jason Litzau, Martin Rodriguez, Eloy Perez, and Vicente Escobedo frankly didn't give us that information. DeMarco has the ability to teach us more about Broner tonight, for better or worse.