It was a Big Problem for “The Problem” as “El Chino” cracks down
Calling last night’s 2013 Showtime Boxing closer an “upset of the year” is insulting for the Argentine banger known as Marcos Maidana. In this fantastic match-up, the world was able to see a fighter rewarded for his dedication and focus, and another humbled after an extravaganza of unnecessary and disrespectful antics. It seems that Maidana, a fighter known for his power, resilience, and recuperating ability, was not the “easy work” his opponent made him out to be. Kudos to Robert Garcia for putting in tremendous work with Maidana, of which to me stamina and his ability to feint and throw punches at awkward angles MADE this fight. The odds were unquestionably stacked against the Argentine, with most experts pointing to Broner’s incredible hand-speed and accuracy as being the driver factor for his inevitable success in this fight. There were many, however, that saw some chinks in the armor, when Paulie Malinaggi was able to land on AB’s chin much more than the boxing community expected. Broner’s lackluster performance vs the sometimes wild Ponce De Leon also fed this argument.
Broner made major mistakes in this fight, and his over confidence certainly played a role. Let’s take a look:
* Broner tends to be a slow starter, taking time to “figure out” his opponents before applying a clinic. We saw this executed very well vs Antonio DeMarco. With Broner making his first real defense at 147 lbs, this was a different game. If he was using The Magic Man as his yard stick for the punching power of a true welterweight, he was sorely mistaken. If this was the case, he probably felt like he was getting hit by a Middle Weight in there. Maidana started aggressively, tagging Broner early with hard shots that definitely caught Broner off guard and had him with a deer in headlights look.
* Marcos leans into his shots, and this played perfectly in setting up the first knockdown of the fight. Broner, who ineffectively tries to channel Floyd Mayweather, tends to pull straight back. This was his undoing as a long left hook caught Broner square on the chin sending him down in round 2. Broner’s defense, is far from that of PBF, and his shoulder roll is C+ in comparison. Additionally, Maidana cleverly shot a few jabs to the body earlier before throwing this “rising” left hook that Broner clearly thought was headed towards his ribcage.
* Broner made the mistake of standing in front of Maidana in one too many exchanges, and then changing his mind once he started to feel the sting. You should know early on where you stand in the power pecking order, and after getting buzzed within the first minute of Round 1, bravado should not be part of your plan. As stated before, Marcos is not a 135 lber, and he is one of the hardest hitting 147 lbers out there…common sense did not prevail here, and the knockdown in Round 8, a beautiful shot to the body followed by a short hook to the jaw made this very clear. Broner was hurt again.
* Although Maidana did slow down a bit in some of the later rounds, the body work and self-doubt he had instilled in Broner negated the stamina advantage. I use the “advantage” term sparingly here as Maidana threw A LOT more punches than Broner. It was clear to me that Maidana was not “taking off” many rounds and showed the hard work he has put in with Robert Garcia. It really paid off here because Broner was never able to truly take control of the fight at any point. I only had Broner winning about 3-rounds and felt the judges got this one right.
In conclusion, congratulations to Marcos Maidana, the new WBA Welterweight Champion, for a well-deserved win, and to Adrien Broner for confirming to the legion of boxing fans that you are in fact NOT the 2nd Coming of Floyd Mayweather. Your antics outside of the ring may have made you as hated a man, but you have to show and prove to compensate and make yourself into force that is PBF. Hopefully Broner will go back to the drawing board with some humility. I think it would be wrong of the boxing community to completely write-off what is an exceptional talent. Take some lessons from another exceptional fighter on the card, Keith Thurman, who showed bravado, but was also respectful, personable, articulate, and is clearly headed down a road of success. Happy New Year…and see you next year
Final Thought: Laurence Cole was completely within his right to deduct a point from Maidana after the headbutt, but also I felt a point-deduction for Broner’s continuous holding and pushing off was warranted 5x over.