By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Adrien Broner will return to his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and will challenge for the vacant WBA Junior Welterweight Title when he takes on Khabib Allakhverdiev. This will be the fourth time that Broner has fought at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
The untelevised undercard will feature several high ceiling prospects such as Robert Easter Jr. and Jamel Herring. The televised undercard will feature an IBF Junior Lightweight title fight between Jose Pedraza and Edner Cherry.
The following is a preview of both bouts.
Jose Pedraza (20-0) vs. Edner Cherry (31-6-2); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
Edner Cherry has experienced a career resurgence since losing a decision to Timothy Bradley in 2008 for the WBC World Super Lightweight Title. He has been undefeated since then and seven of his last ten wins have come by stoppage. He will also be fighting in two weight classes lower than his last loss.
Cherry, however, will be facing a young and hungry Puerto Rican title contender Jose Pedraza.
Pedraza will have about a half an inch height advantage and close to a two inch reach advantage. Pedraza is also seven years younger than Cherry likely won’t have a lot of title opportunities in the future if he loses since he’s thirty three years old.
Pedraza has a successful international amateur career which included participation in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Cherry didn’t have the amateur success of Pedraza and in fact started his professional career with a pedestrian record of 3-2-2.
Cherry’s power has been more evidence since he’s dropped weight classes and he has stopped nineteen of his opponents. Pedraza has stopped twelve of his opponents, and he only stopped two of his last five opponents.
Cherry, at this point in their careers, has faced the tougher opposition. His notable victories include Luis Cruz, Vicente Escobedo, Stevie Johnston, Wes Ferguson, and Monty Clay. Most of his losses came earlier in his career but he has lost to the likes of Timothy Bradley Jr., Paulie Malignaggi, Jose Armando Santa Cruz, and Ricky Quiles.
Pedraza will be in the ring with the most experienced opponent of his career. His most notable victories include Andrey Klimov, Michael Farenas, and Sergio Reyes.
Cherry has six losses in his career but he has never been stopped and Pedraza isn’t known for his knockout power. Cherry will test Pedraza and has the power to hurt him, but it seems likely that Pedraza will rely on his superior boxing ability to outbox Cherry and play it safe over the course of twelve rounds.
Adrien Broner (30-2) vs. Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1); WBA Junior Welterweight Title
Adrien Broner was once considered the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he was dominating the lightweight and super featherweight divisions and had an undefeated record. However, since he made an ill advised move to the welterweight division which saw him barely beat Paulie Malignaggi, lose to Marcos Maidana, and later a lose to Shawn Porter his hype has faded significantly.
He has since claimed that he has changed and has settled into the junior welterweight division, but he will be facing a tough veteran in Khabib Allakhverdiev.
Broner had a successful amateur career which some him win the 2002 and 2003 National Silver Gloves Championship and a semi finalist in the 2005 National Junior Olympics. Allakhverdiev also had a successful amateur career which saw him win a bronze medal in the 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships.
Broner has the edge on age over Allakhverdiev. He’s six years younger than his opponent, and he will have about an inch and a half reach advantage over him. Allakhverdiev, however, will be about an inch and a half taller.
Allakhverdiev isn’t known for his power and only has nine stoppage victories. Broner has twenty two stoppage victories, but he has never had a stoppage victory in the junior welterweight or welterweight divisions.
Broner’s two losses were by decision to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana, two boxers who were willing to brawl with Broner and fight in tight when needed. His most notable victories include John Molina Jr., Carlon Molina, Emmanuel Taylor, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Gavin Rees.
Allakhverdiev lone loss was a decision over seventeen months ago to Jessie Vargas. His notable victories include wins over Joan Guzman, Kaizer Mabuza, Nate Campbell, and Souleymane M’Baye.
The lengthy time off will hurt Allakhverdiev, especially since he will need to make the fight a rugged brawl if he wants to have a realistic chance to win. Broner does well against boxers who choose to box instead of applying pressure and fighting in tight.
Broner should win by decision, but Allakhverdiev is experienced enough to give Broner a decent fight.
Below is what the fighters had to say today:
“I told you I wouldn’t do any interviews or talk. Nothing has changed. I just want to thank everyone for coming. I will be victorious on Saturday night, October 3.”
“I don’t talk too much. I am ready to fight Saturday.
“He [Broner] is nervous. That’s why he’s acting like a clown.
“This is his hometown. It’s his last chance for a world title and he shows up late and makes it look like he’s joking around with everybody and doesn’t care. I’ve seen fighters do this before and it’s because he is scared.
“He knows what will happen on Saturday. He can clown around all he wants, but that won’t help him when we are in the ring.
“I feel great seeing him nervous. For me, this is just another fight and just another win and that’s what it will be. A win for me over this nervous clown. I am going to beat him in front of all his friends.”
JOSE PEDRAZA, IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion
“Everyone says they’re going to come knock me out, good luck to him. It’s not happening.
“He has a lot of experience as a professional, but I have been fighting for a long time as well so I’m not worried about who he’s faced.
“I’m ready for 12 rounds but I want to get him out of there sooner. I’m going to work the body hard to try to get that done.
“I want to face the best. I’d prefer not to face another Puerto Rican but if it’s the best fight out there, I will face anybody.
“I have no prediction for the fight. I have a good strategy for the fight and if it works, I will win by knockout.”
“I want to thank the fans. Everyone that has supported me. Tune in Saturday night. It will be a great show.”