By Chris Cella
Last night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, WBC lightweight champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner scored the 22nd knockout of his young career, improving to 26-0. Broner fought a gamed opponent in the UK’s Gavin Rees, (37-2-1, 18 KO) who brought his best efforts into the ring, but fell short by suffering a fifth round TKO loss when his corner decided that their fighter had endured enough punishment.
It was Broner’s first title defense since taking the belt from Antonio DeMarco last November, and the 23-year-old undefeated champion came out with his usual flare and put on a show for fans. His speed, reach and power, coupled with his ability to land shots at various angles proved to be too much of a problem for Rees through the five rounds of the contest.
But more so than Broner winning and successfully defending his WBC lightweight title, it was more about how he won it. Although he never seemed to be in any real danger or trouble, as Rees’ best shots didn’t do much to phase him, he got hit more in last night fights than in any previous of his matches.
And as he continues to defend his belt he will face more upper echelon opponents, and what appears to be his lack of elusiveness may prove to be an issue going forward.
There has been much talk recently about the young champion being compared undefeated world champion and arguably the pound-for-pound best fighter in the game Floyd Mayweather Jr. Outside of the ring he knows how to play to the fans; from the dancing to the sunglasses they’re nearly identical. He possesses similar speed and power, and the ability to dictate the pace of the fight; but Mayweather Jr. has been able to do what he does so successfully due to his ability to avoid getting hit.
Broner hasn’t shown his ability to get in there and hit and not be hit.
In a recent interview Broner stated, “I’m going to flush out this lightweight division and then we can go up to the light welterweight and crush their dreams.”
Before he is ready to move up and dominate the light welterweight division, which is one of the most stacked divisions in boxing, he needs to learn some defense, or his incredible ride to the top will quickly be halted when he steps in against a fighter who can hurt him.
Boxing is all about learning from a fight, and making the necessary improvements and adjustments to continue to get better.
Broner has showed early in his career that he has all the tools, as he is already a two-time world champion. And despite showing flaws in his armor last night, he still put on a show and got the W.
The next few fights will be indicative for how ready “The Problem” is to take on some of the best fighters in the world. He is currently scheduled to return to action May 4 in Las Vegas.