Adrien Broner (29-1, 22KO’s) is still rebuilding his reputation following the first defeat of his career to Marcos Maidana just over year ago. March 7th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will mark his first time in with a big puncher since then as he squares off against John Molina (27-5, 22KOs) in the light-welterweight division on NBC’s ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ broadcast.
Giving his predictions on that evening’s match-ups (his pick for Thurman vs Guerrero cam also be found on Thaboxingvoice.com), trainer Ken Porter favours the young man from Cincinnati over the rugged Californian.
“Adrien’s definitely got a tough night on his hands but I think Adrien again has the opportunity to shine and when you put him in with this kind of a fight, this kind of a guy, I think that his hand speed will probably be too much for Molina.”
Molina has little by the way of subtlety to his game and will certainly have to take many hard shots just to get in on Broner. But the fact that Molina has shown he can change a fight with one punch, combined with Broner’s inability to cover ground quickly with his feet to evade shots, make for a precarious evening’s work for the self-styled ‘Problem’.
“Never count Molina out, I’m a Molina fan, I’m a huge Molina fan and you can’t count Molina out. We talking about the late round against Mickey Bey you know with less than a minute left in the fight, less than 30 seconds left in the fight. That’s John Molina so I’ma huge Molina fan, go Molina.”
The night to which Ken refers happened down at lightweight in 2013 and Molina was losing every second of that fight before he caught Bey slipping with a huge left swing that stopped him dead before clubbing him about until the ref stepped in. He also handed Hank Lundy his first career loss in similar, dramatic circumstances three years before. Even in Molina’s loss to Lucas Matthysse last year where he was stopped in eleven rounds, he dropped the Argentine banger twice. This man has real power that is only outdone by his toughness.
This is an especially ominous assignment for Broner given the nature of his loss to Marcos Maidana, who showed his hand speed and showboating little regard as he ploughed forward, flinging a left hook that looked like it had a horseshoe sewed into it, such was the force of that punch on the night.
If Broner can just make himself more difficult to hit, he will have an easy time of it but he loves to hold his feet and wrap himself up in that brittle defensive shell. He prefers to pick off shots and block them to return swift counters and often it works well, like in his decision over Emmanuel Taylor in September last year. But he is still too easy to hit.
Even Gavin Rees, who looked like he was in against a middleweight when he faced Broner in 2013, was touching him up too often. If the Welshman’s power registered, more Broner would have been in trouble on the night too, but his size carried him through.
The fact that he could out-muscle and pretty much absorb everything that was thrown at him in the lower divisions has led to him developing some bad habits that will cost him against bigger opponents. We can only wait and see if he has made any adjustments but so far there is no sign of it.