By Kirk Jackson
The stars are aligned again and on December 14th Showtime will be showcasing a quadruple header at the Alamo dome in San Antonio, Texas.
This fight card features many big time contenders and the main event will be capped with a highly anticipated fight featuring three division champion and current WBA welterweight champion Adrien Broner 27-0 (22 KO’s) vs. former WBA junior welterweight champion Marcos Maidana 34-3 (31 KO’s).
Broner is one of boxing’s biggest rising stars who likes to display is arrogant attitude and extravagant life style, (ala Hector “Macho” Camacho or Floyd “Money” Mayweather) and Maidana is one of boxing’s biggest punchers.
Both fighters put on exciting fights, both fighters aim to leave a huge impression on the fans and also want to send a message to their peers, especially those in the neighboring divisions.
Broner is speed, flash, counter-punching, has decent defensive skills and likes to stalk his opponents down and punish them with authoritative blows.
Maidana resembled an old western gun slinger inside the ring, receiving punch to deliver a punch, but he has a more reformed style of fighting under the tutelage of new trainer Robert Garcia.
He is a little more patient, does use his left jab more frequently, but he does still sit on his punches and has maintained the capacity to deliver devastating punches.
Broner recently made the jump from lightweight to welterweight and challenged one of the best fighters in the division and his best opponent to date in Paulie Malignaggi.
The “Magic Man” did give Broner some problems and Broner had to adjust mid-way through the fight just to pull out a razor thin close split decision over Malignaggi.
A weakness that was highlighted in the fight against Malignaggi was Broner’s lack of punching output as well as some defensive deficiencies. He was tagged a lot and is fortunate Malignaggi doesn’t possess the punching power to seriously endanger most opponents.
Broner’s punching out-put issue was also illustrated against Gavin Rees, a fighter he faced before Malignaggi. Now this all can be by design from Broner, but when facing bigger punchers like a Maidana, he will be in big trouble if he can’t evade most of those bombs coming in.
But he is calm under pressure and has shown in the past against he has the ability to make adjustments in the fight. He did against Gavin Rees, against Antonio Demarco and against Malignaggi. Broner can put punches together and inflict heavy damage.
Maidana’s issue is dealing with fast fighters. Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, even Victor Ortiz’s speed bothered Maidana and he was defeated by both Khan and Alexander.
Maidana’s newfound patience and improved jab may aid him in neglecting Broner’s superior hand speed. The man from Argentina will also have to cut off the ring effectively against Broner, who does hold the advantage in foot speed as well.
But the Argentinian fighter has displayed countless amounts of resiliency in his career as well. He did so against Khan, Ortiz and even most recently against Josesito Lopez.
During one of the last press conferences leading up to the fight on Saturday, Broner mentioned his plans for bringing the fight to Maidana.
“I don’t go for knockouts but I’m really going to knock this guy out,” said Adrien Broner.“I’m going to be is first stoppage.”
If Broner honors his word and is more aggressive and more willing to stand and trade with Maidana, then that’s a plus for Maidana and it works in his favor. It will also be extremely exciting for the fans.
That may be the best plan for Broner. Initiate the action and try to lure Maidana into traps so he can counter-punch. Fight with controlled aggression and fight smart defensively as well.
Broner likes to walk down his opponents, a trait that has endeared him to some fans. Maidana loves to exchange and possesses amazing power even at 147 and it would be difficult to imagine walking through Maidana’s punches. So if he uses this strategy, he must proceed with caution.
He has to remember that typically, the judges in Texas favor the aggressive fighters. Think of Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez back in 1993, more recently Paulie Malignaggi vs. Juan Diaz and even Austin trout vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
As the stage is grows bigger for Broner, along with his climb through weight divisions, he is starting to fight bigger, better opponents. He has a lot more at stake than does Maidana. Not only is it important for Broner to win, but to win in impressive fashion. Many questions will be answered this fight, especially in regards to his chin.
A victory for Broner provides a series of options for the fighter from Cincinnati, as he could move down to junior welterweight and face Danny Garcia, Lucas Martin Matthysse or force them to come to welterweight. Who knows, maybe even a fight with Canelo Alvarez a couple years from now may occur.
Leading up to the fight I thought Maidana’s punch output, persistence and power would pay dividends and win him the fight. But after rethinking everything again, I think Broner will find a way to win this fight. His speed to go along with his accurate counter-punching and well placed body punching will win him the fight.
I think he will increase his punch output as well and even though his persona will not display it, he does view Maidana as a big threat and will come into this fight well prepared.
We may see Broner stunned noticeably and even knocked down for the first time and we will probably see Maidana on the canvas as well. But Broner will win via unanimous decision in an exciting fight to retain his WBA welterweight championship.