By Jason Pribilla: Adrien Broner scored a fifth round TKO in front of his hometown fans in Cincinnati, OH on Saturday night in HBO’s Boxing After Dark main event.
The crowd and HBO were happy to have a telecast, but few could say the same for Broner’s lack of effort and professionalism on the scales. He lost his junior lightweight title yesterday when he weighed in 3.5 pounds over the 130lb. limit. Team Escobedo finally agreed to go on with the fight with the stipulation that Broner would weigh in on the day of the fight at 140 lbs. or less. Again Broner was three pounds over the limit. Escobedo saved the telecast and agreed to participate in an unfair fight. He put supporting his newborn child ahead of his personal safety.
Broner displayed his exceptional hand speed from the opening bell. He worked well behind his jab and kept the game Escobedo fighting at the end of his punches.
Escobedo had his moments in the third round when he was able to get inside and land punches to Broner’s body.
Any hopes that Broner would slow down were dashed in the fourth round when Broner regained control of the action. Broner again worked behind his jab which was finding a home in Escobedo’s mid-section. He punctuated the round by going upstairs with a wide right hand and quick left hook.
The beginning of the end arrived when Broner hurt Escobedo with a right hand. Escobedo soon found that the ropes are no place to hide, as Broner walked down his bloody foe. As Broner let his hands go, trainer Joel Diaz waved the towel to signal to referee Gary Rosato that his out-gunned fighter had had enough.
The bout was waved off at the 2:42 mark of round five and Broner scored his fourth straight stoppage.
Following the bout Broner reinforced his plans to officially move up to lightweight. He called out Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Antonio DeMarco. I would personally like to see him in the ring with a man who could match his speed, Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Broner is only 22 years old, and we hope that the fact he lost his belt as well as, $60,000.00 of his purse will be enough of a message to ensure that Broner respects future contracts that he signs. One can’t build himself a legacy if it includes paying for unfair advantages over his opponents.
The televised undercard featured the successful HBO debut of welterweight Keith Thurman. The 23 year old Florida native got the coveted televised slot despite not having a victory against a notable fighter. One’s resume is of minor importance to television execs when they are represented by Al Haymon.
Thurman faced a late replacement in Orlando Lora (29-3-2, 19KO) who stepped in when original opponent Marcos Maidana passed on the assignment. Lora was last seen on HBO on the losing end of a wide decision at the hands of Paulie Malignaggi.
A fight that inspired zero expectations turned out to be an entertaining scrap. Lora stood in and traded with Thurman and tasted his power early and often. Thurman landed to the body and displayed accurate hooks and uppercuts.
The accumulation of punches had taken their toll in round six. Thurman landed a huge left hook that left Lora on unsteady legs. A straight right sent Lora to the canvas with enough authority to convince the Mexican that he had enough. Although beating the count, Lora handed his mouthpiece to the ref and walked to his corner.
The official time of the stoppage was 1:37 of the sixth round.
Following the fight Thurman introduced himself to the HBO audience.
“I’m 23 years old, but 16 years in the game. My nickname is “One Time” because I’m looking to take you out,” Thurman continued. “If you got a weak chin, I’m gonna put you out early. My opponent was stronger and used head movement and it took a little longer. But in the end, I got the job done.”
Thurman made the most of his opportunity, and with Haymon on his payroll I’m positive that this won’t be the last time that we see “One Time”.
Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on twitter @PribsBoxing.
In a lightweight bout Omar Figureroa, 19-0-1-(15), scored a 10 round decision win over Dominic Salcido, 18-4-(9). The switch hitting Figueroa was the heavier puncher In the exchanges but Salido managed to hold his own for most of the bout. It was not exactly the most exciting of fights and the crowed let themselves be heard by booing pretty much throughout. The official scorecards read 97-93, 98-92, 97-93 for Figureroa.
Middleweight: Chris Pearson w tko 2 Angel Hernandez (stoppage 2.08,Hernandez down twice in the round two )
Super featherweight: Brandon Bennett w pts 8 John Nater. (Bennett down in the first round, Nater had a point deducted for holding. ,
Heavyweight: Danny Calhoun w tko 1 Quincey Palmer. (Palmer down from a right hand. Time of stoppage 2:09.).
Super featherweight: Ra’eese Aleem won pts 4 DeVonte Allen (Scores 40-36 on all three judges’ cards.)
July 21, 2012