There is nothing quite as satisfying in the sport of boxing as seeing a brash loudmouth silenced, especially when the big mouth is closed by a humble, likeable warrior like Marcos Maidana. And last night in San Antonio, boxing’s biggest mouth was well and firmly shut tight as “El Chino” dropped would be superstar Adrien Broner twice, frequently hurt and wobbled him and at times came close to running Broner clean out of the ring.
Coming into the fight, Broner, a talented boxer that had yet to pass a genuine acid test, was expected by most to win yet he was well beaten by the stronger, more experienced and harder hitting Argentine slugger. Maidana can now enjoy some big paydays as the defending WBA welterweight champion, yet most of the headlines pertaining to last night’s fight have been written about Broner; such is the appeal of the story of the arrogant, some say genuinely nasty fighter having been exposed and humbled.
Maidana decked his cocky rival twice and he roughed Broner up, even going too far in launching a butt on Broner’s chin as “The Problem” wrapped him in a clinch as he had done on frequent occasions. Yes, the foul Maidana committed was bang out of order, yet in Maidana’s defence he was fighting two people last night: Broner and referee Laurence Cole. Cole took a point from Maidana for the butt and rightly so, but where was he it came to docking points when Broner used his forearm and elbows, pushed and shoved Maidana, held frequently and hit him after the bell?
Despite the odds that were against him, Maidana showed he is a real champion and ultimately it was man Vs. boy in the ring. The question now is, can Broner bounce back or will he never be the same self assured fighter he once was? Broner’s heart appeared to sink when, late in the fight, Maidana gave him a taste of his own medicine in repeating Broner’s earlier, classless move where he got behind Maidana and began to thrust his hips in a disrespectful manner. This move by Maidana reminded me of when Marco Antonio Barrera, having had to listen to the taunts of that other loudmouth, Naseem Hamed, turned the tables on Hamed in their 2001 fight and rammed the head of his royal highness into a ring post and asked him, “who’s your daddy now!?”
We all know how that loss ruined Hamed, sending him, after just one more fight, into retirement, his wings well and truly clipped. Will we see Broner go the same way after being beaten up by Maidana? Broner looked a sad figure as he walked from the ring last night, accompanied as he was by two security guards and nobody else. The large entourage had disappeared and Broner was left to lick his wounds all by his lonesome.
Broner did show heart last night, getting up from the two knockdowns and fighting back to win a few rounds (I gave Broner the 5th, 6th and 12th) and he has some nice skills as we know. But it is a big leap going from facing guys like Gavin Rees and the light-hitting Paulie Maligning (who some say exposed Broner before Maidana did, pushing him oh, so close with that split decision in Broner’s last outing) to a rock hard banger like Maidana. As it turned out, Broner was not ready for such a leap. Maybe he never will be.