By: William Holmes
Adrien Broner is now campaigning in the junior welterweight division after his short run as a welterweight title holder. He’ll be fighting in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio on a televised card on Showtime that features three fights featuring contenders in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions.
Photo: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
The premium networks have been televising a lot of major mismatches this year and this offering is no different.
The following is a preview of all three televised fights, none of which are major title fights.
Andre Berto (28-3) vs. Steve Upsher Chambers (24-3); Welterweight Division
Andre Berto was once the proud product of the Al Haymon hype machine and was considered by many to be a future potential opponent for Floyd Mayweather Jr., but he’s been struggling mightily since 2011 and has lost three of his last four fights.
However, boxers are entitled to an easy fight every now and then. Steve Upsher Chambers isn’t a world beater and is currently in the midst of a two fight losing streak.
Chambers has over four inches in height and reach advantage over Berto and he’s also about two years younger. But Berto has the edge everywhere else. Berto of course has the amateur experience edge over Chambers since he competed for Haiti in the 2004 Olympics and is a two time national Golden Gloves champion.
Berto has a suspect chin and was knocked down five times in his past four fights, but he has heavy power in his hands. He has stopped twenty two of his opponents. He also shouldn’t have to worry too much about the power of Chambers. He has only stopped six of his opponents and hasn’t had a stoppage victory since 2009.
Berto has a major edge in quality of opponents. He has lost to Jesus Soto Karass, Robert Guerrero, and Victor Ortiz but has also defeated the likes of Jan Zaveck, Freddy Hernandez, Carlos Quintana, Juan Urango, Luis Collazo, and Steve Forbes.
Chambers has lost to Eddie Gomez and Luis Collazo in his last two fights, and his only notable victory was over ESPN Friday Night Fights veteran Bayan Jargal by a split decision in 2010.
Berto should win easily on Saturday, anything but an easy victory will be problematic for his career.
Lucas Matthysse (35-3) vs. Roberto Ortiz (31-0-1); Junior Welterweight Division
This is probably the most intriguing fight of the night on Showtime.
Lucas Matthysse is never in a boring fight and brings to the ring his vaunted knockout power. He holds an incredible knockout ratio and has stopped thirty three of his opponents out of his thirty five victories. Two of his losses, to Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, were questionable and could have easily been scored in Matthysse’s favor.
Matthysse competed as an amateur on the international level and was semi successful, while Ortiz’s amateur experience is unheralded.
Ortiz is slightly younger than Matthysse and will have about a two and a half inch height advantage. Their reach is identical at sixty nine inches.
Ortiz holds the WBC Silver light welterweight title but has spent his entire career fighting in Mexico. He holds notable victories over Reyes Sanchez, Jorge Romero, and Antonio Lozada Jr. He also has decent power and has stopped twenty four of his opponents, including three of his past five.
Matthysse is a fan favorite for good reason; he has delivered incredible knockouts against good opposition. He won an eleven round war against John Molina in his last bout and has also defeated and stopped the likes of Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., Olusegun Ajose, and Humberto Soto.
Ortiz is an unknown commodity to the majority of the American boxing audience and his lack of fights outside of Mexico brings his record into question. He appears to have the power to pull off an upset, but it’s highly unlikely against a machine like Matthysse.
Adrien Broner (28-1) vs. Emmanuel Taylor (18-2); Junior Welterweight Division
Adrien Broner is one of those boxers who’s more famous for his persona than for his actual talent in the ring, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a very talented boxer.
Broner turned professional at the age of nineteen and captured three world titles in three weight division before he turned twenty five. His shine lost some luster when he suffered his first defeat to Marcos Maidana in December of 2013, but Maidana’s good performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr. has since quieted the talk of Broner being significantly overrated.
Taylor is two years younger than Broner and also turned professional at the age of nineteen. He has spent most of his career fighting in the junior welterweight division while Broner has fought as low as the super featherweight limit, but he will be giving up nearly four inches in reach despite having a slight height advantage.
Broner has the slight edge in power having stopped twenty two of his opponents while Taylor has only stopped twelve. The quality of opposition edge goes to Broner, but Taylor has been in the ring with some solid boxers also.
Broner’s notable victories include Carlos Molina, Paulie Malignaggi, Antonio DeMarco, Jason Litzau, and Daniel Ponce De Leon. Taylor’s notable victories include Karim Mayfield, Victor Cayo, and Raymond Serrano. His losses have come to Chris Algieri and Prenice Brewer.
Taylor boxed intelligently against Mayfield and if he can repeat the same against Broner he could be successful. But Algieri has shown the blueprint to beating Taylor by boxing him from the outside and showing good foot movement.
Broner should defeat Taylor by a large margin on Saturday, especially in front of his home town. The junior welterweight division will be a much better fit for Broner than the welterweight division.