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Azad Championship Report: DeMarco Can’t Hear Broner…or Understand Him

(Photo © Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions)
(Photo © Tom Hogan - Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions)


In the lead-up to this weekend’s contest between WBC lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco and challenger Adrien Broner, the usually brash and talkative talent from Cincinnati, Ohio has been relatively subdued and unusually quiet. In fact, he’s been downright reserved and respectful toward DeMarco for whatever reason. But here’s the thing: even if Broner was his usual bombastic self, chances are it wouldn’t have fazed the low-key DeMarco.
 
Because the reality is DeMarco speaks very little - if any - English.
 
He says through his publicist, Felipe Leon, that, “I laugh, even though I would ignore it, if Broner would say something. It is to my advantage that I don’t speak English.

Yeah, no habla Espanol.
 
Regardless, sticks and stones make break his bones but words will never hurt him.
 
“I always take things calmly and if I were to hear something that Broner might say, I’d take it as motivation and I respect the fact that maybe that’s the way he’s motivating himself,” said the 26-year old southpaw who hails from Tijuana. There’s no doubt the antics of Broner can get into his opponents’ heads. He certainly seemed to ruffle the feathers of Eloy Perez throughout fight week in February (and it didn’t help that Perez was on the nose candy beforehand). “Definitely, I think he beats his opponents psychologically first and then that affects them inside the ring. But that’s not going to happen here. I’m calm; I’m mature. I have experience and we’re just ready for the fight,” he says.
 
Leon, who’s gotten to know DeMarco quite well in recent years, says, “I just feel that Antonio can’t be fazed by anything. I’ve known him for six, seven, eight years, even before he was with Gary Shaw. I’ve seen a lot of emotion from him: happiness. I’ve seen sadness when he lost to [Edwin] Valero. It was a very sad moment in the dressing room afterwards. But one thing that I’ve never seen from Antonio DeMarco is anger. He’s very calm and he’s very focused and I think when he jumps into that ring, he doesn’t get angry and that helps him stay focused on what he needs to do inside the ring.”
 
The weigh-in at Atlantic City went off without any real altercation, which has been par for the course in this rather subdued promotion. “I’ve never even heard [Broner] say DeMarco’s name,” Leon pointed out last week. “He said the night’s going to end early and that he’s looking to fight again before the end of the year. But not one time did he mention DeMarco’s name.”
 
He added, “I haven’t seen him go ‘Adrien Broner’ on Antonio.”
 
While DeMarco is certainly battle-tested (having been stopped by the late Valero and coming from behind to stop Jorge Linares), Broner has been carefully matched on HBO since his struggle against Daniel Ponce de Leon in March of 2011. To this, DeMarco says, “I respect Broner; I respect his career, the way he’s been brought up but the difference is going to be on the 17th. The level of opposition Broner has faced versus me is going to be noticeable.”
 
But through all the antics and bravado that Broner brings to the dance, DeMarco is well aware he is facing a very talented fighter - but one with flaws, just like anybody else.
 
“We’ve been looking at everything he does right and the errors he commits. I think we can take advantage of those and I’m ready to go. Physically and mentally, I’m ready for anything he can do inside the ring,” said DeMarco, who admits to studying Broner’s bout against Ponce de Leon with keen interest. “Yeah, definitely. That fight’s a good guide because Ponce is a southpaw and Ponce was doing some things right in there. He was pressing him; he was taking the fight to Broner. That’s something were taking notice of.”
 
Broner, who is moving up to the lightweight class, made weight on Friday afternoon. In his last outing, Broner infamously failed - perhaps didn’t even try - to make the 130-pound limit for his bout with Vicente Escobedo. Now the question is, how does Broner transition to being a lightweight? DeMarco opines, “I think Broner was a strong fighter at 130 and I believe that 135 will not sit well with him. And that’s why I’m expecting a good fight.”
 
There’s no doubt; most pundits are tabbing Broner to take DeMarco’s crown. But we’ve seen in the past, DeMarco, if nothing else, is persistent. And he’s the type of guy that speaks softly and carries a big stick. His reserved demeanor is probably a reason why some have underestimated him in the past.
 
“I’ve always said that I’m a fighter who respects his opponents outside the ring but once inside the ring, I turn into a different person. I just want to beat ‘em and punch ‘em until they stop.”
 
Steve can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and he tweets at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.


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