Broner, the former WBO champion at 130, had a lot of damage control to do heading into Saturday’s showdown with WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco of Los Mochis, Mexico. It was imperative that he make a statement by winning impressively.
“I knew he didn’t have the skills to beat me,” said Broner who improved to 25-0 (21). “I thought I made a statement tonight.”
Broner picked apart the slightly older DeMarco en route to capturing his second world title in as many weight classes. Broner punished and would eventually prompt DeMarco’s corner to throw in the towel at the 1:49 mark of the eighth frame.
“His defense and shoulder roll was hard to penetrate,” said the 26-year-old DeMarco, who now falls to 28-3-1 (21). “I fought my heart out. I will be back.”
Broner, resembling a member of the Dipset (with all of the pink he was wearing in the ring) boxed in the pocket while doing his best Floyd Mayweather impersonation. Broner connected with so many lead right hands as well as crippling, counter-left hooks to the head of the southpaw DeMarco.
“He was definitely the strongest opponent I have faced,” said Broner. “He had a good chin and could take a punch. I got the skills to run this city and run this sport.”
Broner was stronger, faster and smarter as he exploited every last one of DeMarco’s flaws, including his invisible defense. DeMarco started off the fight well by using his right jab but as the contest wore on, that jab became a non-issue. To DeMarco’s credit, he showed a lot of courage. It was vital that his team save him from himself, especially after Broner punctuated the imminent stoppage with a knockdown in the eighth.
It was a one-sided mismatch; apparently on the night of November 17, 2012, DeMarco was the only one with a problem. At the time of the stoppage, Broner was up 69-64 on all three scorecards.
“I don’t usually go for the knockout,” said Broner, “but I knew if pressed him, I would get the cheese.”
The future of boxing in the post-Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao world looks like this: Andre Ward, Saul Alvarez and Broner.
Canadian junior middleweight Phil Lo Greco, 149, shook off any cobwebs he may have sustained after being dropped early in the first by his opponent, “The Harlem Kid,” Daniel Sostre, to earn a controversial stoppage six rounds later.
“I feel like a million bucks,” said Lo Greco, 25-0 (14). “That’s two times in a row I was knocked down in the first round.”
Sostre, 146, now 11-8-1, (4) didn’t appear hurt but absorbed a combination at the :45 mark while in the corner that left the third man in the ring extremely concerned. Referee Allan Huggins eventually waved off the fight, leaving Sostre and the crowd in attendance puzzled.
But what matters is that Lo Greco got the “W,” regardless of the fight being fairly close.
“I feel like [Felix] Trinidad,” said Lo Greco. “I just got to get warmed up.” Expect a rematch much sooner than later.
In an all-out Pennsylvania battle, former junior welterweight contender Demetrius Hopkins, (now fighting at junior middleweight),154.5, of Philadelphia, earned bragging rights after stopping Joshua Snyder of York in the fifth round of a scheduled eight round contest.
Hopkins (the nephew of light heavyweight Hall-of-Famer Bernard Hopkins) dropped the slightly heavier Snyder, 158 pounds, with a straight right hand to the face in the fourth frame.
With the victory, Hopkins (who was in control from the opening bell) improved to 32-2-1 (12) after earning the TKO in the fifth stanza at the 1:26 mark. Unfortunately for Snyder, he now drops to 9-8-1 (3). To his credit, he is still one win above .500.
Julian Williams, 154, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pounded out Jonel Tapia of the “Boogie Down” Bronx over the course of seven rounds, prompting the referee to spare the Boricua of anymore of the assault.
To Tapia’s credit, he was tough and competitive but just wasn’t active enough.
Tapia, 154.5, now 8-3 (5), fought Williams in a phone booth, which wasn’t advantageous for him. Williams unleashed a lot of punishment on Tapia, while improving to 10-0-1 (5). The time of the stoppage was 2:10.
Welterweight Zachary Ochoa, 140.5, of Manhattan, New York, only needed one round to dispose of his counterpart, Michael Salcido, 145 pounds.
Ochoa, 3-0 (3), dropped his opponent of Casa Grande, Arizona with the first right hand he connected with in the contest. In the latter half of the first round, Ochoa would score two more knockdowns via a straight right hand to the body, and another straight right hand to the chin of Salcido, 1-5. The time of the stoppage was 2:09.
In the opening bout of the evening, lightweight Terron Grant, 130, of White Plains, Maryland, stopped Abraham Esquivel in the first round at the 2:14 mark, improving to 5-0 (3).
Grant dropped Esquivel, 131.5, of Monterey, Mexico, three times before the referee called the bout to a halt. The three knockdowns were the result of precise work to the body. With the loss, Esquivel dropped to 4-3 (2).
Jay Gon’s Ringside Tidbits
- I got into A.C. today at 4:30 p.m. I have never been to a fight that early in my life.
- The food in the press room was solid!
- A.C. looks good, post-Sandy.
- This was the second major event in the Boardwalk Hall since Sandy waged war in the area. Carrie Underwood performed here last week.
- Attendance at the fight was rather poor though, unfortunately.
- There was a heated debate going on in the press room about who was better, Jay-Z or Nas? I love those discussions!
- Compton, Cali MC Kendrick Lamar walked Broner out to the ring. The beat that was being played was sick as the pair walked into the squared circle was bananas.
- Golden Boy Promotions was donating a $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Club in Atlantic City for every knockout scored. Well there were seven fights and all of them ended in a knockout. That’s seven Gs for the Boys and Girls club. Not bad…Good for them; they deserve it. Sandy caused a lot of damage to the facility.