By: William Holmes
World Championship Boxing returned to Atlantic City tonight to deliver the area’s first fight since the devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
Sadly, the broadcast felt different without the analysis of legendary trainer Emanuel Steward.
The first fight on the televised portion of the card was between Detroit’s Johnathon Banks (28-1) and the heavily hyped Seth Mitchell (25-0) of Maryland in the heavyweight division. The fight was a semi-final eliminator for Vitali Klitschko’s WBC title. Mitchell was also looking to cement his reputation as the next great American heavyweight against the sometime sparring partner and now trainer of overall division champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Both Mitchell and Banks looked to be in very good shape. Both men landed several hard jabs in the first round and a hook from Mitchell appeared to bother Banks early on.
The second round will be one of the most memorable rounds in 2012.
Banks started off more aggressive in round two and landed several jabs to the face of Mitchell. A hard right hook by Banks knocked Mitchell down. Mitchell was able to get back to his feet and tried in vain to hold on and survive, his inexperience showing as he failed to tie up Banks’s arms.
Mitchell attempted to exchange with Banks, but a crisp right hook and thudding right cross sent Mitchell to the ground again. Mitchell rose to his feet but was on very rubbery legs. Banks ended it with another barrage of painfully accurate straight right hands.
The referee stopped the onslaught at 2:37 of the second round, and America’s supposed “next big thing” at heavyweight lay on the canvas, beaten down by Wladimir Klitschko’s sparring partner.
It was a very impressive victory for Johnathon Banks. The victory was a telling testament to the talents of Emanuel Steward.
The main event of the night was between Adrien Broner (24-0) and Antonio DeMarco (28-2) for the WBC Lightweight Title.
DeMarco’s right eye showed signs of bruising in the first round and Broner’s defense was impeccable throughout the bout.
DeMarco was thoroughly outclassed and punished throughout the fight by the talented Broner. Broner really unleashed on DeMarco in the fifth round, with several hard right crosses and devastating uppercuts. It was a likely 10-8 round.
A body shot by Broner visibly hurt DeMarco in the sixth round. Though he was being pummeled, DeMarco insisted on standing right in front of Broner, and came out second best as he was countered over and over again with hard shots.
Broner continued his assault on DeMarco and was absolutely destroying him. By the eighth round, the crowd was just waiting for the referee or the corner to stop the carnage inside the ring.
Finally, Broner landed a solid left uppercut and DeMarco went stumbling backwards and fell to the ground.
The fight was finally waved off at 1:45 of the 8th round. This was a very impressive performance by Adrien Broner, who picks up the WBC world lightweight title belt with the win.