Undefeated former WBO junior lightweight beltholder Adrien Broner announced last month that he “is coming to knock out” WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco, who alternately vowed to “be the first person to beat Broner” when they meet in Saturday night’s HBO-televised fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
A gifted 23-year-old out of Cincinnati who is promoted by Golden Boy, Broner (24-0, 20 knockouts) called out DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs), of Tijuana, Mexico, following July’s knockout of Vicente Escobedo at the U.S. Bank Arena in Broner’s hometown.
Broner has never officially fought as a lightweight, but lost his WBO belt at the scales before entering the ring against Escobedo, having missed the contracted weight of 130 pounds both the day prior to the fight and during a Saturday morning re-weigh.
Broner has scored four consecutive stoppage victories since winning a unanimous decision over current WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon, a southpaw, in March of last year, and doesn’t believe DeMarco’s left-handed stance will be an issue.
“This fight is speed vs. power and it’s going to be just another day in the ring for me,” said Broner, who is nicknamed, “The Problem.”
“Going up in weight is going to be different, and I know he can hit, but you can’t hit what you can’t see, and I’m too fast and furious for him. Power is nothing if you can’t connect. It’s like moving a sack of rocks.”
During a recent conference call touting their fight, DeMarco chuckled at the suggestion that he won’t be able to catch up to Broner.
“I know that this is a tough fight, and an important fight, but I am very well prepared, because I know that Adrien is a great talent and a great fighter. We’re both champions,” said DeMarco.
“There’s no need to concentrate on how many punches I’m going to throw, I’m just going to go out there and be accurate. The fight’s going to be difficult for both of us, but my desire and my hunger is a lot greater than anybody else’s, and when I step into the ring, the one thing on my mind is a win.”
In October of last year, for example, DeMarco patiently came from behind for an 11th-round knockout of two-division beltholder Jorge Linares in what stands as perhaps the most significant win of his career.
Down 98-92 on the cards of Jerry Cantu and Marshall Walker, and 99-91 on that of Joel Scobie, DeMarco unleashed a barrage of blows that forced referee Raul Caiz Jr. to rescue the bludgeoned and bloody Linares.
Linares represented DeMarco’s second consecutive knockout win during a run of three straight triumphs since falling by ninth-round knockout to the late Venezuelan Edwin Valero (27-0, 27 KOs) in February of 2010, the final bout of Valero’s career.
DeMarco said that he drew from his experience against Valero in the bout against Linares. Where Linares out-landed DeMarco, 216-to-97 in total punches and 149-to-83 in power punches, Valero out-landed DeMarco 270-80 overall, 183-33 in power shots, and had an 87-47 advantage in jabs.
Like he did against Linares, DeMarco bloodied Valero, his left hand opening a first-round cut beneath his rival’s right eye. In the second round, DeMarco opened a gash over Valero’s forehead as well as his right eyelid thanks to a left elbow that grazed the oncoming Valero’s face.
DeMarco said that he “never cared” about the scorecards against Linares “because we knew that we were in great shape.”
So on Saturday, DeMarco won’t be so much concerned about being out-worked as he will be landing and placing his punches well and remaining focused and determined — factors that aren’t lost on Broner.
“In boxing, a knockout is only a punch away, so it don’t matter which round the fight is in, a knockout is only a punch away,” said Broner. “So, of course, you have always got to be careful. But at the same time, he was fighting good guys, but he wasn’t fighting Adrien Broner. You’re going to see a totally different Adrien Broner on Saturday night.”
“I’m going to be able to show more of my skills because DeMarco has such talent that they say if a good talent goes against another good talent, it just brings the better talent out of the elite fighters, so, you know, I’ll get to show a lot. There are going to be a lot of differences, not only in speed, but I’m stronger than a lot of people think. On Saturday, you’ll see that.”
RingTV.com sought the opinions of 17 boxing insiders as to their thoughts on Saturday night’s outcome.
Adrien Broner mid-round KO Antonio DeMarco: Andrien Broner is moving up in weight, which should serve his growing 23-year-old body well. Antonio DeMarco is by far the toughest test of his career, but Broner should pass with flying colors.
Broner is a much better talent and will pick off DeMarco’s shot with his great defense. Broner should have no problem landing and the shots will take their toll on DeMarco, until one of them finishes the fight.
Adrien Broner TKO Antonio DeMarco: Adrien Broner’s immaturity is offset by unrivalled speed and power. Antonio DeMarco is dangerous. He has won three straight by stoppage. But he won’t be able catch and stop Broner from another celebration with that hair brush.
Adrien Broner TKO 8 Antonio DeMarco: Antonio DeMarco’s record-setting 44-second knockout over John Molina — the fastest in lightweight title annals — did a good job of hiding the reality that he has been out-landed in three of his last four fights, and was badly out-performed in two of them — Jorge Linares and Edwin Valero.
DeMarco also likes to take his time, which Adrien Broner won’t allow him to do. Meanwhile, Broner is on a KO tear, and he’s rounding into form as a fighter. He’s a sharp, power-hitter, and that will help him to pick up his second divisional belt.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: I like Antonio DeMarco as a fighter because he always brings it, and I think he’ll push Adrien Broner like no one else has. Broner has shown in the past, like in his fight with Ponce de Leon, that a strong southpaw can give him problems.
