Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME – The old saying “If you build it they will come” rings true for boxing.
In 2013 the two biggest networks and promoters have improved the quality of their product despite engaging in a Cold War.
Both networks have done a great job building events along with lowering the average price of admission causing attendance to rise and the best example of this would be San Antonio, Texas.
Earlier this year Canelo Alvarez fought Austin Trout on Showtime in front of almost 40,000 fans at the Alamodome.
This summer Showtime had what was probably the best tripleheader of the year back in San Diego, oops I mean San Antonio.
And of course this Saturday night Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions will give fans a treat with a quadruple header on the heels of last weekend’s 4 fight broadcast.
All of us boxing fans across the world deserve fully stacked cards like last weekend’s 7 fight broadcast from both HBO and Showtime.
The people of San Antonio may deserve it the most with the astounding response from the people when good fight cards are taken out of Las Vegas and brought to real boxing fans.
The co-feature between the always entertaining Jesus Soto Karass and Keith Thurman, who rose to stardom of sorts the last year or so, has most scribes assuming this matchup will steal the show for fight of the night.
I totally agree as far as just raw action but I think we will get more questions answered about Adrian Broner when he steps into the squared circle with Marcos Maidana.
Love him A.B. or hate him, one thing we must all admit is he creates lots of chatter. Chatter is good in a sport that rarely sees the day of light in the mainstream media.
One thing I’ve noticed with Broner is you get too many opinions that are extreme on both sides.
It could be a large segement of pardon my French when I use the term “Flomos”, swearing that Broner is a top 5 fighter P4P.
The other side of the coin claims Broner has lost 3 times in his career and is a cheap imitation of the real McCoy.
We can’t forget about the fans that inflate big punchers in this case Marcos Maidana. Swearing up and down that he can’t be beaten fairly based of a few great fights or a stunning knockout.
I can’t wait to see which Adrein Broner we get in the main event versus Marcos Maidana.
Many compare this fight to Broner’s fight with Ponce De Leon. De Leon was able to fluster a younger less experienced Broner getting into his chest landing to the body and throwing bombs on the inside.
Broner made an adjustment midway thru and began to put his punches together rather than one at a time.
After that fight Golden Boy put the brakes on a bit slowing down Broner’s career allowing him to be matched with guys that couldn’t punch and/or would be there to be hit.
The plan worked to a tee keeping Broner busy all the while building him as a big puncher in the process.
On Saturday night Broner will be facing a fighter that will be easy to hit but packs plenty of power especially in his right hand.
For the record Adrien Broner is not and will not be the next Floyd Mayweather. No matter how many times he regurgitates lines and sayings that sound like or are Money May’s words he won’t be as good as the original.
With that said he is pretty damn good and as he walks through the vast valley of welterweights only time will tell if he truly is an all time great first ballot hall of famer.
No one will compare or confuse Maidana with Mayweather yet he is a fighter that has pulled an upset not once but twice.
After losing to Kotelnick Marcos was given a title opportunity versus the unstoppable, at least at the point, Victor Ortiz.
Maidana made the most of it stopping Ortiz after 6 brutal rounds of boxing. He almost beat Amir Khan when Khan was ripping through the 140 pound division.
Under prepared he took another “L” this time in an ugly clinch fest with Devon Alexander.
Maidana however looked improved two September’s ago albeit in a perfect style matchup for him against Jesus Soto Karass.
It was evident he had worked on his jab and was showing that thing off early and often.
He brought some of his recent improvements and old habits into his last fight with the “Riverside Rocky” Josesito Lopez.
Lopez is a fighter who has some skill on the outside but usually at some point will end up in a tussle and oh what a tussle it was considering it only last not even 6 rounds yet took many twist and turns.
Heading into this battle there are a few questions that must be asked.
Will we see Broner fight similar to the way he has for a while now and that’s using a Philly shell while walking down his opponent down relying on his great reflexes.
Or will Broner decide to use his feet more exploiting not just hand but the foot speed advantage that he will enter the ring with? And if so it will almost certainly slow the pace of this fight, will Maidana be able to catch up in order to land his big bombs?
