By: William Holmes
Is Adrien Broner all hype or is he the real deal?
The undefeated Cincinnati native certainly has a knack for flair and showmanship, and on Saturday he will be defending his WBO Super Featherweight World Title in his hometown against top contender Vincente Escobedo.
Certainly, there are other, more challenging options out there for Broner besides the three-loss Escobedo, and it is unfortunate to see that HBO will be only broadcasting one fight instead of the customary two-to-three.
However, Saturday is a legitimate world title fight and is worthy of a Boxing Insider analysis.
Adrien Broner (23-0) vs. Vicente Escobedo (26-3); WBO Super Featherweight World Title
Adrien Broner has already announced his intentions to jump up to the Lightweight division after Saturday’s fight. He wouldn’t have cleaned out the Super Featherweight division, as tough challenges such as Takashi Uchiyama, Juan Carlos Salgado, Diego Magdaleno, and Javier Fortuna remain, but he is a premier talent who appears able to pack on the extra pounds.
Broner is a young professional with over 300 amateur fights on his resume. He has 19 TKO/KO’s on his record, and considering that he only has 23 total fights, that is a very impressive number.
Some believe that Adrien Broner is protected, but he’s only 22 and has a long boxing career ahead of him.
Broner has incredibly quick hands and solid power for his weight class. He’s fought on the undercard of several big fights, including Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito.
Questions about Broner’s talent first arose when he fought Daniel Ponce De Leon in March of 2011. Many commentators thought the fight should have been scored a draw, but Broner was able to pull out a close decision victory. De Leon asked for a rematch afterwards, but Broner did not oblige him.
Broner’s most impressive victories to date have been a 1st round TKO over Jason Litzau and a 4th round TKO over Eloy Perez. Broner does lack that big name victory to get him into super stardom territory, and that big name victory won’t come on Saturday.
Escobedo is seven years Broner’s elder and had a more illustrious amateur career than Broner. He represented the United States at the 2004 Olympics and got there by beating Anthony Peterson in the Olympic Trials.
Escobedo is riding a four-fight win streak, including a September victory over the well known but downward spiraling Rocky Juarez. He lost in November of 2011 to Robert Guerrero, who will be making his welterweight debut soon.
Escobedo has spent most of his career fighting in the lightweight division, and fought his first fight in the super featherweight division against Juarez. He appears to have adjusted well to the drop in weight.
Escobedo has also beaten the once great Kevin Kelley, but he beat him at a time when Kelley could no longer be considered a force. The few times Escobedo has taken on elite or high level competition, he has come up short. This includes the earlier mentioned loss to Guerrero, and a prior defeat to the crowd pleasing but technically deficient Michael Katsidis.
Escobedo also does not have the KO rate that Broner has. Only 15 of his 26 victories have come by way of KO or TKO.
Broner is fighting someone that he tops in speed and power. He is also fighting someone who has failed to rise up to the challenge when he previously fought well-known opponents at or near their primes.
In fact, Broner is fighting someone that should present little to no challenge to his undefeated record. Broner will win on Saturday; it’s just a question of in what round.