Broner has good speed and defense and his counter punching will give the slower DeMarco some difficulty. That being said, I have to go with the favorite, Broner to win a unanimous decision.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: Adrien Broner’s last fight against a strong southpaw was one to forget, but he has been very impressive in each of his four fights since that pedestrian performance in a win against Daniel Ponce De Leon.
Antonio DeMarco definitely will test him, but Broner’s considerable skill set and strong will to become boxing’s next superstar will guide him toward a points victory in what figures to be an entertaining fight.
Adrien Broner W 12 Antonio DeMarco: The Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco fight is a curious one because we know Broner is amazingly talented, but is he a fighter or a Prima donna?
The Daniiel Ponce de Leon fight is the only fight where he faced a legit, pretty live guy, and I wasn’t pleased with the way he kind of closed up and allowed Ponce de Leon to outwork him. I thought he was lucky to get that decision.
If he does that with Demarco, he may well get stopped as Demarco will become more aggressive and is a lot bigger than Ponce de Leon.
The thought here is though that Broner has matured enough in the year and a half since then to display his talent as well as his willingness to bite down and grind if he has to. Broner on points.
Adrien Broner UD12 Antonio DeMarco: Antonio DeMarco is easily Adrien Broner’s toughest test to date. He’s a southpaw with power, and in his most recent case study regarding lefties, Broner struggled with Daniel Ponce de Leon.
However, I think Broner has grown since that fight, and his speed and defensive skills will make him a difficult target for DeMarco to hit.
Adrien Broner TKO 11 Antonio DeMarco: Like everyone else, I love a good story, and Antonio DeMarco is a good story. I respect what he has accomplished in his life, and his ability to bounce back from adversity.
Since his loss to Edwin Valero, much time has passed, and he has developed into a better fighter. I think if he sets a fast pace, he can be very competitive. However, in Adrien Broner, he is meeting a guy I think can be the next big thing.
He is the complete package. I suspect he’ll be very focused on the task ahead, expecting a tough fight, get one, but be able to use his vast gifts and abilities to secure a big win by stopping DeMarco late.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: This one in my mind is a tough choice, but in the end, the overall boxing ability of Adrien Broner should win out over Antonio DeMarco, as he passes another test to greatness — unless of course he doesn’t let it go to his head.
Adrien Broner TKO 10 Antonio DeMarco: He always talks a great game, and to date, has delivered every time. That’s why I see Adrien Broner living up to the hype once again on Saturday — even if WBC lightweight titleholder Antonio DiMarco will provide the sternest examination yet of those self-proclaimed elite credentials.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: I expect Antonio DeMarco to give Adrien Broner a very tough fight. DeMarco is a very slow starter in his fights.
But once he warms up he comes with some nice aggression. I think Broner will have to dig deep before pulling out a Unanimous Decision.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: Antonio DeMarco is tough, and he’s improved, but he’s going to have a hard time with Adrien Broner’s speed.
I think this could be dull. Broner will probably look for something big in the first half and if he doesn’t win we’re off to pot shot city.
He can beat DeMarco with his feet as much as his hands and that leaves DeMarco to chase. If it gets deep, Broner may face some adversity. We’ll see.
Adrien Broner KO 9 Antonio DeMarco: I have a lot of respect for Antonio DeMarco, who is a solid, fan-friendly warrior, but I don’t believe he’s in Adrien Broner’s class.
DeMarco will fight his heart out, but won’t be able to cope with Broner’s speed, skills and power. Broner will score a late knockout, probably around the ninth round.
Adrien Broner W 12 Antonio DeMarco: Antonio DeMarco is a tough guy, and I don’t know if Andrien Broner is ready to risk going after a knockout against someone like DeMarco. But DeMarco can’t keep up with Broner’s speed, and it will make for a pretty handy decision for Broner.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: I’m going to go with Adrien Broner in a hard-fought, but unanimous decision.
I think he will step up to his toughest test yet and respond like a top fighter. Speed will be the big difference against Antonio DeMarco, I think.
Adrien Broner KO 8 Antonio DeMarco: I have Adrien Broner by knockout in eight. Broner has been ready to be a lightweight for some time now, and I think we will see renewed confidence and energy in him now that he’s at the division he should’ve been all along.
Antonio DeMarco has had difficulty with boxers dating back to Jose Reyes. Reyes didn’t have big power like Broner does, and I think that will be DeMarco’s undoing.
Adrien Broner UD 12 Antonio DeMarco: Adrien Broner has never met anyone like Tony DeMarco. Broner will quickly discover he’s in the toughest fight of his career. He says fighting a southpaw is no problem for him, but it will be.
His punches won’t hurt DeMarco like they have some of Broner’s easier marks. But for all his bravado and polarizing behavior, Broner is a hungry fighter.
His lightning speed, quickness, power and smart defense will be too much for even a warrior like DeMarco. The Mexican has sometimes been a slow starter — though certainly not in his last fight against Molina.
Broner could catch him early and put him away, but the more like scenario is this one going the distance, and Broner coming away with a hard-fought but unanimous decision.
By a shutout, 17-0, the experts favor Adrien Broner to successfully rise a division and dethrone Antonio DeMarco as WBC lightweight titleholder.
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]