by Kirk Jackson
Adrien “The Problem” Broner 30-1 (22 KO’s) will make his return to the ring this Saturday, June 20th, headlining the Premier Boxing Champions on NBC card, taking on Shawn “ShowTime” Porter 25-1-1 (16 KO’s) in the “Battle for Ohio,” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
This is a highly anticipated showdown between former titleholders, arguably the most anticipated fight on the other side of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao spectacle. This bout will also take place at the catch-weight of 144 lbs.
Broner, the three division champion is the slight underdog in this fight. The close odds reflect what is to be a competitive bout, but there is many things that will work in Broner’s favor.
If we look at this match-up, Porter and Broner have a common opponent in Paulie Malignaggi. Broner struggled against Malignaggi in route to a competitive split decision win in Malignaggi’s hometown of Brooklyn.
Porter however, steam rolled through Malignaggi in four rounds. Based on the comparative results from each fighter, many observers would favor Porter over Broner.
But the differences in fighting style determined the outcome in each fight.
Speaking of style, when analyzing Broner’s only defeat against Marcos Maidana, an observer can easily point out Maidana’s punching power and aggression overwhelming Broner, ultimately leading to his defeat.
When Malignaggi applied sustained aggression and worked behind his jab against Broner, he had success as well.
With that logic, many would think Porter can do the same and achieve victory this Saturday, but there are some other nuances to observe.
There is a difference in jab with Malignaggi, Porter and Maidana. Malignaggi is known for his potent jab, Maidana has an unconventional but highly effective jab, while Porter’s jab is regarded as okay at best.
This fight will potentially be a battle of jabs, as Broner will essentially utilize his jab at high rate for this fight. As Broner displayed in his last fight against John Molina, his jab can neutralize his opponent’s offense as well as set his own defense.
Broner’s jab will be essential for keeping Porter at bay and throwing Porter off his rhythm.
One of Porter’s greatest strengths is actually one of his greatest weaknesses.
Porter is an aggressive fighter, very powerful and he likes to use those attributes to his advantage and consistently attack and break down his opponents.
But while in pursuit of his opponent, he has a tendency to smother his own punches at times and he leaves himself open pressing forward with offense on his mind.
IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook was able to use his jab to establish range against Porter, and when Porter was able to work his way on the inside he often smothered his punches. Some of that was due to the defensive prowess and tactics of Brook, who at times clinched Porter in effort to derail any kind of momentum which was an intelligent tactic.
Broner will clinch at times in effort to frustrate Porter. Broner will also do some other things to frustrate Porter. We may see some clowning around (it wouldn’t be a Broner fight if we didn’t see some clowning).
While Porter is the physically stronger athlete, the additional weight loss will hamper him in this regard and he won’t be as strong on the inside. Advantage Broner.
This will enable Broner to hang with Porter inside the trenches and we will see Broner push back Porter at times.
Aside from the occasional clinch and a consistent jab, we will see a little more lateral movement from Broner.
Critics in the past have complained of Broner’s lack of lateral movement and what can be construed as ring laziness, but he will move a little more and be more active in this bout. He will be forced to be more active and to take this fight more serious.
Serving as a sparring partner for Porter a few years ago, he probably realizes he can’t play around with Porter.
Another thing Broner has in his corner, a weapon at his disposal that will aid him in this fight:
Being under the tutelage of one of the greats certainly can only do nothing but help. Affectionately known as his “Big Brother” Floyd Mayweather, is surely dropping gems of wisdom for Broner.
Broner also acquired the services of trainer Nate Jones in preparation for this fight.
This should be a tactical bout early, with Broner taking control during the middle rounds. We will see his full arsenal of skills, as he will aim to leave an impression in what will be a showcase fight for him.
Porter is definitely not without skill, as he is athletic and will fight with tenacity as long as there is time on the clock. This is a battle for Ohio, so of course there will be a lot of pride at stake.
Adrien Broner however, will rise to the occasion and will emerge victorious against Shawn Porter in what will be an entertaining fight.