My guess is that he will try to walk down Maidana until he gets hit with something that makes him change his mind.
We haven’t seen a Broner that moves on the outside in a while and the last time I saw it, it wasn’t that pretty in his fights with De Leon and Fernando Quintero.
If he does choose to stand right in front or in the pocket I know I’m not alone when I say I can’t wait to see it because Maidana may be crude but it still worth the price of admission when a fight takes place in a phone booth.
I mentioned improvements made by Maidana ever since he joined forces with Robert Garcia in Oxnard.
The most obviously one is his jab which he will need if he plans on landing more than one punch at a time.
He also showed us some ability to move his upper body slightly on inside the pocket or on the ropes, something that will be essential to having any sustained success.
All the talk about a new Maidana a side, I still thing he needs Broner to stay off his bike to have a legit chance to win this fight.
At best Broner will stand right there with Chino and use his speed on both sides.
At worst he could use his jab, post shot, and then clinch the way Devon Alexander did ad nauseam.
I’m sticking with my guns because of what Josesito Lopez was able to do until he got caught up in exchanging instead of countering or timing Chino.
Broner will have no problems landing his left hook right hand combination the way Lopez did.
Another key for both will be the body.
Can Maidana exploit Broner’s body the way Paulie Malignaggi did?
Or will Broner, who in his own right is vicious body puncher, be able to capitalize with work to the body? Maidana has been hurt a few times to the body over the last few years.
As much as I would love to see a two way fight that entertains, which I think we may get in the first part of the fight, I’m not confident enough in Maidana that he will stick to using head movement as much as he will need to.
Also I don’t see him punching straight enough, so Maidana has to close the distance smothering Broner to negate that speed.
I’ve heard a lot of comments that assume Maidana will be able to hit Broner a lot because Malignaggi did but that’s not necessary true. By the way Ponce De Leon is a craftier fighter than Maidana so we can’t just assume he will be able to get to Broner’s chest in the same manner.
I’m calling for a two way fight to an extent for about 4 rounds. Broner will than start to run away with it or by that time run away if he hasn’t solved the Maidana problem.
Regardless I see defense, hand and foot speed being too much for Maidana to handle.
My official prediction is Adrien Broner by unanimous decision.
Broner may have some problems with Marcos Maidana but not enough to lose just enough to make it visually pleasing.
The almost sure firefight of the night will be the Soto Karass vs. Thurman fight.
This back and forth brawl should feature plenty of intense exchanges.
Soto Karass has an underrated jab and an offensive skill set in general that can be overlook for the fact that Jesus loves to fight.
Thurman strikes me as a fighter who believes in his skills and what he is trying to get accomplished in a fight.
That was evident in his last fight when he was caught clean repeatedly by the than unbeaten Diego Chaves.
Thurman stayed patient, made some adjustments, and ended the fight with some great body work.
I see this fight playing out very similar to Thurman’s last with way more action coming from Karass.
Karass will no doubt press the fight finding some major success early and throughout. At some point Jesus will be countered with power shots from Thurman.
Thurman will have to mix in movement to keep Soto Karass from setting up and unleashing his beast.
We know Thurman will get his chin tested facing Jesus he may also get his stamina tested facing such a nonstop animal in Karass.
Just ask Mike Jones about Karass from their first fight that saw Jones hit Jesus with like 60 or 80 some punches only to recover fully fighting himself back in to the fight earning a draw.
I bring up stamina because Thurman has only been 12 rounds once. Also, he has a bad habit of putting 100% in to almost every punch which could backfire on him late in the fight.
My official prediction is Keith “One Time” Thurman by late stoppage.
Also don’t miss the return of Leo Santa Cruz as he makes a non-descript defense of his title versus contender Cesar Seda who has some skill and ability but is not on the same level. I’ll take Santa Cruz by mid to late stoppage.
Written by Chris Carlson Owner and Host of Rope A Dope Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
Follow Chris on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio & http://ropeadoperadio.wordpress.com