CINCINNATI, OH — After Adrien Broner failed to make the super featherweight weight limit of 130 pounds twice heading into last night’s (July 21) fight against Vicente Escobedo, the concern amongst media was that Broner would win and perhaps inflict significant damage on Escobedo due to his size advantage.
In the end it was a combination of Broner’s counterpunching, speed and defense that carried him to a dominant fifth round TKO before his hometown fans at the U.S. Bank Arena.
Broner made the speed difference apparent early with a quick left jab-right cross combination in round one. He firmly kept himself at ring center and succeeded in thwarting Esocbedo’s attempts to get inside with potshot counter hooks to the head and body. In the second, Broner opened up his offense with stinging counter left and right hooks that knocked Escobedo into a corner. While he fought back with solid body shots, Broner continued dominating with effective counter left jabs and his own puncturing right hooks to the body.
The third round saw Broner’s shoulder roll nullify Escobedo’s hooks on the backfoot. At times, Broner walked his opponent down with right hooks and left jabs to the body. In addition, Broner found a home with counter right upperuts and chopping overhand rights.
Escoboed spent the first half of the fourth round throwing hooks in vain at Broner’s should roll defense. Broner opened up in the second half with overhand rights. However, both fighters exchanged solid left hooks in the closing seconds.
Broner stormed out for the fifth with hard right uppercuts and hooks that opened flowing blood in Escobedo’s mouth and nose. Broner committed himself to the body, at times tripling the right hook. Escobedo sagged on the ropes where Broner unleashed several hooks to prompt the white towel of surrender from Escobedo trainer Joel Diaz.
Broner, who weighed in tonight as a welterweight at 147 pounds, will now move to lightweight after losing his WBO super featherweight title on the scales. In his post-fight interview, he named-checked Antonio DeMarco, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios as opponents on his radar.
On the undercard, 23 year old Keith Thurman ended his year-plus layoff with an easy stoppage over Orlando Lora. Thurman showcased his hard counter-punching and he tested Lora’s chin throughout the first five rounds with right uppercuts, left hooks and body shots. The end would come in the sixth off a counter left hook and right cross that dropped Lora, who then rose and immediately went to his corner in capitulation. A welterweight, Thurman now believes he’s ready for the big names of the division.
“I’m the new thing in the welterweight division,” said Thurman. “Paul Malignaggi, I want your belt. Tim Bradley, I want your belt. Floyd Mayweather, you’re undefeated but I think I can beat you. Come get some.”
Adrien Broner put himself in a no win situation by having to double Escobedo’s purse in order to come in at 147-148 pounds. He did what he supposed to do; dominate a solid fighter who he held every conceivable advantage over. Now what’s next? Like Broner himself told me in our interview, it needs to be top competition from here on out. Broner gave an excellent list of future opponents in Antonio DeMarco, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios. Out of that list, the bout that would be the easiest to make is against DeMarco, who fights John Molina on September 8.
Broner still has a ways to go before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, but the skills and natural physical talent are undeniable. Now it’s time to see those attributes put to the test against equally talented fighters.