By Kirk Jackson
As expected, Adrien Broner defeated Gavin Rees this past weekend in Atlantic City on his HBO Showcase.
The bout ended in exciting fashion, via a 5th round TKO, as the corner of Rees threw in the towel to put an end to the fight.
Heading into the fight Broner was an “80-1” favorite and is heralded as promising young talent and already recognized as a top five p4p fighter by “The Ring.”
Broner is immensely talented and has an enigmatic personality to attract legions of new fans to the sport of boxing. Flashy, confident, quick witted and humorous, Broner aims to carry the torch from his predescescent mentor Floyd Mayweather, whenever he does decide to finally retire.
It seems HBO is ready to push Broner as one of their main stars, with the impending decline and retirements of Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
But is it all too soon for Broner? Is HBO and other media outlets putting a little extra on his supposed greatness? Perhaps they are and it wouldn’t be the first time that has occurred, see Manny Pacquiao.
Yes he is talented and has unlimited potential. But there are some staggering flaws in his style, his resume isn’t too impressive and the junior lightweight (130) and lightweight (135) divisions currently do not possess a huge pool a talent like they have in years past to test Broner.
He will have to move up in weight in order to find a suitable challenge.
Looking at the five biggest names on his resume, there is the aforementioned Rees, Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Vincente Escobedo and Jason Litzau.
Gavin Rees was an 80-1 underdog for a reason. Prior to his match against Broner, Rees hasn’t faced elite world level competition aside from Andriy Kotelnyk and that fight ended in defeat.
Escobedo is a little removed from his prime and had a weight disadvantage with Broner failing to make weight.
Litzau is really good win for Broner, considering the stage he was at in his career during the time and with Litzau was coming off a big win against the talented, but undersized Celestino Caballero.
The victory against Ponce De Leon is a good victory as well, although many argue the fight was closer than what was scored and that Broner may have actually lost, it’s a solid victory for Broner against a tough, savvy champion.
DeMarco may be overrated as a fighter as is Broner’s performance against him. Who has DeMarco defeated of note?
Broner is looked as the next Mayweather and there are many comparisons and similarities between the two. They have comparable on-screen personas and are freakish athletic specimens. But there is a difference is skill level and resume if you compare their respective careers to Broner now and what Mayweather did at age 23 or 24.
Floyd had already beaten guys like Diego Corrales, Angel Manfredy, and Genaro Hernandez before the age of 24. His resume is more impressive.
They both implore the shoulder roll, but Broner isn’t as great with that particular defensive stance as is Mayweather or even James Toney. Mayweather had the ability from and early onset to effectively on the inside as well as the outside and was more precise counter-puncher.
Both are comparable in the sense they are defensive minded fighters but also action fight friendly at the comparable stages of their careers.
As of right now although Broner is defensive minded, he does have a tendency to get hit more often than he would like, forcing him to be more of a “walk down” fighter.
In his last fights against Rees and DeMarco, Broner showed his inability to avoid overhand right punches, but in the process showed his ability to take a punch. Rees especially did a good number on Broner, dominating the first two rounds with his punch output, landing solid shots to Broner’s body and evading any incoming payback using solid head movement.
By the 4th round Broner was able to gain control of the fight, but it wasn’t as impressive compared to his standards and because of who he was in the ring with. There were some tactical adjustments made by Broner, but the outcome of the bout was determined primarily on his size and athletic advantages.
These may seem like harsh criticisms, maybe unfair, but he holds himself to a higher standard and is compared by many to Floyd Mayweather.
At the very moment in my estimation, Broner is not a top five p4p fighter. He is certainly top 15 and arguably a top 10 p4p fighter, with potential to be top five in the near future.
He may very well be at the top of the p4p list within the next two years and deserves credit for at least appearing to take on all comers and he is cleaning out his divisions.
Bigger challenges await Broner in the junior welterweight (140) and welterweight (147) divisions and we should look forward to seeing how he will take on these challenges.