Showtime Boxing Preview: Adrien Broner vs. Maidana, Santa Cruz vs. Seda, Thurman vs. Soto Karass
By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotions is presenting a stacked card on Saturday night from San Antonio, Texas. This card was originally supposed to be on pay per view but it was later decided to have Showtime broadcast four fights on their network.
Fight fans will be treated to four world title fights, two in the welterweight division, one in the junior featherweight division, and one in the light heavyweight division. The main event is one that fight fans have been salivating over. Many consider Adrien Broner to be a future pay per view star and the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s throne, but first he has to get past the hard hitting and fan favorite Marcos Maidana. It should be an excellent fight.
The following is a preview of the four televised fights.
Beibut Shumenov (13-1) vs. Tamas Kovacs (23-0); WBA Light Heavyweight Title
Bernard Hopkins has been clamoring for a matchup with Floyd Mayweather Jr. He claims that he can make the middleweight limit in order to have a catch weight fight with the pound for pound kingpin. However, it is likely that Hopkins may face the winner of this bout.
Shumenov is a Kazakh boxer with a deep amateur background. He competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics for Kazakhstan and looks to follow in fellow Kazakh’s, Gennady Golovkin, footsteps by making a name for himself in the United States.
He’s thirty years old so he needs some big fights in order to make a name for himself. He has not been very active recently, his last fight was in June of 2012 against Enrique Ornelas. He’ll be slightly taller than his opponent but more importantly he will be six years younger than Kovacs.
Shumenov has some power, he has eight stoppage victories on his ledger. Kovacs has fourteen stoppages, so their power would appear to be equal, but Kovacs has only had one stoppage in his past five fights while Shumenov has two stoppages in his past five.
Neither fighter has a deep resume, but Shumenov has beaten more “notable” opponents. Shumenov’s lone loss came to Gabriel Campillo in August of 2009, but he later avenged that loss in January of 2010 to capture the WBA World Light Heavyweight Title. In addition to Campillo he has also defeated Vyacheslav Uzelkov, William Joppy, and Danny Santiago. Kovacs has defeated nobody of note.
Kovacs has been considerably more active than Shumenov in the past two years, but he has spent his entire career fighting in Europe with most of his fights occurring in his native Slovakia.
This is a showcase fight for Shumenov, a title fight against an opponent with a good record against inferior opponents. Shumenov should win, and win easily. More importantly, he needs to win impressively.
Leo Santa Cruz (26-0) vs. Cesar Seda (25-1); WBC Junior Featherweight Title
Cesar Seda is looking to become the only Puerto Rican to hold a major world title but he has a very tall and tough task ahead of him.
Leo Santa Cruz is a non-stop action fighter and is quickly becoming a fan favorite. At one time it appeared Santa Cruz was headed for an exciting showdown with Abner Mares, but an earlier loss by Mares has derailed those plans.
Santa Cruz is the naturally bigger fighter. Seda was only recently competing for the super flyweight title and he will be giving up an inch in height against him. Santa Cruz also has the deeper amateur background, he won the gold medal at the World Amateur Championships at the age of fifteen.
Santa Cruz has stopped fifteen of his opponents while Seda has stopped seventeen. Seda however only has two stoppages in his past five fights against inferior opponents while Santa Cruz four stoppages in his past five fights against quality opposition.
Santa Cruz holds victories over Victor Terrazs, Alexander Munoz, Alberto Guevara, and Eric Morel. This will be his third time fighting in 2013. Seda has competed once in 2013, an easy decision victory over a five loss Miguel Tamayo. His only notable victories were against Jose Lopez and Daniel Reyes as a super flyweight. He competed for a title once before against Omar Andres Narvaez on Narvaez’s home turf in Argentina in 2011. He lost by a wide decision.
Santa Cruz should be able to bulldoze his way through Seda. The more intriguing question will be who does Santa Cruz fight next and in what weight division.
Keith Thurman (21-0) vs. Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3); WBA Interim Welterweight Title
Keith “One Time” Thurman’s name has been left out of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. sweepstakes, but he should be. An impressive victory over the always tough and durable Jesus Soto Karass might help Thurman’s case for a big name fight.
Keith Thurman has incredible power. He has stopped nineteen of his opponents, including nine of his past ten. He has the deeper amateur background and the age advantage over Soto Karass, but he will be giving up about three inches in reach and close to two inches in height.
Thurman has slowly been facing increasingly tougher competition inside the ring, but he still lacks that big name victory. He defeated the then undefeated Diego Gabriel Chaves by knockout in the tenth round in a very exciting fight in July of 2013. He has also defeated the likes of Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana, and Orlando Lora.
Soto Karass doesn’t have the power of Thurman, he has stopped eighteen of his opponents, but he is the naturally bigger man. Soto Karass has fought in the junior middleweight division and has fought better opposition than Thurman. He is currently riding a surprising two fight win streak. Most, including this writer, felt Soto Karass would lose badly to Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin in 2013, but he surprised many by defeating Aydin by decision and stopping Berto in the twelfth round. He has also fought Marcos Maidana, Gabriel Rosado, Mike Jones, and Alfonso Gomez and lost to all of them.
But in all of his losses Soto Karass showed he has the ability to take a punch and has incredible heart. Thurman has yet to face someone with the heart and bulldog style of Soto Karass and this is a good test for him. But this is a test that many expect Thurman to pass easily.
Adrien Broner (27-0) vs. Marcos Maidana (34-3); WBA Welterweight Title
Broner reminds many of Floyd Mayweather Jr. He uses the same shoulder roll style of defense, he’s brash, confident (or arrogant), and is undefeated.
However, Broner gets hit more often than Mayweather and one punch from the heavy handed Maidana could result in a knockout.
Many might feel that Broner will be the naturally smaller man than Maidana since he has previously campaigned in the super featherweight and lightweight divisions. However, he has appeared to grow into the welterweight division and he is identical in height and reach to Maidana. Maidana has also spent most of his career fighting in the junior welterweight division, so if Maidana has a size advantage it will be slight.
Broner has the edge in speed, technical skills, and defense. Maidana has the edge in power. Broner has stopped twenty two of his opponents including four of his past five, while Maidana has stopped thirty one of his opponents including four his past five.
Broner has defeated the likes of Paul Malignaggi, Gavis Rees, Antonio DeMarco, Jason Litzau and Daniel Ponce De Leon. Maidana has the more impressive resume with victories over Josesito Lopez, Jesus Soto Karass, Erik Morales, Victor Ortiz and DeMarcus Corley. Maidana however can be out boxed. His losses were by decision to Devon Alexander, Amir Khan, and Andriy Kotelnik.
This is a very intriguing bout, but if Broner sticks to his gameplan and avoids wild brawls he should win and win easily. He would be wise to follow the blue print of Devon Alexander who gave Maidana the worst defeat of his career.
If Maidana is unable to land any hard punches in the early rounds it is unlikely that he’ll win this fight. Expect Broner to win by a wide decision, but it should be an interesting bout.