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HBO Boxing Preview: DeMarco vs. Broner, Mitchell vs. Banks

By: William Holmes

HBO’s World Championship Boxing series comes to the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday night. Adrien Broner will make his debut in the lightweight division against Antonio DeMarco for his WBC Lightweight Title, and rising contender Seth Mitchell will battle Johnathon Banks in the heavyweight division.

The main event is a fight that has a lot of fans salivating and should help determine if Adrien Broner is the real deal or an overhyped fighter.

Seth Mitchell (25-0) vs. Johnathon Banks (28-1); Heavyweight Division

Seth Mitchell and Johnathon Banks are both thirty years old, both have a 76 inch reach, and Banks has a mere one inch height advantage over Mitchell.

But only one has received an incredible amount of hype as the next big American heavyweight.

Seth Mitchell is an undefeated boxer with an impressive knockout ratio. 19 of his 25 victories have come by way of KO or TKO, and his past ten fights resulted in stoppage victories. He has recently taken a step up in competition when he fought the likes of Chazz Witherspoon and Timur Ibragimov. Neither fighter made it past the third round.

Mitchell is powerful and extremely athletic; he was a former starting middle linebacker for Michigan State University. He does not possess a deep amateur background. He only began boxing in 2006 and had a mere 10 amateur fights.

His opponents prior to 2011 were not world class opponents. His only notable victory prior to 2011 was against Taurus Sykes, the rest of his opponents were average at best.

Johnathon Banks was a three-time National Amateur Champion at 178 pounds. Banks fought out of the Kronk Gym in Detroit and was trained by the recently deceased Emmanuel Steward.

His knockout ratio isn’t as good as Mitchell’s, but he does have 17 KO/TKO’s on his record. His only notable victory was a 6th round TKO over Travis Walker in 2010. But Banks’ record is filled with subpar fighters.

Banks took a step up in competition in 2009 in the cruiserweight division against Tomasz Adamek. He was doing well on the scorecards until the referee waved off the fight in the 8th round.

Banks will surely be motivated for this fight on Saturday night in honor of Emmanuel Steward, but it won’t be enough to overcome the behemoth that will be standing in front of him on Saturday night.

It will be a shocker if Mitchell doesn’t end the fight on Saturday night. If Mitchell is impressive, a title shot might be in order. At the very least, he should fight another top undefeated American contender: Bryant Jennings and/or Deontay Wilder would make suitable opponents.

Antonio DeMarco (28-2) vs. Adrien Broner (24-0); WBC Lightweight Title

Adrien Broner picked a tough fight for his debut in the lightweight division. The Cincinnati native missed weight in his last fight against Vicente Escobedo in the super featherweight division, but early reports show that Broner is on track to make the lightweight limit.

Many boxing pundits consider Broner a smaller version of Floyd Mayweather Jr. He’s crafty, intelligent, brash, and talented. Only four his fights have gone to a decision, and four of his past five fights have ended in KO or TKO.

Broner’s first fight against elite competition occurred in March of 2011 against Daniel Ponce De Leon. Broner won the fight by a controversial and tight decision, but Broner has not looked back since then.

He thrashed Jason Litzau in one round. He won the WBO Super Featherweight Title by a 3rd round KO over Vicente Martin Rodriguez. He gave Eloy Perez the first defeat of his career. He made the aforementioned Escobedo look like an amateur inside the ring.

He’s talented and he’s controversial, but he’ll be facing the toughest test of his career on Saturday night.

Antonio DeMarco is a fighter that looks better and better every time he steps inside the ring. His first loss occurred early on in his career, in 2006 by a majority decision. His second loss was to unstoppable and deceased Edwin Valero in 2010. Valero was a fighter who stopped every single opponent he faced.

DeMarco has gone on a tear since his loss to Valero and has looked extremely impressive in the process. He really opened up the eyes of fight fans everywhere with a thrilling 11th round TKO over Jorge Linares in October of 2011. He absolutely obliterated John Molina on the undercard of Andre Ward vs. Chad Dawson in the first round.

Four of his past five fights have ended by stoppage, and he appears to be peaking at the right time.

DeMarco will be three inches taller than Broner, and many feel that the lightweight division is the heaviest division that Broner can fight at. Many also feel that this fight will be similar to Mayweather vs. Castillo fight.

I agree with them, except this time the Mexican boxer will be victorious.

Broner is an incredible talent, but to take on the top ranked fighter in the lightweight division in your first fight in said division is a questionable move. DeMarco has shown vast improvement since his loss to Valero and he’ll make Broner’s debut in the lightweight division extremely difficult.

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