By: Hector Franco
MIAMI, FL – In front of his hometown crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium, former NFL wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson stepped into the world of boxing, taking on professional fighter Brian Maxwell in a four-round exhibition match with two-minute rounds.
Maxwell didn’t have much professional boxing experience with just one boxing match on his resume, where he lost by second-round technical knockout earlier this year to Gaspard Pierre.
However, Maxwell did enter the ring with a 2-3 record in mixed martial arts and a 0-3 record in bare-knuckle fighting, giving him much more fighting experience than the former football star.
Maxwell also entered the bout with a ten-year age advantage at 33 years old compared to Johnson’s 43.
The exhibition began quickly, with Maxwell going on the offensive. Johnson used lateral movement to move out of the way of many of Maxwell’s advances and at times landed a few punches.
Johnson fought in the southpaw stance and was at his most effective when throwing combinations in bursts seemingly out of nowhere. The first three rounds were relatively close in many respects; however, in the fourth and final round, Maxwell landed a wide right hand that caught Johnson right on the chin sending him down to the canvas.
The former NFL star was able to survive the round by moving and impressively utilizing a clinch.
Although there was no official winner declared in the exhibition, with the knockdown scored by Maxwell, there was some vindication for the fighter from Rocky Mount, Virginia.
“Ask the world who Brian Maxwell is now!” Maxwell stated to Showtime’s Mauro Ranallo.
The CompuBox numbers highlighted a close bout, with Johnson landing 14 out of 45 total punches at a 31 percent connect rate. While Maxwell landed 17 out of 68 total punches at a 25 percent connect rate.
As for Johnson, it’s unclear if he will ever make a return to the squared circle, but he seemed optimistic after the match.
“Don’t be scared to fail. It’s ok.” Johnson said to in his post-fight interview. “I lost my virginity tonight, thanks to Brian. I think I’m ready for McGregor.”
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