By: William Holmes
Golden Boy Promotions televised three fights on Showtime from Adrien Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati Ohio. The crowd in the US Bank Center was enthusiastic from the opening bout on despite the apparent mismatches on paper.
The opening bout of the night was between Steve Upsher (24-3-1) and Andre Berto (28-3) in the welterweight division. Both boxers were coming off of losses but Berto was a heavy favorite.
Both boxers were coming off a long layoff. Berto was active with his jab in the first round and was displaying significantly more power in his hands. Upsher was able to connect well when he threw first, but Berto’s punches were landing with more force.
Berto continued to be sharp with his heavy jabs in the opening moments of the second round but was stunned by two quick left hooks from Upsher that forced Berto to clinch. Berto recovered but Upsher closed the round strong with a flurry. It was Upsher’s best round of the night.
Berto backed up Upsher in the third round and was snapping his head with his heavy jabs. Upsher’s right eye started to swell in the third round and it only continued to get worse as the fight progressed.
Upsher was hurt in the fourth round from an over hand right and his eye looked nearly shut by the start of the fifth. Upsher’s offensive struggles were highlighted from a wild left hook that missed so badly he turned in a complete 360.
Berto dominated in tight in the sixth round and was snapping the head of Upsher in the ninth. The left side of Upsher’s face was starting to swell by the seventh round. Upsher showed signs of life in the eighth round but his punches weren’t hurting Berto.
Upsher needed a knockout in the final two rounds for any hope of a victory, but his punches never came close to testing the at times questionable chin of Andre Berto.
Andre Berto won by decision with scores of 99-91 on all three cards.
The second bout of the night was in the junior welterweight division between the hard hitting Lucas Matthysse (35-3) and the American debut of Roberto Ortiz (31-0-1).
Ortiz looked bouncy in the opening round and had obvious awkward style. Matthysse was able to land a few good right crosses despite Ortiz’s awkwardness, and landed a solid left hook counter in the middle part of the round. Matthysse was able to duck the hooks of Ortiz easily.
Matthysse came out more aggressive at the start of the second round and was able to easily avoid the punches of Ortiz that he saw coming from a mile away. Matthysse’s aggressiveness was paying off as he was getting the better of Ortiz during exchanges and had him backing away from him. Matthysse connected with a thudding left hook to the body of Ortiz that sent him to one knee.
The referee counted to nine and Ortiz seemed to rise to his feet at the count to nine, but the referee waived off the fight. Ortiz did spit out his mouthpiece when he took a knee, but he still obviously beat the count of ten.
Regardless, Lucas Matthysse wins by knockout again at 2:45 of the second round.
Junior welterweights Emanuel Taylor (18-2) and Adrien Broner (28-1-1) met in the main event of the night. The crowd was clearly behind their hometown product at the start of the bout.
Taylor came out aggressively and immediately attacked the body of Adrien Broner. Taylor was keeping a tight guard but Broner showed early on he had the quicker hand speed. The fans were distracted in the first round by a fight in the stands, but the action after the first round kept their attention.
Taylor continued to stalk Broner in the second round and had Broner on the defensive. They were fighting in a phone booth in the early middle rounds with both boxers having their moments with several good exchanges. Taylor did well when he fought in close, especially in the fourth round when he was battering Broner by the ropes and was landing looping right hooks reminiscent of Marcos Maidana.
Taylor kept the fight in tight in the fifth round but was ripped by several hard shots to the body by Adrien Broner. Broner was landing heavy body shots throughout the round and closed it out strong with several hard combinations.
Taylor pushed the action in the sixth round and was landing good hooks on Broner by the ropes. Taylor was coming forward behind his jab and was pushing the action. Broner was able to stop Taylor’s aggression with a straight right hand and against focused on the body of Taylor. Broner was warned by the referee for elbows in the sixth.
Taylor landed looping right hooks in the seventh round and had Broner backing up early on. Broner was more active in the second half of the round and was starting to talk trash.
Taylor started to slow down by the eighth round and was not able to avoid the crisp punches of Broner. He fought at a distance in the ninth and was out boxed by Broner.
Broner had a strong tenth and eleventh rounds as his body work throughout the bout was paying off as Boner had an easier time punching Taylor than in the earlier rounds. However, Broner was cut in the eleventh round from a left hook by Emanuel Taylor.
The last round was perhaps a round of the year. Taylor knew he needed a knockout to win and was pushing hard for it. Both boxers landed hard blows, including a vicious right hand from Emanuel Taylor. Broner however had the best punch of the round and the night when he knocked Emanuel Taylor down with a right uppercut as the round came to a close.
It was a close and better than expected fight, but Adrien Broner won with scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 116-111.