As the last big boxing show of the year hits San Antonio, TX this weekend on Showtime, fans will once again get to delight in the unique boxing world of undefeated welterweight champion Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KO’s) as he takes on his toughest foe yet in Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KO’s). Broner is without a doubt the most controversial boxer in the sport today. It isn’t because of anything that he has done inside of the ring, but what he has done outside of it that has made the public perception of him raise an eyebrow. From flushing hundred dollar bills down the toilet, to hooking up with his opponent’s girlfriend, to making sex tapes, to creating his own reality show on YouTube, Adrien Broner’s name is becoming recognized as a hugely controversial boxing figure.
Adrien Broner wants to replace Floyd Mayweather as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. He wants to make one billion dollars doing it, so he says. This Saturday night he’s starting his path to the number one spot against his toughest opponent to date. Standing in his way to fame and fortune is the hard-hitting Argentinian Marcos Maidana. Maidana, who averages eighty punches thrown per round, isn’t coming for a paycheck. He despises Adrien Broner. He wants to knock him out. And for Broner, defeating Marcos Maidana is no easy task.
Since switching trainers to the veteran Robert Garcia, Maidana has gone 3-0 with 3 KO’s. Two of the three losses of his career come at the hands of world class fighters such as Devon Alexander and Amir Khan. Maidana is considered one of the hardest punchers in the sport and he is undoubtedly the hardest puncher that Broner has ever faced. Since losing a lopsided decision to Alexander, Maidana has left nothing in the judge’s hands as he has recorded three straight knockouts. The new man to his camp is trainer Robert Garcia, who has helped Maidana become a better fighter.
Broner is coming off the biggest victory of his career; a split decision victory over Paulie Malignaggi where he was nearly brought to the brink of defeat. The fight was way closer than experts predicted. Some still think Broner lost the fight. It wasn’t an impressive performance for someone that was coming in as a 9-1 favorite. Despite the disappointing showing, Broner is still widely considered as a future superstar that could one day replace Mayweather. He has the personality to make people watch, and the boxing skills to defeat any opponent in his path. But Broner’s out of ring antics have made people wonder how dedicated he is to the sport of boxing which is unlike his hard-working, dedicated role model Mayweather.
The match-up is has good as it could get. A hard hitting challenger that will test the guts of a champion that many think hasn’t taken the sport as serious as he should. Broner’s style, while it simulates Mayweather a tad, is nothing like it. He likes to get on the inside and fight, which leaves him open to big shots. In his last two fights, both Rees and Malignaggi landed good punches against Broner. Neither of them had the power to hurt him. That won’t be the case this weekend against Maidana. If he allows Maidana to hit him, he will feel it. Whether he can take the power punches of Maidana remains to be seen. This weekend will likely be a test of Broner’s boxing skills and heart. Broner is clearly more skilled than Maidana, however Maidana will pressure Broner the entire fight and he will land big shots. It’s up to Broner to take his ability to the next level. He needs to be able to take those punches, and give it back.
Marcos Maidana finds himself in the same situation he was in back in 2009 when he fought Victor Ortiz. Before the fight, Ortiz was being brought up as the next “Golden Boy” while Maidana was the challenger that Ortiz was supposed to roll over. However, it was Maidana that ended up stopping Ortiz, and derailing his career. This is perhaps the reason why Maidana find himself in this position against Broner. It’s a test. If Broner passes, he’s ready for the next level. If he fails, then he’ll likely never be the fighter that he expects himself to be, or that people think he can be.
Adrien Broner claims he’s the third best pound for pound boxer in the world behind Mayweather and Ward. He says that no one will ever beat him. That he will be the greatest boxer to ever live and that he will surpass Mayweather’s fame and fortune. In order for him to do this he needs to win, and keep on winning. He has the personality to draw viewers, he has the skills to make exciting fights, and he has the right promotional tools backing him up. All he has to do is win the fights, and keep winning them. Marcos Maidana is no easy task. If Broner can win impressively he’ll be one fight closer to making the fans believe in him.