Every great trainer throughout boxing’s storied history has insisted that fights are won and lost in the gym. If the age old adage is indeed true, former IBF Junior Welterweight Champion Marcos Maidana could be in serious trouble this weekend.
Throughout the entire week leading up to the eventual “gun fight” with the hard punching Argentine, three division world champion and current WBA Welterweight title holder Adrien “The Problem” Broner has been finalizing head trainer Mike Stafford’s game plan at the Team Morones Boxing Club in San Antonio, Texas.
Talented, young gym owner and trainer Rick Morones Jr. has been thoroughly impressed with what he’s seen from the Cincinnati, Ohio native during the days leading into the highly anticipated showdown.
“Adrien Broner is a beast,” claims the 28 year old boxing mentor.
“During the week of the fight, most boxers limit their time in the gym to ‘no contact’ workouts, and they’ve already finished their sparring the week prior. But not Adrien. He sparred with two of my undefeated fighters, Kendo Castaneda and Benjamin Whitaker, on Monday and Tuesday respectively, and looked explosive. On both days, Broner boxed consecutively for over twenty minutes without a break, working my guys over to the body and head.”
“Broner is so sharp right now, combining speed with power. Most fighters, when sparring consecutively for that length of time, take breaks in the ring and don’t work with a sense of urgency. But Adrien let his hands go throughout the entire duration of the sparring session, throwing accurate combinations.”
The fight trainer of eleven years sees a certain intensity that he’s sure will transcend into the ring on Saturday night.
“I know most are uncertain of Broner’s power and ferocity at 147 pounds, but I would be willing to bet everything I have that Adrien will stop Marcos Maidana in the mid to late rounds with a left hook to the body. He’s in beast mode right now, and I just can’t see Maidana making it to the final bell. ”
Although most fights scribes are expecting Broner to defend his title successfully this weekend, the vast majority don’t foresee the undefeated 24 year old sharpshooter stopping his opponent within the distance; primarily due to his most recent effort against two division world champion Paulie Malignaggi. Most ringside experts question Adrien’s power and work rate at 147 pounds, as a result of the controversial, split decision verdict over the Magic Man.
Morones believes that most observers will be surprised by the outcome on Saturday night.
“Most boxing writers and critics of Adrien Broner have doubts about his ability against the top fighters of the Welterweight division, largely because of his previous outing with Paulie Malignaggi in June,” insists Rick Morones Jr. “Most people don’t understand how difficult Malignaggi is to time and counter proficiently. Paulie’s footwork, head feints, and upper body movement is very underrated, as we all saw this past weekend when he defeated Zab Judah.”
“Styles make fights. Marcos Maidana attacks his opponents and comes straight in while letting his hands go from mid range, which should create a lot of openings for the champ. Broner’s reflexes and speed are among the best in boxing. He’s going to see it coming from a mile away, and pick off Maidana with sharp combinations to the body and head as he’s trying to attack Adrien.”
“Maidana is a mid range bomber and doesn’t really have a great inside game. Broner is going to beat him up from long, mid, and short range. This fight is going to show the world that Adrien is an elite level talent and one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.”
While the astute San Antonio based trainer wasn’t surprised with the skill level and work ethic of the three division world champion, he was ultimately taken aback by the genuine character of supposed flamboyant fighter.
“Adrien’s kindness and sincerity really blew me away,” professes the humble young trainer. “When he came to workout at our facility on Monday, he noticed that we only had two heaters in the gym. The following day, he bought four additional heaters for the gym, and expressed the willingness to send us some additional equipment after the fight. He’s not what most people have labeled him to be. Adrien and his entire team are without a doubt some of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting…not just in boxing, but in life.”
With everything Rick Morones Jr. has experienced this entire week, the 28 year old trainer from San Antonio, Texas, makes his final prediction for this Saturday night’s main event.
“Although Marcos Maidana seemingly has the power edge going into the fight, he’s just not on Adrien’s level in any other category,” claims the dedicated boxing coach. “Marcos is going to come straight in and get picked off with shots he won’t see coming. Broner is going to bust him up with explosive shots to the body and head, and finally knock him out in the mid to late rounds. Broner will retain his title with a mid to late round stoppage.”
Photos by Anthony Heyward
“DANGER ZONE: Broner vs. Maidana” 12-round fight for Broner’s WBA welterweight world championship will take place on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The highly anticipated fight card is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Leija
& Battah Promotions and sponsored by Corona, AT&T and Grudge Match. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will air live at 8PM EST/ 5 PM PST and can be heard in Spanish using secondary audio programming (SAP). Preliminary bouts will air live on SHOWTIME EXTREME® at 6:30 PM EST/PST (delayed on the West Coast).
Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100, $75, $50, $25, $20 and $10, plus applicable taxes, fees and services charges, and are available at the Alamodome box office, or through Leija*Battah Promotions by calling (210) 979-3302 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations, by calling (800)745-3000.