By Jason Pribila – Ringside in Atlantic City: Less than three weeks after Hurrican Sandy wreaked havoc on the United States’ northeast seaboard, Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall opened their doors to HBO Boxing, Golden Boy Promotions, and Gary Shaw Productions. What they showed is that while the area needs a lot of help to get back economically, their spirit has never been stronger.
The names on the marquee read Adrien Broner (24-0, 20KO) and Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KO), and at stake was DeMarco’s WBC lightweight title. Broner entered the ring as a heavy favorite, but he would need to bring more than his sizzle to dethrone DeMarco.
Michael Buffer’s voice echoed in the house that Gatti built, and soon DeMarco and Broner touched gloves underneath a banner recognizing the “Blood and Guts Warriors” fifteen fights in the venue.
Adrien Broner has been compared to a lot of fighters, but Gatti has not been one of them. He instead took the early rounds to study his opponent behind his shoulder roll. The restless crowd’s “boo’s” had barely reached the ring when Broner started to go on the offensive.
After four fairly even frames, Broner began to let his hands go and quickly the difference in speed and skills started to show on the scorecards. DeMarco’s only chance in this fight would be to go to war, and his willingness to do so led to his demise.
Midway through the fight DeMarco was fighting with heart and not much else. Broner was picking him apart by ripping body shots, and then transitioning them into uppercuts. DeMarco fought valiantly, but even his cleanest shots could not deter Broner.
DeMarco left his corner as a titlist for the final time as round eight began. Broner met him in the middle of the ring and began to chop him down with one punch at a time. A looping left hook marked the beginning of the end. A combination thrown with bad intentions ended with a left uppercut to DeMarco’s chin that closed the show.
Broner danced back to his corner as referee Benji Esteves began his count, and he continued to dance as the fight was waved off at 1:49 of Round 8.
“I knew coming into this fight it would be a world class fight, but he didn’t have the skills to beat me”, explained Broner after the fight. “He was the best opponent I fought. He was strong, and could take a punch.”
While the crowd was understandably modest, those who tuned in saw a performance that Atlantic City fans would surely welcome back.
“I’m going to be running this city and sport for a long time,” announced Broner.
We will have to wait to see what Golden Boy has in store for the brash Cincinnati native. But if he could find a home and become the draw that Atlantic City sorely needs, we will have a case of “The Problem” solving problems.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be followed on twitter @PribsBoxing, and reached for questions/comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
November 17, 2012