Broner Grinds Out A Tough…But Fair…Win
By: Sean Crose
Things got off to an intriguing start Saturday night in Cincinnati as the undefeated Marcus Brown (18-0) took on former Adonis Stevenson foe Thomas Williams (20-2) in a ten-round light heavyweight scrap. Nothing major happened in the first, but you could hear the thudding shots as they landed. Williams went down hard in the second, but was hit again by Brown when he was on the mat. Needless to say, the referee wisely took a point from Brown while scoring the knockdown.
Williams took a few minutes off to compose himself, but Brown rocked him again as soon as the round resumed. Williams, for his part, however, kept coming forward. Williams survived the round, but he was clearly in tough. After a rather uneventful third, Brown took his man down again in the fourth. Williams, however, got up and held strong.
Williams continued to hang on through the fifth, but in the six, he was taken down and out in less than a minute. Afterwards, Brown called out champion Adonis Stevenson in what would be quite an intriguing matchup.
Next up was the return of Lamont Peterson (37-3-1), the talented DC slickster who some felt was robbed in his bout against Danny Garcia. He was in tough, however, as David Avanesyan (22-1-1) knew this was a chance to be in the top welterweight mix. The bout, which was for the WBA welterweight title, was a scheduled twelve round affair.
The skilled Peterson took the first, making the first three minutes of the bout an almost clinical study. The second round offered nothing particular of note, but Avanesyan got to work in the third and may have taken the round with solid shots and body work. Things were close in the middle rounds – perhaps closer than anyone expected. Indeed, it wasn’t easy scoring those rounds. It was a tight affair.
By the seventh, Peterson unleashed a sustained body attack that lasted throughout the round. It was impressive to see and unquestionably painful for Avanesyan to feel. Needless to say, the bout proved to be interesting to watch. By the end of the ninth, it appeared as if Peterson may have had the edge, but Avanesyan certainly seemed capable of pulling out a win.
In the end, however, Peterson closed strong. In the last round, in particular, Peterson fired away at his foe, clearly looking for a knockout. To be sure, Avanesyan landed good shots – it’s just that Peterson landed the better ones. And it was Peterson who won the title by unanimous decision. Still, it was some kind of fight.
It was time for the main event. Cincinnati’s own, Adrien The Problem Broner (32-2) was claiming to be a man who was doing a lot of internal growing. Now he could show some of his growth in the ring against the hungry Adrian Granados (18-4-2) in a ten-round welterweight affair. The first round was high intensity, but Granados got the better of it.
Broner, however, started striking well with counters in the second. Still, it was close in the early going. To be sure, it seemed to this writer that Granados pulled off the first three rounds. Broner was most certainly not, however, getting wiped out. In fact, Broner looked extremely sharp in the beginning of the fourth. This was a man, though, who had spent a career showing much inconsistency. With that in mind, Broner continued to do enough to take the round.
Broner went ahead and took the fifth, as well. Granados was still bulling forward, but Broner was landing well. Granados moved in hard at the beginning the of the sixth. The round was incredibly close and also quite exciting. I gave it to Broner by a sliver.
The seventh and eighth proved to be grinding affairs, with each man having his moments. Broner took the seventh, Granados, the eighth. The end of the ninth looked like a war, but ultimately, Broner had the cleaner shots throughout the round. It was a terrific bout heading into the final round. Needless to say, it was fireworks until the end, but Broner took the last round by sealing the deal with some terrific final minute shots.
And indeed, Broner took a split decision win.
As an important side note – Broner apologized publicly after the fight for his well-known past transgressions. Some may roll their eyes at such an action – but Broner’s apology should be accepted and people should wish the guy the best.