In the Dec. 14th edition of Showtime’s Championship Boxing series, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (27-1, 22 knockouts) took on heavy-handed Argentinian, Marcos Maidana (35-3, 31 knockouts), in a 12-round main event for Broner’s WBA title. Up to this bout being announced, Broner was already being labeled as “the next Mayweather” or the biggest superstar to emerge from boxing. With his undefeated record and a string of dominant performances, it wasn’t long before the public asked him to put his money where his mouth was and face a true test in the welterweight division. Whether it be admirable or foolish, Broner listened to the public, and the public wanted to see him against Maidana.
After months of tabloid-esque antics, constant taunts, and the seemingly permanent sneer, Maidana quietly endured the assaults with the promise of making good on his threats of repercussion come fight time. If there was one thing Broner learned about Maidana on Dec. 14th it was that Maidana’s threats were a promise.
From the signal of the opening bell it was clear that Maidana had one thing in mind: knockout Adrien Broner. After a rather tentative start by both fighters, an accidental trip by Broner sends Maidana into a violent flurry of concussive fury. Much to his credit, Broner manages to keep his composure and waits for his opponent to punch himself out. Even with his shots largely blocked, Maidana still managed to sneak in a right hook which landed and quickly got Broner’s attention.
In round two Broner was determined to make Maidana pay, but a snapping jab by Broner, Maidana decides to lunge forward with a booming hook that dropped Broner. At this point Broner was trying to survive, but Maidana smelled blood and was determined to starch his opponent. Broner did his best to prove that he had recovered, but it was clear that he was still badly hurt by the end of the round.
Things began to look better for Broner in rounds three and four. Having a better sense of what Maidana had to offer, Broner resorted to his trademark quickness and slick boxing to keep Maidana at bay. This led to a change of gameplan by the Argentinian as he began focusing his attack on Broner’s body in hopes of slowing him down and still capitalizing on the fact that he may still be hurt from the earlier knockdown. Both fighters continued trading blows and often catching the other at points, but it was becoming clear that this wasn’t the one-sided drubbing so many had expected in the build-up.
With each passing round the punches exchanged by both fighters only grew more vicious as exhaustion was clearly marked on both competitors’ faces. Broner effectiveness largely revolved around countering Maidana’s wild exchanges, but Maidan would in-turn respond with a pawing jab followed by a power shot that often caught the braggadocious champion.
After eight rounds of competitive boxing, the fight was still a virtual toss-up. By this point Broner was slowly gathering momentum and finding his rhythm as he strung together his blinding fast and flashy combinations. Even while absorbing these blows, Maidana responded with his own volley. It was amidst this storm of punches that Maidana managed to once again knock Broner down. Hoping to recover, Broner clinched up with Maidana and tied-up both of his arms in order to prevent any punches from coming.
Desperate to free himself and end the fight Maidana responded with a head-butt that led to a point deduction, and added time for Broner to recover from the knockdown. This does little to dishearten Maidana however, and he came out just as aggressive the ninth round and once again badly staggered the champion, Broner.
Sensing the points deficit on the judges scorecards, Broner was determined to retain his title and knockout Maidana. Although hurt, Broner still stood his ground and relied on his head movement to set up coutner punching opportunities. Still, Maidana kept coming forward, and no matter what Broner threw the Argentianian wouldn’t go down.
Broner continued with this late plan of attack for the championshp rounds, but it proved to be far too little, far too late as Maidana managed to stay standing.
Ultimately, the fight was awarded to Marcos Maidana as a Unanimous Decision on scores of (115-110), (116-109), (117-109), and with that he has closed out a stellar 2013 by now being recognized as one of the best at welterweight. The future couldn’t be brighter for Maidana following the upset, and perhaps career defining win.
As for Broner, “The Problem” has his own mess to deal with. Love him or hate him, Adrien Broner captures people’s in a way few have. Here’s to hoping he manages to stay out of the headlines, and returns to the ring sooner rather than later.